If you’re a guy of the certain age, you’ve probably noticed all the ads for supplemental testosterone, hinting that getting the male hormone could cure all that ails you, from waning sexual performance to dwindling muscle mass and strength.
Along with the ads seem to be working: The amount of prescriptions written for testosterone have skyrocketed by greater than 300 percent since 2001, reaching 7.2 million in 2013, according to an April 2016 analysis by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, The Big Apple University, and Stamford University School of Medicine. Along with an estimated 70 percent of those prescriptions for prescription testosterone boosters spartagen XT are written males between the ages of 40 and 60.
Other research suggests that most those prescriptions are great for the drug firms that make and then sell the pills: testosterone sales topped $1.6 billion this year, based on a 2013 study in JAMA.
Although some guys who take testosterone report better sexual function, most don’t. That’s in part because erection dysfunction usually is a result of low circulation of blood towards the pen-is, brought on by high cholesterol levels or elevated blood pressure, not low testosterone, according to the American Urological Society.
And getting a testosterone booster doesn’t improve physical stamina or energy, either, in accordance with a study funded through the National Institutes of Health and published in February 2016 inside the New England Journal of Medicine.
“My patients come in all of the time looking for it after seeing each of the direct-to-consumer ads letting them know they absolutely must take it,” say Adam Cifu, M.D., a professor of medicine in the University of Chicago and co-author of “Ending Medical Reversal.”
“Since there may be a great deal demand, physicians feel pressure to prescribe it to never lose patients.” Some doctors may believe what Cifu calls “marketing hype-that testosterone will make a 60-year-old man with slightly low testosterone feel better. But it’s medicalizing natural aging.”
Most older men won’t feel better or see benefits from having a testosterone booster. In fact, older guys who are prescribed it appear to get a higher risk of dying from the disease in addition to coming from a cardiac event or stroke, in accordance with a 2013 JAMA study.
Another study found that men over age 65 on testosterone therapy could have twice the risk of developing a stroke or stroke.
Other studies suggest that testosterone boosters might fuel the increase of prostate cancer, and lower sperm counts, too. Established risks include blood clots from the legs, apnea, an enlarged prostate, enlarged or painful breasts, and swollen feet or ankles.
Moreover, the gel kinds of testosterone, applied beneath your arm or in your upper arm and shoulder, can be transferred to others when you don’t wash the area after applying it. Children exposed to the hormone have observed enlargement of the pe-nis or clitoris, development of pubic hair, increased libido, and aggressive behavior. Women may go through acne along with the expansion of body hair and, should they be pregnant or breast-feeding, can transfer the hormone to their babies.
If you’re feeling as though you might have low energy or have sexual problems, don’t believe that low testosterone is the cause, or a testosterone booster is definitely the solution.
Stress, sleep deficiency or exercise, and feelings concerning your partner may also sap your vim and vigor. Plus, diabetes, obesity, and pituitary tumors can play a role in low testosterone, as dexhpky99 some drugs. So they will be ruled out first.
“There’s nothing romantic or age-defying about a drug that accompany long term risks to you personally and also the people your home is with,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser.
Instead, try safer approaches to restore that lovin’ feeling: Eat correctly, exercise, reduce stress, and also a long talk with your partner as well as your doctor. If you do start treatment, reassess after several months and watch for worrisome unwanted effects inside you and the ones near you.