For Me, Testosterone Replacement Therapy Caused Mood Swings, Anger
In the Cushing’s disease support groups I belong to, I often see questions about medications. People frequently respond by giving advice about these medications based on their personal experiences. I take medications to treat hypogonadism, a result of having a pituitary tumor.
I’m often asked about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and side effects, so I’d like to share with you some of my personal experiences.
After meeting with my primary care physician, we were able to confirm a diagnosis of low testosterone. He suggested I use a topical steroid called AndroGel. This topical TRT comes in a bottle and is dispensed by a pump. I would rub the AndroGel into my shoulders, where it was then absorbed into the skin to elevate my testosterone levels. Please keep in mind that this was a year before my pituitary tumor was discovered.
After a year of using AndroGel, I saw no positive changes and continued to experience weight gain. I also developed a strange odor and looked swollen. I was using up to five pumps of AndroGel a day. I stopped the treatment when we noticed the ongoing symptoms and discovered the tumor.
About a year after having surgery to remove the tumor, I started TRT again, but this time, I used 200 mg biweekly injections of testosterone cypionate. The prescribed amount wasn’t as much as some people who abuse it use for extreme muscle growth and bodybuilding, but I did experience testosterone replacement therapy side effects, including mood swings. My anger was explosive, and there were a few moments I’m certainly not proud of.
In addition to the anger, I also felt isolated. The lows were extremely low, and I would isolate myself from my family — even in my own home. The combination of these behaviors eventually took a toll on my marriage. My wife is a strong woman, but watching me deteriorate and self-destruct was not something she could stick around to watch. I was so blinded by what the medication was doing to me that it took an ultimatum from my wife for me to quit using it.
After that, I tried alternatives to TRT, which I described in a previous column. A note about that: I believe there is a place for both modern medicine and alternative, or holistic, medicine. In my experience, the latter takes longer because it requires lifestyle changes, and results aren’t always immediately seen.
My final thought on TRT is that it can be beneficial for many men. My experience with traditional TRT wasn’t great, but not everyone has the same experiences. There are many success stories. For those who are currently on it or thinking about taking it, please pay attention when those close to you start to notice red flags regarding your behavior. They could be caused by testosterone replacement therapy side effects. So it’s important to listen to your loved ones.
As always, consult your doctors before taking any medication or making any adjustments to your treatment plan.
Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.