Do You Need The Male Equivalent Of HRT?
The BBC have release an article today about the ever increasing number of men seeking treatment for low testosterone levels… often called the ‘Male menopause or Andropause’
the problem usual effects men aged over 40 and beyond and can cause symptoms that include
- Reduced Or Complete Lack Of Sex Drive
- No Energy
- Poor Muscle Tone And Strength
- Problems Sleeping
- Mood Swings
- Increased Body Fat
In the US, men are bombarded with TV adverts that highlight the problem and the symptoms that accompany it… these intensive campaigns have caused the number men seeking treatment to triple in the past 10 years…. In the US alone it is estimated that 40 million men have sought treatment… in the UK too, the number has risen to an estimated 1.7 million men.
It is big business too.. the global market for testosterone drugs was been valued at over £1 billion ( figures taken in 2011) and is now thought to have grown even more.
Experts however, are concerned…..there has been a distinct rise in law suits in the US after men found that certain prescription products caused life threatening problems such as strokes and heart attacks… although currently the lawsuits largely feature two products – Androgel and Abbvie, it is thought that too many men are being wrongly diagnosed and being given treatment that quite frankly, they do not need.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is very similar to the HRT given to women as they pass through the menopause…. these women are given additional estrogen to try and alleviate the problems associated with declining levels of their female sex hormone…in men it is testosterone that is administered… the treatments come in various forms that can range from Pills and injections, through to patches and topically applied gels and creams.
Testosterone levels certainly effect the quality of life – says Dr Hugh Jones of Sheffield University UK.. ‘If you talk to the patients that I have placed on testosterone therapy, you will discover that it has enriched their lives, they are doing more… being more active and social once again..”
It is now believed that TRT could be heading the same way as HRT did in women… at one time HRT was given to virtually any woman of menopausal age.. it was believed to be a ‘one treatment cures all ills’ kind of therapy…… now things have changed and it has been linked to certain cancers etc and nowadays doctors are far more cautious about prescribing the treatment….
It is believed that the same will be said of testosterone treatments.. with the increasing reports of health issues, experts believe that the testing of the symptoms before hand should be made more intensive which should diagnose the problem more accurately, and their overall health be assessed fully before any form of prescription testosterone therapy be administered to a patient..
A study in the Journal Of The American Medical Association looks into the medical histories of over 8,700 veterans.. many of whom had both heart problems and low testosterone levels..
The men in the group who had been prescribed testosterone therapy had shown a 30% more likelihood of heart attack or stroke…
The problem can often be linked to poor initial diagnosis and prescribing… it is believed that many of the men should not have been prescribed the treatment in the first place as their levels of testosterone had not been checked correctly or accurately.. some had actually not even had their levels tested.
An article in the Lancet believes that larger, more intense clinical trials are required urgently..
The FDA released a guideline in January 2014 that reiterates that men should only be given prescription TRT if they have acute hypogonadism ( extremely low or zero testosterone production)
Dr Jones insists that as long as doctors test and diagnose thoroughly that TRT is not risky.. he said, ‘If you pick the right patient and diagnose and treat them correctly, you can change their life around’
The general feeling of most medical experts questioned is that the frail and older man should avoid these forms of prescription treatments…..
If they do feel that they could benefit from a boost in testosterone, perhaps they should consider a natural testosterone boosting supplement… being naturally formulated these are generally far less risky and in many cases just as effective..