If you are suffering with low testosterone or symptoms of andropause, you have
probably already considered testosterone therapy (hormone replacement therapy).
This is because you already know how ugly life can be without that precious male hormone: a could-care-less-about-anything attitude, the feeling
of being in a "mental fog", low libido, difficulty concentrating, loss of muscle mass, anxiety and on
and on. Low testosterone effects your sex life, your relationships, your health
and your career, and so no matter what reservations you might have,
it's going to be on your mind.
Plus, if you have read the Symptoms link,
you know that low testosterone is potentially deadly, leading to heart disease,
depression, mental difficulties and even osteoporosis (and, therefore, you
should always work with a doctor if you think you have low T).
Need to boost your Nitric Oxide naturally through food, drink and supplements? Check out Lee Myer's book here:
The Peak Erectile Strength Diet
Or do you need the most comprehensive testosterone book in Amazon? Here it is:
Natural Versus Testosterone Therapy
If your testosterone levels are above about 350, you should
look at the Testosterone Lowering Factors,
Sleep and Sex links to see if you
can make some simple lifestyle changes and boost your testosterone naturally. These
methods may boost your testosterone 20-50% and, if you're sitting in at about
350-400 ng/dl (or greater), may put you into safe territory without even going
on testosterone therapy.
But odds are that if you're reading this link, your testosterone is quite low:
350 or less. If that is the case, then I recommend investigating
testosterone therapy with your doctor. (
Free testosterone readings are
critical as well, but most doctors test for both, at least initially.) Discuss
with your doctor, but my experience is that guys begin to suffer erectile,
mental and other distrubances once they starting getting into the 350 ng/dl and
below range and this seems to match well with the studies as well.
Testosterone Therapy - Safety
So let's say you find you have low testosterone - it's a simple blood test
ordered by your doctor - and he recommends testosterone (hormone replacement)
therapy? Can it cause prostate cancer or other serious medical conditions? Well, the good news is that they have been studying
this for years and the studies show no correlation with testosterone
therapy and prostate cancer.  (Talk to your doctor,
though, of course.)
The Oncology Times  summarized by stating that they "reviewed decades of research
and found no compelling evidence that testosterone replacement therapy increases
the incidence of prostate cancer or cardiovascular disease". And, if
you have heard stories of men having their prostate cancer treated with low testosterone
levels, consider what else the authors had to say:
"It has been known since the 1940s that severe reductions of testosterone can cause
shrinkage of metastatic prostate cancer, and therefore there has been a concern
that raising testosterone levels might cause growth of any hidden prostate cancers.
But the study by Dr. Morgentaler and his coauthor, Ernani L. Rhoden, MD, found
no connection between higher testosterone levels and prostate cancer, nor did they
find evidence that testosterone treatment causes prostate cancer."
There were theories for awhile that
"fast converters", i.e. guys that converted to DHT and estrogen easily, could
develop prostate cancer. But, again, the research has not born this out as far as I
know. In fact, one huge metanalysis that aggregated
multiple studies and thousands of HRT participants found found no risk for high
DHT, estrogen or testosterone.  (Again, talk to your doc for the latest info.)
CAUTION: Many doctors are still very cautious about the safety of HRT,
because they know that if a patient gets prostate cancer, reducing testosterone
is one of the proven, time-tested treatment protocols. In other words, if
you have prostate cancer, testosterone exacerbates and accelerates it
progression. However, most doctors do regular prostate exams along with PSA screening and, therefore,
feel they can avoid putting
patients on testosterone if they already have a latent cancer.
In fact, from all we know at this point, it looks like the real risk is not
going on testosterone therapy if you have low testosterone. One study, for
example, found that testosterone therapy actually lowered PSA levels and
decreased most of the major symptoms of an enlarged prostate.  And, as I
mentioned, low testosterone is tied to a number of serious medical conditions.
Furthermore, testosterone therapy will likely help cure, or even permanently cure
any Erectile Dysfunction (ED) that you have been experiencing. For
exmaple, one study from Taiwan found that 34% of men with erectile dsyfunction that were unresponsive to Viagra, which is pretty serious impotence, responded
well to testosterone supplementation. And 38% of the man responded to both
Viagra and testosterone therapy, so almost three fourths of
the men with ED were significantly improved by simply taking
testosterone. If you couple testosterone therapy, i.e. hormone replacement
therapy, with the advice that I give on boosting nitric oxide
here, you'll likely feel about twenty years younger in EVERY way.
Testosterone therapy can also improve your memory, brain,
cognition and learning. Yes, testosterone is intimately linked to
cerebral function. Several studies have shown that, in particular, visual
spacial skills are tied to testosterone levels. And hypogonadal (low
testosterone) men have been shown in several studies to have lower verbal
You will also likely find that testosterone, and therefore testosterone therapy, improves mental outlook: low
testosterone is correlated to depression, anxiety and other mental struggles.
And by boosting your testosterone levels, you can help reduce your risk for
diabetes and many other life-threatening
low testosterone maladies.
So what are you waiting for? Get your testosterone read and find out if
testosterone therapy is right for you. You can improve your mood, your sex life,
your erectile stength and boost your memory and mental abilities. Yes, it
takes several weeks (or even a few months) for testosterone therapy to "take effect":
your tissues must literally rebuild themselves. However, once those
tissues are rebuilt, the difference can be remarkable. Some of you will
feel strongly that the minute you started
taking testosterone was the minute you got your life back.
If you are interested, you should read about some of the More Common Side
Effects of Testosterone (Hormone Replacement) Therapy and common Methods of
Testosterone Delivery (such as gels and injections). These links should
give you a lot of good talking
points with your doctor.
Mar 25 2004,26(6):30-35
2) Saving Your Brain, Jeff Victoroff, p. 135
3) Clin Endocrin (Ox),1988;28:461-470
British J Clin Pharm,2008, 65:253-259
5) Intl J Andrology, 2002 Apr, 25(2):119-25
6) JAMA, 2006 Nov 15, 296(19):2351-61; N Engl J Med, 2004 Jan 29, 350(5):482-92
7) J of the Nat Cancer Inst, 2008, 100(3):170-183, "Endogenous Sex Hormones and
Prostate Cancer: A Collaborative Analysis of 18 Prospective Studies"