The endocrine system, which consists of glands, secretes a number of hormones to ensure the proper functioning of various systems in the body. Testosterone is one such hormone that is produced by the male gonads or testes. Testosterone is an androgen, otherwise known as the male sex hormone, that plays a key role in the development of the reproductive system in males and is also responsible for the secondary male characteristics like facial and body hair, deep voice, physical growth etc. Slight traces of this hormone can also be found in women. Testosterone also helps in increasing the levels of energy and in the proper growth and development of the bones and muscles. In women, this hormone regulates the menstrual cycle.
Sometimes, due to age and other health issues, levels of testosterone in the body suffer a dip, resulting in testosterone deficiency. The person may suffer from fatigue, depression and low sex drive. In males it can lead to erectile dysfunction and in severe cases, even impotency. In such cases, to improve the hormonal levels, the individual may have to undergo hormone replacement therapy. There are also a few natural supplements that stimulate the testes to produce this male hormone. The supplements can be taken in the form of gels, injections and patches. But it is essential to exercise precaution to prevent side effects, which can lead to several health complications if not controlled and treated in time.
Side Effects of Testosterone Supplements
As seen earlier, testosterone therapy and supplements are administered to fight against symptoms of low testosterone in the body. Both men and women suffer from this disorder after a certain age and may require testosterone replacement therapy. An overuse of this hormonal supplement may result in side effects, which can affect the overall health of the individual. Given below are some of the side effects of the overdose of this hormonal supplement.
- One of the most common side effects of testosterone is the loss of hair on the scalp. The hair begins to fall in patches, resulting in baldness. The sebaceous glands also secrete excess oil, which triggers the eruption of acne.
- The side effects in men are the enlargement of the prostate gland, pain while urinating and erection, and development of the breast tissue, a condition referred to as gynecomastia.
- Hirsutism or the growth of excess hair, especially, in the facial region can be seen as one of the side effects in women. Retention of fluids in the body, resulting in weight gain, discharges from the vagina, enlargement of the clitoris are some of the other side effects of an elevated level of testosterone hormone. The affected women may also experience swollen nipples and pain in the breasts when touched.
- The side effects of testosterone boosters may include allergic reactions like eruption of hives, skin rashes, vomiting induced nausea, weak libido etc. Loss of appetite, mood swings, abdominal pain, discoloration of the skin, dark-colored urine are also a few of the ill effects testosterone supplements have on the body.
- Some individuals may also experience headaches, which may range from mild to severe, change in the bowel movements, bitter or metallic taste in the mouth, and oral problems like swollen and bleeding gums, accompanied by pain as a result of the testosterone side effects. It can also increase the risk of contracting cancers like liver cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer in women etc., since it triggers the abnormal growth of cancerous cells.
Though quite effective in combating various health problems caused due to hormone deficiency, an overdose can harm your body. If you are suffering from hormone imbalance, consult a doctor before taking any supplement to avoid side effects and complications. Take care!