We have all seen the ads. The commercials that come on in between your favorite Breaking Bad episodes, your adrenaline rushing and bravado showing. How about during your online browsing sessions, where your side banners tell you that you are not man enough but there is hope through testosterone treatments. I know for certain that when you step foot into your gym at least a couple of TVs are advertising “low testosterone” remedies. It has even been advertised as a catalyst for treating erectile dysfunction. With all this hype, you better believe that the number of testosterone treatments and participants have been increasing over the years.
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But why do men experience a loss of testosterone? Why does a man seek therapy to boost testosterone? According to WebMD:
As a man ages, the amount of testosterone in his body gradually declines. This natural decline starts after age 30 and continues throughout life
Of course it makes sense then that a man aged 40 and up would look for a means of staying young by increasing testosterone, even if it may be detrimental to his health in other ways. A study on testosterone therapy focusing precisely on those health risks has been creating quite the buzz in the news recently. The study found that with testosterone treatments you are also increasing your risk of a heart attack. With that in mind, different testosterone treatments have been getting backlash from both media and activists alike, as it has been disputed whether the risks outweigh the supposed benefits of the treatments.
Androgel is one such product currently dealing with lawsuits from 4 plaintiffs who claim their cardiovascular injuries came from the use of the gel product. The product was originally approved by the FDA to be used by those experiencing hypogonadism, where the patient’s body doesn’t produce enough testosterone to continue masculine functions such as muscle growth or sperm production. Now, however, Androgel is more commercially advertised as a means to boosting performance and testosterone levels in middle aged (40+) and older men (65+). It does have its benefits, but unfortunately Androgel does not yet acknowledge the risk of cardiovascular health, nor does it label it in its safety information.
Due to the curiosity and miracles that testosterone therapies are proclaiming, groups like the Endocrine Society are rallying their cry to label testosterone therapies and treatments with proper warnings. The Endocrine Society is also calling for a larger scale study in order to properly examine how risky testosterone therapies can be. Even the FDA is currently investigating the link between increased heart risk and testosterone therapy. Like other miracle drug claims, one would do well to practice caution and research before using anything that claims to improve your health in any way.
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What can a man do then? Is there no solution? Of course the obvious answer is to consult your doctor, because although some testosterone therapies are posing a threat to one’s health, others may be causing more promise than problems. Either that, or force yourself to go to the gym, not to necessarily get your testosterone back, but rather your confidence and energy! Or disregard everything and jump on the Cenegenics train and look like Dr. Life (on the right) in your 70s… Cheers to immortality!
PLOS One: Increased Risk of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infraction Following Testosterone Therapy Prescription in Men
WebMD: Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Endocrine Society Statement on Testosterone
Endocrine Society Calls for Large Scale Studies to Evaluate Testosterone Therapy Risks
Mayo Clinic – Male Hypogonadism
FDA evaluating risks associated with FDA-approved testosterone products
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