08 July, 2011
Testosterone Replacement & Potassium
Potassium and testosterone levels play a key role in how your body develops. Low testosterone levels could lead to testosterone replacement therapy. These treatments may benefit you, but care should be taken to evaluate lab results for other abnormalities. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these may include a change in potassium levels, red blood cells, cholesterol concentrations, or a decrease in sperm count.
Male sexual characteristics are dependent upon the production of testosterone from the testicles. Muscle bulk and bone density are features that are influenced by the amount of testosterone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, testosterone is also important in keeping a sense of well being. If you have a low sense of well-being, lethargy, low libido, erectile dysfunction, or are feeling depressed, you may be having symptoms of low testosterone. If this is true, you may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be prescribed by your doctor after he has confirmed your low testosterone levels. The testosterone hormone can be given by intramuscular injections, body or scrotum patches, and also in a gel form that can be rubbed into the body. Your doctor will know which therapy treatment would be best for you. The Testosterone Report states that care should be taken if you are using the patches or gels to assure that your partner or another individual does not come into contact with the product. This could cause an increase in testosterone levels and create unwanted side effects.
Potassium helps with the conduction of electricity throughout your body. This electrolyte functionality is crucial in helping the muscles in your heart and body to contract, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is important to have the correct amount of potassium in your blood levels to ensure that your cells function correctly. If you are having testosterone therapy treatments, you need to know that your potassium levels may be affected.
In a study published by "Neurology," individuals were given a 10 to 13 week testosterone therapy treatment with weekly injections of testosterone. That study showed that at the end of the treatments, their potassium levels rose by 16 percent. One of the side effects of testosterone therapy treatment is the retention of potassium. Due to this increase, you should discuss with your doctor whether you should avoid high potassium foods or if any medication changes are needed.
Although there is a link to higher potassium levels with testosterone replacement therapy, more studies are needed to determine the significance of these findings. Your doctor will be able to decide if the risk of a high potassium level outweighs the risk of low testosterone. With lab tests and medications, your doctor should be able to keep a good balance between the two.
- Andrea Morini/Photodisc/Getty Images