Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

How Can You Manage The Different Side Effects Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy is something that men desire to help them with the fatigue, sexual dysfunction issues, and reduced strength that are associated with low testosterone levels. However, men need to ask themselves whether or not the treatment is a safe one for them. The answer is usually yes, but there are some serious side effects that must be managed. Find out a bit more about them and how they are managed before you decide on the therapy.

Development Of Blood Clots

Many men experience an increased risk of developing blood clots when they receive testosterone. And, this has a lot to do with the way that the hormone triggers cell production in the body. Specifically, the male hormone stimulates the marrow to create more red blood cells than normal. This increases the hematocrit level, which is based on the ratio of red blood cells to plasma in the blood. In other words, it causes an elevation in cells that thickens the blood substantially. When the blood is thicker, cells are more likely to get stuck in the blood vessels, creating a clot. 

Blood clots are more likely to develop in the deep veins and your doctor will inform you of some of the redness, swelling, and pain symptoms associated with this. And, he will also tell you how to control the hematocrit by donating blood. 

Blood donations that are timed out correctly can help you to maintain a lower overall hematocrit. This happens as you donate a substantial number of red blood cells, forcing the body to create new ones, and this takes some time to happen. Work with your local Red Cross or another donation center to donate blood around once every two months or so.

Sleep Apnea Issues

If you want to use hormone replacement therapy to combat the fatigue you feel with low testosterone, then you may not be happy to learn that sleep apnea is something that you may experience. However, unlike the fatigue that you feel now, the problem can be addressed by using a breathing machine at night.

The breathing machine, which may be either a CPAP or BiPAP model, will combat sleep issues in a few different ways that are caused by the testosterone. First off, it will keep the airway open to allow for normal breaths. This is important because the muscular structure can build when you take testosterone, which can work to close off the airway. 

Also, male hormones can calm the body's normal response to hypoxia, which is to breathe in more oxygen. Many breathing machines will actually retain a consistent breathing pattern to maintain adequate oxygen throughout the night regardless of the physiological response. 

To learn more information about hormone replacement therapy, reach out to a health professional near you.