Okay, men, let’s get real here. We’re loath to admit that we are as vain about our appearance as women but as we age we’re all susceptible to taking medicinal short-cuts to remain vital and vigorous.
Sometimes with fatal results.
What many men are turning to in an effort to ward off loss of energy, low libido and erectile dysfunction are testosterone therapy treatments that are supposed to be used only to treat low testosterone, or “Low T.”
That may be fine if you actually have “Low T” but important recent medical studies show that there are a lot of men who are using these treatments who actually aren’t low in testosterone.
These same medical studies warn that older men, particularly those with a history of heart problems, are putting themselves at significantly higher risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes than men who don’t use testosterone therapy medications. Read more here.
Hundreds of millions of men are. The percentage of this multitude seeking a fountain of youth rather than legitimately being treated for low testosterone is impossible to determine.
What we do know is that sales of FDA-approved supplements to treat “Low T” such as Androgel, Androderm, Axirom, Bio-T-Gel, Delatestry, Depo-Testosterone, Fortesta, Striant, Testim and Testopel have been booming.
Here’s some valuable advice for men considering seeking “Low T” treatments from the Harvard Men’s Health Watch as recently printed in the Chicago Tribune .
- Take stock of your health first. There may be other reasons than your testosterone level for fatigue, a low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and other symptoms attributable to low testosterone.
- Get an accurate assessment. If you or your doctor think you might have low testosterone, have it measured between 7 a. m. 10 a.m., when testosterone is at its daily peak. Then confirm the result with a second test on a different day.
- Be mindful of unknown risks. Ask your doctor to explain the various side effects for the different formulations of testosterone, such as gels, patches, and injections. Know what to look for if something goes wrong. And approach testosterone therapy with caution if you are at high risk for prostate cancer; have severe urinary symptoms from prostate enlargement; or have diagnosed heart disease, a previous heart attack, or multiple risk factors for heart problems.