Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Low T" Versus Hypogonadism

A while ago (see "The Testosterone Replacement Therapy Craze") I reported on the increasing trend for men, many of them young, to use testosterone products like Androgel and Axiron to boost their testosterone levels. They're being encouraged by the sellers of such products to correct what the sellers call "low T". Here are some facts to consider:

Testosterone replacement therapy is only approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hypogonadotropism, a clinical condition characterized by measurements of blood levels of testosterone of less than 300 ng/dl and one or more clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency. Hypogonadism is not that common in young men; a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that only about 5.6% of men under 70 had hypogonadism.

And yet, sales of prescription testosterone-containing gels, creams, and liquids that are absorbed through the skin totaled more than $2 billion in 2012 alone, according to an article in the New York Times. The companies who make these types of products claim with a perfectly straight face that their advertising campaigns are only aimed at educating men who may be at risk of having hypogonadism, so that they can talk to their doctor. They say that they don't condone the use of testosterone products for purposes other than those approved by the FDA, but whom are they kidding? There aren't enough men with hypogonadism in the world to support those kinds of sales numbers.

Don't buy the hype. If you're a normal young man you don't need more testosterone unless you have been properly examined and tested by a physician. Enough is plenty. And these products do have some unwanted side effects you should know about. Do your homework.

No comments: