There are quite a few different opinions about testosterone replacement therapy and how this hormone affects the body. Basically, testosterone is made in the testes, but the signal that tells them exactly how to do it comes from the brain. When there is enough of this hormone in the body, the brain sends a signal to stop its production.
Under normal conditions, this is a cycle that is constantly repeated in order for a person to produce enough of this hormone, but no more. When a man gets older, his testosterone level usually goes down. This is a serious problem: testosterone affects numerous functions of the body.
If the hormone is too low, the androgen receptors will not get the signals they need. Therefore, symptoms such as decreased sexual desire, inability to get an erection and orgasm, inability to gain muscle mass, lack of energy, a general feeling of depression can occur.
A condition known as hypogonadism develops when the body does not produce the hormones it needs. In this case, synthetic hormones can be taken. Testosterone can be given in the form of injections, gels, and even deodorant. It all depends on personal preference.
The therapy is applied to men who are unable to produce enough of this hormone alone. It is a medical condition and doctors use testosterone and other androgenic ingredients to treat it. Levels are monitored so that levels are as optimal as a healthy man’s. The route of administration is most commonly by injection or gel but there are also other types which will be discussed below. Oral intake is rare as it has a huge risk of liver cancer.
This is the oldest method originating from the 1940s. It consists of an intramuscular injection of testosterone propionate doses. The annoying thing is that once put, testosterone suddenly reaches very high levels (not inherent in the body) that can damage the liver.
In addition, some of the hormone taken in this way is converted to estradiol, which is not the goal at the moment. At the end of the effect, the drop in values is so dramatic that a constant injection of a new injection is required. For this, it is good to introduce depot preparations, which will last from 1 to 4 months.
The unpleasant thing here is that 40 to 80 percent of the pill taken is not absorbed by the body. To avoid this, methyltestosterone tablets have been recommended in the past, but today they are banned in almost all countries (except the US) because they are toxic to the liver.
Their effect is greatest 2-3 hours after administration. Therefore, they should be taken 2 or 3 times a day. Many bodybuilders reject this form of intake because they always have to be careful not to miss their pill. And the price of the preparations is by no means small compared to propionate.
Depo implants are crystalline solutions developed over 60 years ago. When used properly, they provide long-term and effective release of the necessary doses of testosterone in the body. Disadvantage: Immediate removal of implants is not possible.
These are the latest and most modern dosage forms on the market. They are recommended because of their harmless way of administration, but also because they give off evenly testosterone in the serum. The breakthrough in medical practice with male hormone-containing patches came with the Androderm product, which has undergone clinical trials at Utah and Johns Hopkins University in Boston.
Patches that release the optimal amount of hormone daily can be applied anywhere on the skin. However, they are not easy to find. When they were first created, the patches had to be glued to the testicles after they had been shaved beforehand. Of course, this daily and very painful procedure did not meet much enthusiasm.
It is also important to know that testosterone should be administered under strict medical supervision. It is advisable to check the hormonal levels periodically, which will lead to individualization of the doses of the prescribed hormones. If you decide to take hormone therapy, do not trust casual advice or recommendations from friends. Without medical control, hormone therapy could have tragic consequences.
If your doctor recommends hormone therapy, you will definitely notice a number of changes in your condition. Here are some of the most common changes that need to be addressed more seriously.
In every man, whether or not he takes testosterone, some of the hormone is converted to estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. The mammary glands can begin to grow under the influence of estradiol. This phenomenon is called gynecomastia and is considered to be quite rare.
If this happens, the doctor will suspend therapy for a month or two to restore the normal state of the mammary glands, after which hormone can be restored, but already with a medication blocking the processing of testosterone into estradiol.
The relationship between testosterone and side effects is not clear
Hormone therapy usually goes hand in hand with a warning about the risk of heart attack, stroke, and also prostate cancer. The truth is that the information is quite controversial. Recent scientific evidence has cast doubt on these warnings.
For example, when it comes to heart attacks or strokes, fears are that testosterone makes the blood thicker. This is due to the effect of the receptors that stimulate the production of red blood cells.
However, there is no clear evidence of a relationship between testosterone and blood density. Recent studies have even suggested that normal testosterone levels help protect against such risks. For example, lower body fat improves overall health, and hormone therapy contributes to this reduction.
Further research is needed on this issue, anyway, be sure to monitor your blood condition during hormone therapy. As for prostate cancer, there is no accurate data. If the prostate is enlarged, taking hormonal supplements can only make the situation worse. However, there is no definitive evidence for the development of prostate cancer due to hormone therapy.
By all means, testosterone replacement therapy is not synonymous with the use of the hormone for sports performance. In such a case, it is an abuse, since abuse is not necessary. Men in their 20s and 30s rarely have similar problems.
However, queries from competitors for testosterone treatment have been very common lately, compared to 5 years ago.
There are several reasons for the increased use of therapy. Easy access to prohibited supplements predisposes athletes to use them. Many recognize previous uses of steroids. What is now being observed are the consequences of this abuse – a decrease in the ability of young athletes to make hormones themselves.
The most common reason for taking testosterone replacement therapy is after misuse of steroids. Their usual action is to increase testosterone levels significantly to increase muscle size, strength, and aggressiveness. Recovery after workouts is also much faster. But if you go through this process too much, the body can only prohibit the production of testosterone by itself, as it comes in abundance from the outside (injections, gel, etc.). When this happens, production levels fall below normal and supplements are needed to eliminate the symptoms of improper hormone production.
When a man who produces enough hormone decides to inject extra testosterone into himself for better sportsmanship, his natural ability to produce it is blocked. If introduced externally for a certain period of time, production opportunities are suppressed and may return to normal in a few months.
However, if the external insertion lasts too long, the cells that make testosterone in the body are destroyed, and the athlete is at risk of passing on synthetic testosterone for normal functioning and health. All this depends a lot on the dosage, the period of use and the preparation.
Post-cycle Anabolic Steroid Therapy is a period in which athletes take certain drugs after they have already stopped taking steroids.
Post-cycle therapy can, in many cases, confuse athletes, and we will discuss when to start, what medications to use, for what period of time, and what to expect.
After a cycle with Anabolic Steroids, the natural production of testosterone in the body decreases and in some cases is completely suppressed. During the cycle itself, this problem can be overcome by supplementation with Testosterone, but once you stop completely steroid intake, your own production needs to be restarted as quickly as possible in order to maintain most of the results achieved, and normalization of sexual function.
Important note: Testosterone supplementation during the cycle is not required in women, as well as having post-cycle therapy.
The biggest problem for athletes is that they have unrealistic expectations. Most post-cycle Anabolic Steroid Therapies are for 4-6 weeks, and many athletes expect all hormonal levels to be normal after this period, as well as to maintain strength and increased muscle mass. However, therapy does not work this way.
A good plan for post-cycle therapy will help you keep much of your progress, but if high hormonal levels are no longer available in your body, you will lose some of your progress. Think of Anabolic Steroids as a building block for your muscles – stopping their intake, this system collapses.
The main goal of therapy is to stimulate natural hormonal production, a process through which you will lose some of the results, but this is ultimately not the end of the world. During this period, athletes should focus on long-term results, paying attention to proper nutrition and exercise regimen, which in combination with therapy will retain much of what is achieved. In reality, this is the only logical, long-term plan of action.
If you are a serious athlete and have used Anabolic Steroids a lot, then the use of post-cycle therapy may be counter-productive. In such cases, it is recommended to use low doses of Testosterone between cycles.
Another case where therapy is not recommended is in cases where the athlete had a low level of natural production even before the use of Anabolic Steroids. In this case, a low dose of Testosterone is again recommended.
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There are many preparations that can theoretically be used during therapy, but two are most common – Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Clomid (Clomifene). Both drugs are in the class of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators. Both drugs stimulate the production of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormone, thus aiming to increase your own testosterone.
You also have the option of using aromatase inhibitors as they also have the ability to increase LH and FSH levels. The problem with them is that they also significantly reduce estrogen levels, and the main idea of post-cycle Anabolic Steroids therapy is to normalize hormones, as part of that is to maintain normal estrogen levels.
On the contrary to the beliefs of most anabolic steroids users, estrogen is not an “evil” hormone but is actually extremely important for building muscle mass, maintaining sexual and mental health, and many other things.
It is very important that you start therapy at the right time. If you have used only fast-acting drugs during the cycle, such as Dianabol, Testosterone Propionate, Trenbolone Acetate and more. , therapy should be started 3-4 days after the last injection.
However, if you have used slow-acting long esters such as Testosterone Enanthate or Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate), you will need to wait at least 14 days before you start. Sometimes, when taking Nandrolone, it is advisable to start treatment about 20 days after the last injection.
It is always a good idea to have a blood test so you know where you are, but not during or immediately after the end of therapy because then the natural production of Testosterone is stimulated from the outside. It is best to have a blood test done several months after the end of the cycle.
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