"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

New study adds caution to testosterone therapy for “low T.”

The mass marketing of testosterone therapy may make men wanting to do that seemingly easy solution. But cutting-edge science should make you scratch your head and put the bank card away — at the least for now.

A brand new study Published in an online journal. PLoS One The risk of heart attack has been shown to extend within the months after starting testosterone therapy. The risk was highest amongst older men. A report in Issue of November 6, 2013 Jama It appears that men who used testosterone therapy didn't profit as much after an artery-opening angioplasty as those that didn't take testosterone.

A word of warning about these reports: Neither was the form of study that might prove cause and effect. They can only show associations, or links. This means there isn't any smoking gun that testosterone therapy is harmful. But studies suggest caution.

On Friday, the FDA announced that it's going to look into possible links between testosterone therapy and heart attack, stroke, or death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products. In an announcementhe urged health care professionals to “consider whether the benefits of FDA-approved testosterone therapy outweigh the potential risks of treatment.”

Potential risks in addition to advantages

Testosterone immediately disagrees with a small variety of men. They quickly develop pimples, enlarged or tender breasts, or swollen ankles. In some men, testosterone causes an overproduction of red blood cells, which may increase the chance of blood clots within the arteries or veins.

The long-term risks should not really known. As the articles mentioned above indicate, taking extra testosterone could cause heart problems. There are also concerns that testosterone therapy may stimulate the event of prostate cancer. But the evidence is mixed. Some studies, in truth, show that it occurs in men taking testosterone. less Heart problems. The relationship between testosterone therapy and prostate cancer can also be complex.

What is required is a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, through which some men receive testosterone and others receive an inactive substitute. In such a trial, nobody except a number of record keepers knows who's getting what – not the volunteers or their doctors. If such a trial is conducted and is large enough and long enough, we must always have a transparent answer concerning the advantages and risks of testosterone therapy. It won't come fast or low-cost. The Women's Health Initiative, which tested the advantages and risks of hormone therapy for ladies in this fashion, took years and price hundreds of thousands of dollars.

what to do today

  • Check your health first. Fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and other symptoms attributed to low testosterone can produce other causes besides your testosterone levels.
  • Get an accurate diagnosis. If you or your doctor think you will have low testosterone, measure it between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., when testosterone is at its day by day peak. Then confirm the result with one other test on one other day.
  • Beware of unknown dangers. Ask your doctor to clarify the several unwanted effects of various testosterone formulations, resembling gels, patches, and injections. Know what to search for if something goes fallacious. And for those who're at high risk for prostate cancer, approach testosterone therapy with caution. Prostate enlargement has severe urinary symptoms; or have been diagnosed with heart disease, a previous heart attack, or multiple risk aspects for heart problems.

Finally, “testosterone therapy is not the fountain of youth,” he warns. Men's Health Watch. Don't try it in hopes of improving your youthful physical or sexual self, longevity or health, or improving your memory or mental acuity. A safer and maybe more practical technique to achieve these goals is to exercise more.