Testosterone supplements are prescription or over-the-counter products designed to help correct a testosterone deficiency. The supplements may take the form of injections, patches, or some sort of topical cream or gel. Supplements of this type are sometimes used by athletes to promote the further development of muscle mass and endurance, although unmonitored and excessive use of the supplements is generally discouraged by physicians.
The most effective types of testosterone supplements are those that are available by prescription only and that are administered under the care of a qualified physician. There are several advantages to this arrangement. First, the physician can adjust the dosage as needed over time, making sure the strength of the supplement is sufficient to reverse the deficiency but not strong enough to cause side effects such as aggressiveness or insomnia.
Supplementation by a doctor also makes it possible to be assured of the quality and content of the testosterone supplements. This is not always the case with products that are not subject to governmental regulations. The chances of ingesting something that would have an adverse effect on the production of other essential hormones are much lower when using medication that has been tested and found to comply with safety standards put in place by a governmental organization.
While there are a number of over the counter products on the market today, many of them make claims that are dubious at best. Some of these types of testosterone supplements may provide some assistance, particularly if they contain vitamins and minerals that are known to help support the proper function of the hypothalamus, testes, and pituitary gland. However, many over the counter supplements that claim to correct low testosterone levels may contain combinations of herbs and animal matter that have no scientifically proven basis. These nostrums are touted to be ideal for quickly correcting a lack of desire, or an inability to perform in an intimate situation, a marketing strategy that helps to attract attention and broaden their appeal.
In times past, athletes have made use of testosterone supplements to help improve general endurance during sports and promote the development of muscle mass. Some of these treatments are administered under the direction of a licensed physician and are engineered to provide benefit with few side effects. This includes products such as testosterone injections, the testosterone patch, or the testosterone cream.
However, there have also been instances where testosterone supplements were used in excess, leading to the development of a wide range of bodily ailments. While a testosterone gel or injection is beneficial when given in strictly monitored dosages, excess usage of these supplements can hinder the body’s natural ability to produce the hormone, leaving the person dependent on the supplements.
It is important to note that physicians tend to make use of testosterone supplements only when low testosterone is detected. The supplements are sometimes used to increase testosterone levels as the patient recovers from some sort of trauma or medical treatment that has inhibited the ability of the body to produce adequate testosterone levels on its own. Once the health crisis is passed, the physician can begin to reduce the supplements as the body begins to produce more testosterone naturally, eventually discontinuing the use of supplements altogether.