Testosterone replacement therapy is often praised as a breakthrough treatment for men suffering from low testosterone levels. This clinical therapy administers testosterone-boosting products such as gels, injections, patches, and pills that exogenously raise the body’s testosterone levels.
For the most part, testosterone is effective in restoring total serum testosterone levels in the body. One study published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine even went so far as to state that testosterone replacement therapy has improved many participants’ quality of life and is safe for men whose PSA levels fall below 4 ng/dL.
That said, there are still some concerns over the safety of this type of treatment, particularly concerning the cardiovascular region and the heart.
While there have been circulating claims that testosterone therapy contributes to cardiovascular risk factors, there’s no clear evidence that links this association.
In fact, Dr. Rebecca Vigen, one of the medical researchers that have initially shed light on the harmful association between T levels and heart function, made an official correction for misreporting their primary results.
At least according to existing scientific literature, no evidence directly links testosterone therapy and an increased risk of a heart attack. Men looking for safe and effective ways of boosting their T levels can therefore rely on this form of treatment, granted it’s supervised by a medical professional.
Let’s learn more about the TRT-heart attack connection, low testosterone’s side effects, the safety of testosterone therapy, and alternative ways you can naturally boost T levels.
The Connection Between the Heart and Testosterone
Testosterone binds to the heart muscle walls and blood vessels. In patients with healthy blood flow but low T levels, testosterone therapy can help support blood flow and vascular function. This, in turn, relaxes the heart by dilating the aortas where blood pumps out.
Multiple studies have shown that animals that are given testosterone develop enlarged hearts. Athletes who abuse testosterone also develop heart problems such as high blood pressure and heart attack.
However, if administered the right way, there’s no conclusive risk associated with TRT and negative heart function. Clinical testosterone therapy is closely monitored and administered by medical professionals, meaning the risk of cardiovascular damage can be managed and avoided.
One of the likely reasons why fears of the heart-testosterone connection are so widespread is the fact that the FDA has updated its recommendation for TRT to only include people prescribed it back in 2015. The reason for this update is due to old evidence implying TRT’s negative effects on the heart, particularly for aged men with sexual health problems.
However, these studies aren’t accepted by the medical community at the current time as a slew of new evidence has suggested otherwise. On top of that, leaving low testosterone untreated also carries its own set of risks, including heart disease.
What is Considered Low Testosterone?
Most health guidelines consider 300 ng/dL the standard cutoff to determine if a man has low testosterone. However, this can be expanded from 280 ng/dL to 320 ng/dL depending on the individual’s age, health history, and other relevant factors.
Testosterone levels tend to vary depending on the time it was taken and the laboratory that performed the analysis. For this reason, it’s recommended to check testosterone levels more than once to confirm if you have low T.
Why is Low Testosterone Bad?
Low levels of the male hormone testosterone can lead to a myriad of symptoms that can decrease the quality of life of the individual afflicted by it.
On top of that, leaving it untreated can exacerbate existing health conditions and increase the risk of developing even more life-threatening health issues.
Here are some side effects that men can suffer if they have low testosterone:
- Reduced bone density
- Reduced muscle mass
- Increased weight
- Diminished libido
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Increased irritability
- Anxiety and depression
- Lowered energy
While there are some worries about testosterone therapy causing heart disease in some form, it doesn’t edge out against the mounting evidence that shows that low testosterone in itself also leads to increased mortality by heart problems.
If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s best to consult with a medical professional before starting a treatment regimen.
How to Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally
While testosterone therapy is a medically safe practice, there are also ways you can naturally boost your T levels.
Let’s look into some of the ways you can boost T levels naturally to compliment medical treatment methods such as TRT.
1. Minimize Stressors
Chronic stress can ramp up the production of cortisol in the body. When cortisol is high, testosterone levels tend to dip dramatically.
If your current work-life routine is too demanding, consider taking some time off to relax and recharge. Taking a break from the stresses of everyday life can play a critical role in restoring your T levels.
2. Get Some Sun
Low exposure to sunlight can lead to low testosterone levels. This is because the body becomes deprived of vitamin D, which is necessary for testosterone synthesis.
As much as possible, find some time to step outdoors and let the sun hit your skin. If you can’t, consider a vitamin D supplement and talk to your doctor about the recommended dosage.
3. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol can negatively impact testosterone levels. Research shows that binge drinking regularly can lead to low T, as well as a host of other medical issues like testicular atrophy.
As such, make sure that you limit your alcohol consumption to avoid T problems and increased cardiovascular risk. Two glasses of alcohol a day should be the maximum recommended intake for most men.
4. Eat Testosterone-Boosting Foods
Certain foods are known to naturally boost testosterone levels.
These include the following:
- Fatty fish
- Plant milk
- Spinach and leafy greens
Conversely, avoid processed foods and refined sugars as they can be detrimental to your sexual health.
Consult Jacksonville’s Top Men’s Clinic to Overcome Testosterone Deficiencies
Testosterone therapy can seem intimidating at first because of the potential cardiovascular health risks associated with it, but at the time of writing, there’s no clear evidence that suggests that it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you’re suffering from testosterone deficiency, don’t keep it to yourself. Contact a medical professional from Prime Men’s Medical Center in Jacksonville to get yourself evaluated.
From there, you can discuss possible testosterone treatment procedures to address your condition. Don’t miss out on any opportunities you can find to get the proper treatment and achieve a happy and fulfilling life. Give our team a call today to schedule your appointment.