Advertisements and marketing have created a certain image for testosterone and men over 40. In fact, according to the FDA there are a million more men taking testosterone supplements now than there were four years ago. Many of the men who are taking these supplements do have low testosterone levels and taking supplements can help reduce a number of symptoms such as: low libido, fatigue, and moodiness . However, it is estimated that half of men taking prescription testosterone do not actually have a deficiency.
The effects of testosterone on the body are numerous. It is an important hormone for both men and women and is responsible for sexuality, the central nervous system, skin and hair, muscle, fat and bone, and circulation. Hypogonadism is the name of the condition which causes low T. These men can combat the symptoms low testosterone causes by supplementing with testosterone. This requires a doctor’s prescription and regular, careful monitoring.
Many men think that once they hit a certain age they automatically need to take extra testosterone. They think that it can increase their energy and overall well-being. In actuality- doing so without being under a doctor’s care- one who has determined that testosterone levels have in fact fallen to low levels- isn’t entirely harmless. Taking testosterone supplements when there is no deficiency can make men overly confident to the point of impulsivity, which can be detrimental to both personal and professional life situations when it comes to making important decisions.
In general, research has shown that men are overall more confident about their decisions and judgments than women are, and this could be linked to testosterone levels. Studies have shown that men who answer questions incorrectly are more certain that they’ve got the answer right than women, who are more hesitant in their answers.
Another study was conducted where men applied gel to their bodies; half of the men applied a placebo gel and half applied testosterone gel, and continued their day as normal. A few hours later, once the testosterone levels peaked, the men sat down at a computer to take some tests. It was found that the men who had applied the testosterone gel were more likely to give incorrect answers and judgments. It took them longer to answer correctly but they rushed into answering incorrectly. You might not think that’s a big deal but what about men who have jobs where precise decision making is important and where responsibility plays a big role?
It is true that supplementing with testosterone levels can help a man in many ways – but only if he has low levels to begin with. Men with low testosterone levels will enjoy better libido, more energy, less weight gain and improved mood when undergoing hormone replacement therapy. But for men who have normal levels, taking extra testosterone can lead to impulsivity, over confidence and more cognitive errors. Testosterone supplementation should not be treated as something “cool” or necessary for all men over a certain age. Supplementing when it is not physically needed can be harmful by causing testosterone levels to get too high which in turn not only leads to errors in cognitive thinking but also can potentially cause troubling health conditions.
If you are not sure whether you need to supplement with testosterone or not, you can take our low testosterone test and consult with your doctor. It is important to get your testosterone levels checked by a medical professional if you feel that you require hormone supplements.