You can’t change the fact that you are going to age and as men get closer the age of 50 testosterone production slows to a crawl. About half of all middle aged men will go through “andropause” and to combat the symptoms of andropause they will turn to hormone replacement therapy. Symptoms can vary but they will usually include fatigue, mood swings, decreased libido, depression, night sweats and more. Steroids and hormone replacement therapy have been found in the gym and body building circuit for years but now middle aged men are using the to combat lowered hormone levels. The difference between steroid abuse and HRT is huge.
Steroids without a prescription is not only completely illegal but when they are taken without proper medical supervision there are a whole host of health problems that you could end up dealing with. The short term effects of anabolic steroid use are pretty well known, but the medical community is still not sure what happens to your health in the long term. Illegal steroids usually come from a “friend” at the gym and the potential for health problems is huge. You don’t know what exactly you’re buying and standards from outside the US have very little regulation leaving you with fake ingredients or worse, something dangerous.
There have been whole books written on the subject of steroid abuse and famous athletes have been caught doping. The list of side effect from abuse is long and it can include testicular atrophy, mood swings, thinning hair, chronic infections at the injection site and throughout the body and fluid retention. Steroid abusers are also at greater risk of contracting blood borne diseases. Years of study have shown steroid abuse to be dangerous.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT is done under the supervision of a doctor and it starts with a simple blood test to establish what your testosterone levels are and if they are actually deficient. There are other conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure which will mimic the symptoms of andropause and you want to rule those out first.
HRT medication can be administered by injection, orally or through a transdermal patch similar to a nicotine patch. HRT has been proven effective in dealing with the symptoms of hormone deficiency, including
- Reduced muscle mass
- Improves strength
- Reduced mood swings
- Increases bone density
- Lowered libido
These are just some of the things you can expect to be treated with a medically supervised hormone therapy routine. Your doctor will monitor you for any potential side effects and adjust your medication accordingly. Typically there are very few side effects and they are easily manageable. While hormone replacement therapy has been tainted by steroid abuse it is in fact perfectly safe under the supervision of a doctor.