Monday, September 10, 2012

More on testosterone supplementation

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was interviewed by an AP writer about my testosterone usage.  In his original request for people to talk to, he wanted to talk to men age 50 or older, and he preferred people using the gels (Axiron, Androgel, etc.) for supplementation.  His article has hit the wires today, and here is one link to what he wrote:

Testosterone Article by Matthew Perrone

I found a couple things interesting about the article.  In some ways, I think my positive comments were merely an afterthought.  There was no comparison of what I said to what any of the "experts" said.  The economic side of the article was based on the gels and patches, which are very expensive because they are under patent. The injected testosterone that I use is not under patent and is much cheaper.

Much of the research quoted is fairly old and newer research seems to have been ignored.  Concerns about prostate issues and heart disease seem to have been alleviated by more recent studies.  I read a lot of studies, older and newer, before I started taking this medicine, and I am not concerned about those two issues.  I did a lot of homework before agreeing to start giving myself shots a couple times of week.  That was not an easy decision for someone so afraid of needles.

I am concerned about high red blood cell levels and blood pressure, the latter, in particular, because I weigh more than I should.  And, I'm having those things monitored.

In general, when browsing various forums on the net, it seems that users of gels are not nearly as satisfied as users of injected testosterone.  (Yeah, I know that's a highly unscientific statement prone to all sorts of biases on my part.)  Most of the clinics that are advertising under the guise of "anti-aging" prefer injected T to gels, because they believe it works better.  And, it's cheaper.

I have seen so many positive stories on the internet regarding improvements people have seen in their lives.  This article paints a very different picture, IMO.  There is a lot of information to refute statements in the article, and maybe I'll post links on another day.  Today, I'm kind of disappointed to have been part of this article - something that seems very one sided - armed with quotes rather than links to studies to make its claims.

Yes, I'm sure a number of drug companies out there are trying to make a lot of money.  That's how the world works.  But, that doesn't invalidate the potential benefits adding an exogenous hormone when your body does not make enough internally.  The article made it sound like anyone and everyone can just ask for and receive testosterone, without a clinical need for it.  That might be possible, but it took me a long time to find a doc who was willing to prescribe the med.  There is a big difference between steroid abuse and clinically indicated hormone supplementation.

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