For many years, no matter if it was on television, in a magazine or even in the doctor’s office, there were advertisements describing the symptoms of men suffering from low testosterone levels. Of course, almost every middle-aged man could relate to the symptoms that were listed. Lower libido, less energy, mild depression, loss of muscle mass, and weight gain around the stomach were some of the symptoms. These symptoms might be prevalent in men with Low T, but the advertisement failed to mention that though the symptoms could describe a real medical issue, they also described a perfectly normal and healthy man in the throes of aging!
Rarely was a blood test done to determine if the patient really had a low level of testosterone, but instead the patient was prescribed testosterone in the form of a gel, cream, patch or injection. Studies have shown that approximately only 1% of the population of men truly has Low T. For these few men, supplemental testosterone is very helpful, but by prescribing this supplement for a man that doesn’t really need it, can be extremely dangerous. Use of testosterone in normal, healthy men can cause a myriad of health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, blood clots or pulmonary embolisms.
In recent years, testosterone supplements have been likened to the “fountain of youth” for men and the dangers have been brushed under the rug. Testosterone, when used in excess, can increase inflammation in the heart along with raising the LDL cholesterol. Both of these factors contribute to heart attacks and stroke, especially when the supplement is taken for years, as testosterone traditionally is.
It may be difficult to differentiate which symptoms are from low testosterone levels and which are from the normal course of aging. The only true way to know the difference is through a blood test to check testosterone levels. But, remember levels are supposed to drop with age. This is a normal part of aging, not a disease.
Don’t fall into the testosterone trap. Anyone who thinks they may have low testosterone should never take anything without first verifying the results with a blood test. Medicines and supplements aren’t always a cure-all. Sometimes the body knows best.