Men's bioidentical hormone therapy or testosterone replacement therapy is an option if you have noticed a reduction in your energy and sex drive as you have aged. However, while the treatment may be right for most men, you should still understand some of the side effects. Keep reading to learn about some of the more common ones.
Development of Erythrocytosis
Testosterone is used by the body in a variety of different ways. And, this means that the hormone can produce some changes when you start your injections. One such change involves the increased production of red blood cells since testosterone is thought to stimulate the bone marrow. As red cell production increases and the cells build up substantially in your bloodstream, you will develop erythrocytosis.
An increase in red blood cells is not necessarily a bad thing. The cells help your blood carry oxygen, so the oxygen-carrying potential of your body will increase as the cell numbers increase. This can help with athletic performance. However, blood becomes thicker as it carries around more cells and this can place some stress on your heart and lungs.
Make sure to speak with your doctor about having your blood taken often to see how much your hematocrit is increasing. Your hematocrit is the percentage of solid cells in your bloodstream and should remain a little above 50%. If your hematocrit is too high, then you will need to reduce your testosterone and you will also need to drink plenty of fluids to keep the blood thinner.
Formation of Acne
Acne is extremely common in teenagers and this is linked to an increase in testosterone during puberty. Specifically, the testosterone triggers your body to create more sebum, and the oily substance gets stuck in the pores of the skin. The blockage leads to inflammation and the formation of acne.
If you are receiving hormones, then you can expect a similar issue, regardless of your age. The good news is that the body will balance out over time and sebum production will naturally reduce. In the meantime, you should be using gentle soap cleansers and warm water to wash the face several times a day. Do not pick at the acne and use moisturizing creams that are water-based.
Some oil reducing products that contain mild acetones can sometimes work. You will often need more moisturizer if you decide to use these products since they do dry out the skin.