Beware the Snake oil
Testosterone therapy is being hawked as a cure for The effects of ageing.
Its preponants clain it will give middle aged men with normal (albeit reduced) testorterone levels
- greater muscle mass and strength
- Increased bone mineral density
- Thicker body hair and skin
- Improved sexual desire and performance
- Boosted energy levels
- Decreased irritability and depression
- Improved cognitive function
All this with no significant side effects.
One American Doctor, who runs a clinic in Boston, (I wonder if he prescribes Testosterone therapy?)
Has, in a recent article, (To promote his newest book I presume) 'debunked' "5 Testosterone Myths"
After reading this article My reaction was;
"Yippee lead me to it"
"This stuff is the elixir of life"
"I'll get me some of that testosterone booster stuff...
I'll be runnin round like a nineteen year old, pumping Iron like Arnie.
My libido will be so high, my erections so strong, that the missus will have trouble walking."
Then I did a bit more research...
and I discovered;
That aint quite how it works
I found an article from the U.S. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH which states...
"Testosterone therapy remains a scientifically unproven method for preventing or relieving any physical or psychological changes that men with normal testosterone levels may experience as they get older.
Except for a relatively few younger and older men with extreme deficiencies, testosterone treatment is not deemed appropriate for most men at this time.
For the few men whose bodies make very little or no testosterone—for example, men whose pituitary glands have been destroyed by infections or tumors, or whose testes have been damaged—supplements in the form of patches, injections, or topical gel may offer substantial benefit.
Supplements may help a man with exceptionally low testosterone levels maintain strong muscles and bones and increase sex drive.
However, more research is needed to determine what, if any, effects testosterone replacement may have in healthy older men without these extreme deficiencies. For now, the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy for most men who do not have extreme deficiencies of the hormone are unknown, and there is insufficient evidence for making well-informed decisions on whether this therapy is suitable in these individuals."
It goes on to say...
"Investigators are concerned about the long-term harmful effects that supplemental testosterone might have on the aging body.
It is not yet known, for instance, if testosterone supplements increase the risk of prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among men.
In addition to potentially promoting new prostate cancers, testosterone also may promote the growth of those that have already developed.
Studies also suggest that supplementation might trigger excessive red blood cell production in some men.
This side effect might thicken blood and increase a man's risk of stroke.
Although some older men who have tried these supplements report feeling "more energetic" or "younger,” testosterone supplementation remains a scientifically unproven method for preventing or relieving any physical and psychological changes that men with normal testosterone levels may experience as they get older.
Until more scientifically rigorous studies are conducted, the question of whether the benefits of testosterone replacement outweigh any of its potential negative effects will remain unanswered."
So what is Testosterone therapy?
After being tested and found to have Testosterone Deficiency. Usually linked to a condition called Hypogonadism.
You're given testosterone supplements, which can be in injection form, or tablets, or patches, or even gel which is rubbed in.
These usually consist in some form of;
What are the side effects of testosterone therapy?
There are many possible side effects of testosterone supplements. These can include;
Cause or aggravate sleep apnea (brief, repeated cessation of breathing during sleep)
Stimulate noncancerous (benign) growth of the prostate and cause or worsen urinary symptoms
Stimulate growth of prostate cancer that's already present
Enlarge breasts (gynecomastia)
Stimulate growth of breast cancer that's already present
Cause testicle shrinkage (testicular atrophy)
Limit sperm production (infertility)
Stimulate excess blood production (polycythemia) Which can lead to Heart trouble.
Not exactly pleasant
And the long term effects?
Too soon to tell.
As there hasn't been a great deal of research until recently.
So, unless you are diagnosed with an abnormally low testosterone levels by your own doctor.
I dont think its a good idea to go down this route.
After all there are other 'natural' ways to boost circulatory testosterone.
I came across an interesting post recently, on a blog site
It examines a case of what looks like misuse of prescription drugs, including testosterone replacement treatments.
It gives a good overview of the effects of some of these testosterone drugs, even though it uses scientific language.
After reading that article, you wonder how a physician can put people on a course of testosterone supplements when research shows that they are not beneficial.
Thats easy; MONEY
Its another of those 'Elixir of life' illusions. along with the ones that claim to 'cure baldness', and 'make your dick bigger'
There is, and always will be, money for anyone who is percieved to fix any of these basic human insecurities.
There are hundreds of private'clinics where you can pay and be treated with things that are of no benefit except that percieved in the mind of the poor desperate patient, and
doctors, like the rest of us are human.
Among the vast majority of good, honest, altruistic individuals. There are some, who are more interested in their patients dough, than their actual well-being.
Also, because any qualified physician can prescribe any 'approved' drug.
Its only when things go wrong, and third parties become involved that 'dubious' practise is uncovered.
Even then, its hard to get one doctor to go against another.
(The michael Jackson case comes to mind)
So for my money if your suffering from the effects of middle age.
It's best to stick to the 'natural' ways to boost your testosterone levels.
More in-depth articles
Arthritis Long Sightedness Age Related Macular Eye Disease Coronary Heart Disease Glaucoma Enlarged Prostate Manopause Diabetes Diverticular Disease Hiatus Hernia Living with Andropause Testosterone Therapy
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