Testosterone therapy comes with risks

    8:55 PM, May 9, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV) -- It's no secret as you age you begin to notice things changing a great deal with your body.  And it's important to know what happens with testoserone as you get older.

    Testosterone therapy helps increase muscle mass, boost libido and improve energy levels. Knowing the risks before taking testosterone supplements can make all the difference.

    Dr. David Gerson, with Baptist Health's Family Medical Clinic in Sherwood explains that testosterone is a hormone primarly produced in the testes. For men, it helps maintain bone density, fat distribution, muscle strenght and mass, sex drive and sperm production.  Dr. Gerson says as we age, your testosterone levels decrease.  It peaks during adolescence and early adulthood.  Signs of low testosterone include physical changes like increased body fat, hair loss and reduced muscle bulk and strength.

    Testosterone therapy can promote youth and vigor as men age.  But it's unclear if tesosterone therapy helps older men who are active and otherwise healthy.

    Dr. Gerson says there are risks of taking testosterone supplements as men age.  They can contribute to sleep apnea, cause acne or skin reactions, enlarge the breasts and can limit sperm production or cause testicle shrinkage.

    If you wonder whether testosterone therapy is for you, Dr. Gerson says you should speak with your doctor.


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