Men considering testosterone therapy may have cause to reconsider, according to research.
When men reach their 30s, testosterone levels begin to decline. Part of the aging process, this decline is natural, but the eventual effects can be undesirable. Some men experience decreased muscle mass, fatigue, low libido and irritability.
The hormone replacement therapy market has generated interest in recent years. Testosterone therapy is seen as an effective way to combat or slow the progression of declining levels, but research suggests that there could be detrimental side effects. A statement released by the Endocrine Society cites potential heart-related risks to men receiving the therapy.
The statement cautions men against the use of drugs to boost testosterone levels until large-scale trials can be done. Currently, the only usage of testosterone products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is for hypogonadism, a condition in which testosterone production in the testicles is abnormally low.
Beyond hypogonadism, which requires testing and diagnosis by a medical provider, testosterone therapy should be reconsidered for men who are simply experiencing an age-related decline in levels of the hormone. Research cited by the Endocrine Society suggests that the risk of stroke and death may increase in men who receive testosterone therapy.
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