While heart disease and cancer are two of the biggest killers in men, there is another ailment that continues to affect men over the age of 30. A new study suggests that at least one in four men over 30 have low testosterone levels, and one in twenty have clinical deficiencies associated with this hormone imbalance.
Low testosterone is defined as 300 nanograms per deciliter of total testosterone and less than 5 ng of free testosterone. This hormone imbalance contributes to a variety of problems in men as they age, including erectile dysfunction, lack of a sex drive, low energy, depression, and a decrease in muscle strength. It may also indirectly affect men’s risk for certain life-threatening conditions. Research has shown that men who attempt to take medications to increase their testosterone were at a higher risk of heart disease or stroke.
However, a new study from the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City shows that a new form of testosterone therapy, called Androgel, helped elderly men who had low testosterone reduce their risk of major cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, stroke, and even death. Doctors reported that as part of their follow up, non-testosterone patients were 80% more likely to suffer negative effects.
The study included 755 male patients between the ages of 58 and 78. They were split into three groups and each received a varying amount of testosterone. After one year, only nine males who were taking high levels of testosterone therapy, and twelve who took medium doses, experienced major cardiovascular events.
Testosterone Therapy with Androgel
Androgel Pump 1%
Androgel is available in single packets or tubes, or in a multi-unit dispenser. If you need this medication, your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many packets to open, or how many times to depress the pump for your daily dosage. It is absorbed by the skin upon application, and it contains the same amount of testosterone your body uses naturally. Androgel should be applied daily, and for best results, you should shower before applying Androgel and avoid getting wet for five to six hours after applying it. Side effects may include dry skin, hair loss, or depression, while more severe side effects include breathing problems while sleeping, and erections that last too long.
The risk of serious side effects is relatively low, so talk to your doctor to determine if you can safely use this testosterone replacement drug.