You may be curious about the image I used for this first article in this series on Testosterone Replacement Therapy myths. It’s the Greek mythological figure of Atlas. Because like Greek myths, the ones on testosterone are old and enduring. But that’s where the similarities end. At least the eloquent Greek tales have something to teach us. Whereas the myths on testosterone have no base in reality. Today many self-proclaimed experts on the internet and in the media talk about the harmful effects of testosterone replacement therapy. Yet these same individuals have never undergone treatment or know individuals who have [done it successfully]. There is also a plethora of misinformed doctors who believe TRT is harmful. The level of ignorance and misinformation today on hormone replacement is off the charts. This is despite the fact we have more information available to us than ever. Subsequently, it’s in your best interest to be able to separate fact from fiction. So without further ado, I give you the myths…
1# ‘Take some time out and your testosterone will return to normal’
The ‘always-on’ nature of modern society often leaves us feeling stressed and exhausted. We are bombarded by messages from social media, phone calls, text messages and e-mail. Subsequently, we are in a constant state of heightened arousal. No wonder we’re stressed. The surplus of cortisol produced from all this stress may interfere with our testosterone production. However, this is not the whole picture. The amount of abuse we take from toxins in our everyday environment is almost incomprehensible. We’ve been subjected to it since the day we were born. From the food we eat to the water we drink. Do you really think a few changes in diet and lifestyle is going to bring your testosterone back? The idea your body is going to restart producing optimal levels of testosterone after you disconnect and do a little meditation is fantasy. If only it were that easy. In this day and age, the only way to truly restore testosterone is to go on testosterone replacement therapy.
2# ‘If you take testosterone, your body loses its ability to make testosterone’
This is partially correct. The introduction of exogenous testosterone shuts down your body’s own production. You may or may not lose the ability to make your own testosterone. But why worry about your own testosterone production anyway? The reason you go on TRT is because your body cannot produce enough testosterone. You cannot get something back you didn’t already have. The irony is when you start testosterone replacement therapy, this ceases to be a worry. Because you begin to reap its incredible benefits.
3# ‘You need a doctor to regulate your hormones for the rest of your life and it’s expensive’
Another of the testosterone replacement therapy myths is that TRT is almost comparable to dialysis. And that once you begin treatment, you’ll need a doctor constantly monitoring you. The first few months of TRT are labour intensive. You need to take several blood tests to see how your body is reacting to testosterone. Although, this is normal with any type of treatment. However, once you and your doctor are happy and agreed on the dosage, it’s plain sailing. If you’re under 40 years old on TRT you should get your blood work done once a year. After 40 you should get your blood work checked twice a year. That doesn’t sound like a huge time investment to me. You visit the dentist twice a year to get your teeth checked. Because looking after your teeth is a fundamental to health. Similarly, your hormones are critical to the healthy function of your body. Therefore, this begs the question: why wouldn’t you check them? Moreover, contrary to popular belief, testosterone replacement therapy is very affordable. Consultations and doctors rates vary, but its typically in the range of $300-600 per month. You may nevertheless have to do a little homework and travel to find the right doctor for you.
4# ‘Taking testosterone is taking steroids’
We’ve debunked this harmful belief on this site before. Nevertheless, its bares repeating. Testosterone and steroids are NOT the same thing. Please once and for all rid yourself of the harmful idea that using testosterone is cheating. Testosterone is a hormone produced by your body. And now you are replacing a hormone that your body no longer produces.
5# ‘Building muscle uses up testosterone, meaning you have none leftover for libido’
There is a belief that if you train hard in the gym, you won’t have any testosterone left for your sex drive. It gets used up! It seems the two are mutually exclusive. That’s like saying the brain uses up all your glucose for cognitively demanding tasks. Now you no longer have any left to walk! Utter garbage. Who Really Does TRT? If testosterone replacement therapy were so bad, why would accomplished members of our society being doing it? Start doing your own investigation and look at who really does TRT. Success leaves clues. Take Doctor Brett Osborn, a world-renowned neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of operations, and is charged with savings people’s lives. He also runs a successful hormone replacement therapy clinic. In his fantastic book Get Serious he talks about the importance of hormones and why people should know about them. If it is good enough for a board-certified neurosurgeon, do you think it might also be good enough for you? Or how about Jay Campbell and Jim Brown? They are in their 40s – an age when most men check out of life. Yet they are in the prime of their lives. They are thought leaders in health and nutrition, devoted family and incredibly successful.
Don’t be fooled by so-called ‘experts’ spreading testosterone replacement therapy myths. Apply critical analysis to their motives and ask yourself some questions. Are they impartial? Do they have experience on testosterone replacement therapy themselves? As Dr Osborn says in his book, are you going to wait and see if something works prior to discussing it with your doctor. Or are you going to plan to assess the available data and make an educated decision? Myths and legends often have an enduring lesson to teach us. Stories are transmitted orally down the ages to tell of heroic deeds and the heroes who carried them out. However, there is nothing heroic about buying into mainstream myths (lies) on testosterone replacement therapy. One thing is for sure, the heroes from Greek mythology did not suffer from low testosterone. Be sure to come back for the next installment in the series.