Testosterone is a sex hormone, along with estrogen and progesterone. All three sex hormones are made from cholesterol, and they all exist in both women and men in varying amounts. Testosterone is responsible for the growth of muscle, sex drive, aggression, and several personality traits. It is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women and in the testicles and adrenal glands in men.
As each person ages, the amount of hormones produced naturally from within the body begins to decrease, the best example of this seen in estrogen levels during menopause. Given that testosterone decreases similarly, bioidentical testosterone is used to restore previous levels to normal and reverse the symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
Serious Side Effects of Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement
Though as yet there is no definitive data on what side effects bioidentical testosterone are responsible for, there are a range of complications - severe to relatively mild - that may result from taking them. If you experience the following side effects as a result of taking bioidentical testosterone, contact your doctor immediately.
Side Effects of Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
- Breast growth or pain
- Dark urine or light-colored bowel movements
- Depression or mood changes
- Interrupted breathing while sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Swelling of the ankles or legs
- Urination problems
- Weight gain
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Less Severe Side Effects of Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement
The following side effects have also been reported to occur. It is recommended to seek medical attention if the symptoms are prolonged:
- Sensation of bitter or strange taste in mouth
- Change in sex drive
- Gum or mouth irritation
- Gum pain
- Hair loss
The majority of studies show that bringing low testosterone up to normal levels is very healthy. Indeed, testosterone decreases angina and leg artery blockages, improves cholesterol, and helps improve insulin function in diabetics. However, these improvements should be measured against the side effects as outlined above.
If, after reading over the page above, you feel that the risks and side effects associated with bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy outweigh its intended benefits, take comfort in the fact that there are a wide range of effective alternatives for treating the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Click on the following link to learn more about alternatives to testosterone replacement therapy.
After considering the possible side effects of bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy, continue on to the next section, which focuses on bioidentical hormones and menopause.