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Testosterone Therapy May Not Be for Everybody

A recent news feature from the Post-Bulletin involves a question and answer session between a prospective testosterone replacement patient and a doctor at the Mayo Clinic.  This patient states that he is nearly 60 years old and has noticed that he no longer has the same energy to do things as when he was younger.  He goes on to say that when doing things like yard work or bike riding, he gets tired much faster than he did when he was younger.

untitled-1238929-mWhile we used to think of this as one of the normal things that happens as humans age, as this prospective patient mentioned, he has seen tons of ads that tell him that if he takes testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) hormone, he will no longer be bothered by these “symptoms,” as they are now called by the drug companies.  He also stated he has a lower sex drive than he did when he was younger and wants to know if testosterone replacement hormone can help with this as well.

As the article notes, testosterone therapy is helpful for some, but it is not helpful or even safe for everyone.  The first thing they recommend is to go a doctor and have a blood test to determine what the individual’s testosterone level is.  It is important to understand that going to a doctor and getting a blood test is not what these drug companies really want patients to do.

The reason for this is because many doctors will review the results and see that a patient does not have exceptionally low testosterone levels and not prescribe the hormone.  The reason they won’t prescribe the hormone is because, as our Boston testosterone injury lawyers have seen in far too many cases, despite what drug companies claim, testosterone hormone is not harmless and without side effects.  It can increase one’s red blood cell count, and this can increase a patient’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA).  Testosterone can also increase a patient’s risk of suffering a stroke or heart disease.

Instead of going to a doctor, they want you to look for what is called a T clinic in your area.  These T clinics will often have you fill out a health history form and get a list of your symptoms.  They probably won’t take a blood test, because they don’t want to know your actual testosterone level.  Instead, they will treat on symptoms alone and give the very expensive testosterone hormone for the off-label use of reversing the normal symptoms of male aging.

Another thing to keep in mind is that doctors do not really know what it means to have a low testosterone level.  They generally know what the average testosterone level is for men over 60, but they do not know what health effects there are if the patient’s actual level is lower than the average.  They also don’t know if it helps to increase one’s testosterone level.

There have also been problems associated with certain delivery methods of testosterone more than others.  For example, oral medications have caused a significant number of side effects, some of which have been very serious in nature.

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Additional Resources:

Testosterone therapy useful for some, but not all, September 12, 2016, By Landon Trost, M.D., Post-Bulletin

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