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You’ve probably heard the commercials for testosterone supplements. They promise to restore the vigor and strength of your youth (not to mention weight loss)?
The problem is most men don’t need a testosterone boost. In fact, supplementing it can be dangerous to your health.
Testosterone levels typically peak in late adolescence and early adulthood. After middle age, a man’s testosterone level usually drops about 1 percent each year.
There are a number of things besides aging that can cause low testosterone, or hypogonadism, including genetics, undescended testicles, mumps, injuries and cancer treatment.
Mayo Clinic lists several of the symptoms lower testosterone levels may cause, such as:
But these symptoms could be caused by medication or diseases, such as diabetes, depression or thyroid problems. The only way to know if your testosterone is low is through a blood test.
Testosterone therapy carries some risk, and experts aren’t sure it will help symptoms caused by age-related testosterone loss.
Mayo Clinic also lists some of those risks, including:
If you’re a middle-aged man who hasn't been diagnosed with hypogonadism and you feel tired or have gained weight (or both), increase your exercise, get more sleep and eat healthier instead of trying a testosterone supplement.
If you suspect you may have low testosterone, talk to your doctor. If your testosterone level is too low, your doctor will be able to recommend individualized treatment.
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