SignatureMD Minutes: T & U: Testosterone Deficiency

Let me paraphrase a current media campaign for the testosterone product, AndroGel, made by Solvay laboratories, which recently was purchased by Abbott Laboratories for $6.2 billion. Do you have a decrease in libido? Do you have a lack of energy? Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance? Have you lost height? Have you noticed a decrease in your enjoyment of life? Are you sad and/or grumpy? Are your erections less strong? Do you find yourself trying to find The best water penis pumps? Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports? Are you falling asleep after dinner? Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance? Well, if you answer yes to these questions it could be a treatable condition called low testosterone or Low T. Talk to your doctor. As well as looking into various male enhancement medications to see if they’re able to help you and increase your testosterone and therefore a higher libido.

Now let me ask the men reading just two questions. First, do you have birthdays? And last, Can you grow a beard? I’ll come back to the second question in a minute. If you have birthdays than you can expect your testosterone levels to decline steadily after age 40. The decline is relatively small, at an average rate of about 1% to 2% percent per year. By middle age and older, virtually all men experience some decline in testosterone — but only a small percentage of aging men have levels far below those considered normal for their age.

Mother nature giveth and mother nature taketh away – but she usually leaves plenty to get the job done. Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist with the University of California at San Diego, sums it up. “If a man doesn’t have symptoms, you shouldn’t even test for low testosterone. There’s no proof that treating low testosterone in the absence of symptoms has any benefits.” And despite what AndroGel encourages men to believe that “lost height,” “falling asleep after dinner” and a “deterioration of your ability to play sports” are symptoms that can be fixed the same way Viagra fixes erectile dysfunction, they are not. And the side effects of testosterone treatment include possible acne, sweating, dizziness, breast growth in males, unseemly hair, sensitive testicles, enlargement of the prostate gland, acceleration of prostate cancer, and an intriguing yet unexplained “penis disorder.” That might be the deal breaker.

As early as 1949 the division of gerontology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that testosterone is absolutely essential to maintain typical male features such as growth of beard and from her study of 11 normal elderly men, Dr. Chieffi observed that the administration of testosterone produced a marked stimulus to beard growth. If you can grow a beard, “T” is not for “U”.