Two recent studies are setting off alarms for testosterone therapy – a very popular treatment for men suffering from low testosterone, often referred to as Low T. Testosterone therapy (TT) has long been a boon to men battling the effects of aging but its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years – even among younger men — likely due to heightened awareness of the effects of hormone deficiency and the combined efforts of advertising and media coverage.
And when you look at some of the benefits of the therapy – increased muscle mass, improved memory and concentration, increased energy and stamina, increased libido – it’s not hard to understand why men would request it in droves.
But recent studies showing an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death have doctors and the FDA second-guessing the benefits. The most recent study, published last week in PLOS One, showed an increased risk (36 percent) of non-fatal heart attack within 90 days of filling a TT prescription compared to that for the year before filling the prescription. The groups with the greatest risk are those aged 65 and older as well as younger men with pre-existing heart disease.
Another study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November, followed veterans with low testosterone levels. The patients in this study were generally older than those in the first group, but results show an increased incidence of heart attack, stroke and death among men who were receiving testosterone replacement therapy– even for those with no previous history of heart disease.
Further study is still needed, but the results of the latest research definitely warrants some caution. If you think you can benefit from testosterone therapy, you should discuss both the risks and the benefits with your
doctor and be sure to undergo some testing to determine if you would be a good candidate. Also consider that many of the ailments that TT treats can be caused by any number of factors – especially obesity and poor diet.
According to Healthline.com, some simple lifestyle changes could go a very long way toward making you feel young and vibrant again – namely exercise, healthy eating and better sleeping habits. Furthermore, there are medical alternatives to TT that may help boost your body’s natural production of testosterone. Clomiphene, for example, stimulates the production of two key hormones which can in turn increase testosterone production in men, according to Dr. Harry Fisch, a board-certified urologist and guest blogger at DoctorOz.com
As with any medical treatment, it’s important to discuss all of the options for treating Low T symptoms with your doctor before proceeding with any treatment.