You probably know that increased levels of testosterone affect things like muscle growth, energy levels, and your body’s ability to burn. But what about the rest of your body? Hormones are carried through the bloodstream and affect almost every part of our bodily functions—that’s why Hormone Replacement Therapy can have such a big impact on your day-to-day life. However, changes in hormone levels can also impact your body in unexpected ways.
How Testosterone Affects the Heart
The heart is a muscle (or more accurately, a collection of muscles). Since increased testosterone levels in general result in improved vascular function and increased muscle growth, overall heart health might improve after testosterone therapy.
There is some evidence that overly high doses of testosterone or other androgens might result in high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. However, most of this evidence is found in elite athletes using testosterone; some of this use may not be directed by a medical professional, and in addition, athletes are at higher risks of unexpected cardiac problems than the average person. As a result, it’s hard to know if this is related to testosterone levels or other factors.
Effects on the Brain
There is evidence that increased testosterone levels can help with brain fog and memory problems. There is also some evidence that increased testosterone is correlated with increased spatial cognition.
How Testosterone Therapy Impacts the Digestive System
Testosterone and other androgens interfere with cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol are associated with digestive discomfort, as well as disorders such as IBS. In addition, IBS is associated with low levels of androgen.
There is some evidence that testosterone therapy in people with low levels of androgen might result in reduced intestinal pain.
Effects of Testosterone on the Lungs
The role of androgens in the lungs isn’t well understood. Overall lung function may improve with testosterone therapy, probably related to improvements in vascular regulation. As always, levels of testosterone that are too high or unregulated can result in problems—as with the heart, if increased energy levels result in overexertion, there are risks that health problems might arise from those secondary issues.
Testosterone and the Liver
Liver function is one of the biggest concerns with many medical interventions. Liver damage can happen quickly, and can be very difficult to address. The good news is that in general, testosterone therapy doesn’t appear to have many effects on liver function.
Overall, the most important thing to consider with testosterone is that it will affect your entire body, which means that you should pay close attention to any changes you notice and discuss them with your doctor. If anything you are experiencing causes discomfort or is a concern for your doctor, they can perform additional tests and, if needed, adjust your dosage accordingly.