Forget everything you have heard about and think you know about hormone-replacement therapy. The New Age Medical Clinic sets the record straight about some common myths about testosterone treatment.
Myth 1. Testosterone is illegal
Not at all – testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone that is perfectly legal with a physician’s prescription. However, taking testosterone without a prescription is unlawful and some sports organizations have policies against participating in hormone therapy.
Myth 2. Testosterone therapy causes cancer
Fact: Quite the opposite – testosterone treatment may actually combat breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. As quoted by the study Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Prostate Risks: Where’s the Beef?: After all these years of testosterone age and awareness of the androgen-dependence of prostate cancer, there remains no compelling evidence that TRT does, in fact, represent a true risk for prostate cancer growth.”
In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in June of 2010, which looked closely at the adverse reactions reported in 51 other studies, found there to be no increased risk of the development of prostate cancer, prostate related urinary symptoms, or elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen).
Myth 3. Women will take on male features
Fact: Females participating in testosterone replacement therapy will not become aggressive or hoarse. If you do experience inappropriate hair growth or acne, our doctor will lower your dosage.
Myth 4. Testosterone causes rage and aggression.
Testosterone-therapy is not linked to violent behavior, rage, aggressive, or other uncontrollable behaviors. No studies have shown a correlation between violent behavior testosterone-replacement treatment, even at high doses. Most of our patients report an increased feeling of well being, lower aggression, and a better attitude towards life.
Myth 5: Testosterone causes baldness
Fact: Studies show no link between male pattern baldness and taking testosterone-replacement. Studies support that TRT does not aggravate male pattern baldness. According to the 2010 update to “Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline”, the conversion rate and subsequent ratio of testosterone to estradiol and DHT does not change when treating Low T via injection of testosterone cypionate. Elevated levels of DHT can cause hair loss – but injecting testosterone does not seem to cause that to happen.
Myth 6: Testosterone causes heart disease, cardiovascular problems and heart attacks.
The American Urological Association (AUA) has followed these reports closely. The AUA notes that there are conflicting studies that suggest TRT may lower heart risk. More studies need to be done to be certain whether and how TRT changes men’s risk of heart attack.
According to a study done by the FDA, “The available epidemiological studies do not provide convincing evidence that TRT is associated with adverse CV outcomes.”
In a study published in Life Extension Magazine by William Faloon, higher testosterone levels in older men were actually found to lower the risks of cardiovascular problems:
Data was tabulated based on hospital reports and/or death certificates for heart attack, stroke, unstable angina, bypass surgery, or stenting.
The four quartiles of total testosterone in this large group of older men were:
|Quartile 1:||Total testosterone below 340 ng/dL.|
|Quartile 2:||Total testosterone be-tween 341-438 ng/dL.|
|Quartile 3:||Total testosterone be-tween 439-549 ng/dL.|
|Quartile 4:||Total testosterone above 550 ng/dL.|
Of interest was the finding that Quartiles 1, 2, and 3 had about the same risk of cardiac adverse events. It was only in Quartile 4 (when total testosterone exceeded 550 ng/dL) that the 30% reduction in cardiovascular events occurred.
This finding showed that it did not matter if these men’s total testosterone was very low (below 340 ng/dL) or moderately low (up to 549 ng/dL)…they all had a similar increased risk for suffering a cardiovascular event. Only when total testosterone exceeded 550 ng/dL did cardiovascular risk plummet.
This finding remained consistent for cerebrovascular disease incidence, where men with the highest total testosterone (Quartile 4) had a 24% reduced risk of transient ischemic attack or full-blown stroke. The researchers noted this association with reduced cerebrovascular risk remained after adjustment for traditional risk factors.
The conclusions by the researchers who conducted this study were:
“Higher serum testosterone levels are associated with a reduced risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in community dwelling elderly men.” 17