Testosterone deficiency or a panacea for virility?
And testosterone is not without side effects. It can lead to prostate cancer and cause the prostate to enlarge, leading to symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), which causes difficulty with voiding and emptying the bladder completely. Prior to initiating treatment with testosterone, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test should be measured and the patient examined to define the severity of BPH.
Therapy can be given as self-administered injections every two weeks. This is the safest approach, as the materials can easily be discarded to avoid contamination of others. There are testosterone creams available that are effective and easy to use but very expensive. And if a woman, child or pet comes in contact with cream, virilization can occur.
The most important positive results of treatment are improved libido, more muscle strength, less fatigue and less osteoporosis. And remember, there are significant side effects that include acne, hirsutism, male pattern baldness, seborrhea and breast soreness, priapism (a painful enlarged penis), bladder irritability, headache, virilization, liver damage and bleeding tendencies.
Sadly, hormone replacement, with testosterone for men and estrogen and progesterone for women, is not the fountain of youth. In the long term, side effects are more serious than any short-term benefit.
Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the book "Breaking the Rules of Aging." To find out more about Dr. David Lipschitz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. More information is available at: www.DrDavidHealth.com
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