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Testosterone supplements
Mar 31, 2003

I am 17 years old and I was wondering if there was any side effects on taking testosterone supplements to enhance muscle growth.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Yes, there are. With HIV infection, you should have your testosterone levels checked along with body composition to determine the need to add this onto your list of medications. Therapeutic use of such hormones is limited to reconstituting hormonal balance and normalizing body composition.

The role of testosterone supplements is different in muscle-building without a therapeutic need. There are likely to be long-term consequences to using any drug or supplement. Before you opt for testosterone supplementation you should know that it may slow or shut down your body's ability to make its own (causing testicles to shrink if you are a man). Long-term use can also change bone structure, affect the liver and kidneys, and change the way your body makes and/or reacts to its other normal hormones.

The bottom line from a health point of view is a "risk vs. benefit" thing: is that if it is not needed to return to normal health then it is risky.


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