Testosterone treatments: why they have become so popular

Many men resort to testosterone treatments in order to improve their mood, energy and sexual desire. Sometimes, these types of hormones are taken without a proven medical need through blood tests. Generally, those with low rates suffer from hypogonadism, also known as "T goes down." In this case, this type of therapy usually works to treat problems such as fatigue, increased body fat, decreased libido or difficulty concentrating.

However, men with normal levels will not notice any changes. In any case, it could be a placebo effect Of course, according to new research, the supply of testosterone can face individuals to totally unnecessary health risks, such as heart attacks or strokes.

The appropriate range of blood testosterone is 265 to 915 nanograms per deciliter for young men ages 19 to 39

Testosterone is a hormone produced mostly in the testicles that has effects on bone density, size and muscle strength, the distribution of body fat, facial and body hair, sperm production, sex drive and red blood cell production. In addition to all this, it performs multiple functions to keep the body in a proper state of health.

Testosterone levels change throughout the lives of men. It shoots with puberty (between 12 and 14 years old) and decreases 1% every year after the 30s have passed. According to the Endocrine Society, an adequate range of testosterone is 265 to 915 nanograms per deciliter for younger men aged 19 to 39. Doctors do not usually prescribe treatments for this hormone unless their levels are alarmingly low.

Change of trend

Testosterone treatments have much acceptance in countries like the United States in which more than 10 million men aged 40 from 2001 to 2011 were prescribed with this therapy in the form of skin patches, gels, pills or injections. But a 2018 JAMA Internal Medicine study contradicted the supposed benefits of this hormone, and the number of prescriptions declined markedly, Up to 48% in just one year.

Studies show that there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes if this therapy is abused in excess

In that study, scientists warned about possible risks of heart attack or stroke. It was an open secret. In 2016, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved including changes in the labeling of these products to highlight the potential for side effects on such important organs of the body as the heart or brain.

A new study, "Testosterone's Effects on Atherosclerosis Progression" (something like "The effects of testosterone on the progression of atherosclerosis"), brought together a group of men 60 years or older to randomly assign testosterone gel packs false for a period of three years. The objective, See if the placebo effect was met.

As expected, these gels did not serve to boost sexual desire, erectile function or quality of life. Nor did they worsen the condition of your arteries or the accumulation of plaque in the coronary arteries. Definitely, the placebo did not work and doctors did not notice changes in the health of individuals undergoing the experiment. To get out of doubt, the scientific community set out to conduct a great investigation.

Thus, the "Testosterone Trials" was presented, in which 800 low-level men of this hormone whose average age was 72 years underwent treatment to see if the drugs could really do something to change the mood and physical condition of the patients. The findings were published in the magazine 'Endocrine News' a year later. All aspects of sexual function improved, but not vitality or cognitive function. Depressive or moody symptoms were slightly reduced, as was bone density and strength. But also an increase in plaque in the coronary arteries, which doctors considered "somewhat worrisome."

The conclusion

"This is a very controversial issue. whose biggest problem is that there are no large enough investigations, "he admits Eric Orwoll, Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, at 'U. S. News'. "At the moment, it seems that there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. And prostate cancer is an unresolved theoretical concern." It is also suspected that it may be behind increasing the risks of conditions such as diabetes or sudden and unexplained weight loss.

If you really follow this type of treatment and are worried, The best thing you can do is go to your GP. Surely you undergo a physical exam to check your genitals, body hair, breasts or any other part of the body to check if that testosterone deficiency exists. Also by a blood test.