Big T conquered the imagination of millions of men looking for renewed vigor. libido, and cognition. But there's scant evidence that the hormone can actually conquer the ravages of age.
For trans men and other transmasculine folks who’ve had their ovaries removed, an ongoing testosterone shortage could prove disastrous. Without ovaries, their bodies will no longer produce any hormones in significant amounts, putting them at risk for osteoporosis and other health issues.
The ‘male hormone’ is being increasingly prescribed, but does it restore vim, vigour and perkiness? What does it do to your sex drive? And can you have too much of a good thing?
Establishing a “normal” level is complex, and measuring testosterone on its own may not be enough to estimate what is the correct level to have in the blood for any one person.
Testosterone deficiency is exceedingly less common than marketing campaigns and "you only think you feel fine" culture would have us believe.
Getting a high testosterone reading offers bragging rights for some men of a certain age — and may explain in part the lure of testosterone supplements. But once you are within a normal range, does your level of testosterone, the male hormone touted to build energy, libido and confidence, really tell you that much?
Probably not, experts say.
When patients ask about risks, I remind them that they already have testosterone in their system and that the goal of testosterone treatment is to restore its concentration back to what it was 10 or 15 years previously. And the molecule itself that we give is identical to the one that their bodies make naturally, so in theory, everything should be hunky-dory. But in practice, there are always some curveballs.
"Low testosterone levels due to obesity" and other aging health problems, Handelsman says, "are better addressed by lifestyle measures" directed at those problems. He also called for strengthened warnings on the drug's packaging to note the cardiovascular risk.
Over the past decade, androgen replacement prescriptions for men ≥40 years of age have increased 3-fold, according to one study.1 While one could argue this trend represents greater attention to an underdiagnosed problem, the study of prescription claims for almost 11 million men found that a quarter of them did not have a testosterone level documented in the 12 months prior to receiving treatment.
And other adventures in gender-affirmation surgery.
Too many men are getting testosterone for the wrong reasons.
It’s especially important for men experiencing possible signs of testosterone deficiency to get a thorough evaluation before opting for a supplement. The American Endocrine Society guidelines for testosterone use, which Dr. Bhasin helped to create, lay out the basics of good practice.
Low testosterone levels affect roughly 5 percent of men nationwide. Urologist Amy Guise, MD, identifies the myths and shares the facts about low t.
Men in their 40s represent the fastest-growing group of users. About half of men prescribed testosterone had a diagnosis of hypogonadism, and roughly 40 percent had erectile or sexual dysfunction. One third had a diagnosis of fatigue.
After being diagnosed with low testosterone in Spring 2014, I finally understood the laundry list of problems that had baffled me for most of my adult life.
But more importantly, I was armed with the information I needed to seek out a solution.
For me, that solution was Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and it's changed my life for the better.
After celebrating my first anniversary of TRT in August 2015, I feel like I finally have the proper perspective to share with others.
Hypogonadal patients on TRT have high rates of satisfaction (~70%) that is independent of the modality employed. Gel and pellet-based TRT may be favorable for long-term therapy given the correlation between patient satisfaction and increased duration of treatment. Improvements in mood and concentration are highly important factors in satisfied patients and clinical follow-up should specifically inquire about these symptomatic improvements.
The incidence of hypogonadism and use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are rising, while data evaluating the complexity and quality of health-care information available to patients on the Internet for hypogonadism or TRT are lacking.
Despite improving sexual function and mood, researchers aren’t overly optimistic about testosterone replacement.
Television ads for “low T” have sparked a rise in the use of testosterone gels, patches and injections by older men in recent years, according to a new report. But anyone hoping that a dose of testosterone will provide an easy antidote for sagging muscles, flagging energy and a retiring sex drive may find the results of recent government studies of the sex hormone sobering.
A seller of dietary supplements is succeeding by promising power to the aggrieved.
Men seek it out to combat low energy and decreased sex drive. Prescription testosterone has become so popular that so-called "low T" clinics are becoming common sights in cities and suburbs.
As the FDA weighs a crackdown, what are the pros and cons of testosterone-replacement drugs?
Men experience a natural decline in testosterone as they age like women, although it's much slower and gradual progressive decrease starting around the age of 30. Consequently, the fear of having low testosterone levels ("low-T") sends many men running to their primary care physicians in an attempt to restore their youthful levels. Yet is testosterone therapy safe, and can diet and lifestyle choices influence levels?
There are a ton of short articles telling you to eat some kind of new superfood to boost your testosterone, but there is a surprising shortage of real talk about how normal people (men and women) really change their lives by gaining control of their testosterone levels. Here is my story, and some real info for both men and women.
All of which leads to the very unsatisfying conclusion that a testosterone booster may be good for your health and lifespan, but we don't know enough to say for sure one way or another and no one will be handing down a smoking gun on the issue anytime soon.
Testosterone boosters are natural supplements that can increase your testosterone levels.
They work by directly increasing testosterone or related hormones, but some work by preventing testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
Many of these boosters have been scientifically verified in human studies.
Here are the eight best testosterone boosting supplements.
Androderm® is a prescription medication that can help
bring your testosterone levels back to normal with daily use.
Your medication stays contained in a 2 mg or 4 mg patch
and is covered by a backing that sticks to your skin.
AndroGel® (testosterone gel) 1% and 1.62% are controlled substances, available by prescription, used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone due to certain medical conditions. It is not known if AndroGel is safe or effective to treat men who have low testosterone due to aging.
TESTOPEL® is the only testosterone pellet available to help restore testosterone levels in men with Low T.
In a recent drug safety communication the FDA requires manufacturers of approved testosterone products to add labeling information about possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The American Urological Association (AUA) concludes that there is conflicting evidence about the impact of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular risks. Definitive studies have not been performed. There is a critical need for more federal and industry funding of research to better understand indications, long term benefits and risks of current treatments of hypogonadism, as well as to develop new and improved treatment options.
AUA recognizes and encourages the increased educational awareness of the benefits and risks of testosterone therapy among both patients and healthcare providers.
Considering testosterone therapy to help you feel younger and more vigorous as you age? Know the risks before you make your decision.