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 "Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Grumpy Old Men"

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Testosterone Replacement Therapy

The movie 'Grumpy Old Men' provided us a stereotype of the older adult male. Wanning sexual ability, testosterone replacement therapy, decreased strength and muscle mass, weight gain, a general lack of energy and erectile dysfunction.

Of course, these all point to what some call "male menopause", male pmsor more specifically "andropause."

American men are fighting back the hands of time however. Ever increasing numbers are turning to male hormone replacement therapy in an attempt to fight off declines in circulating testosterone. Even though there some experts claim the lack of reliable data on not only the benefits but also the risks facing these grumpy old men.

"Although some people talk about 'male menopause,' obviously, men don't have menopause. It's a misnomer," said Dr. Glenn Cunningham, a spokesman for the Endocrine Society, and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. But it's known men experience a horome imbalance with aging.

Cunningham said another popular term -- "andropause" is probably incorrect for similar reasons. "It's been picked up by the lay press and used for some time now, however, so it's what people understand," he said. What is clear is that all men experience some level of gradual decline in physical, sexual and hormonal activity as they enter middle age. Wow , just think what I've got forward to looking to huh?

"There's also no question that testosterone levels decline with advancing age," said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, chief of the division of endocrinology at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles, and a professor of medicine at UCLA School of Medicine. "But are the [physical] declines seen in older men related to declining testosterone levels? On that point there's no agreement," Bhasin said.

A large-scale, prospective clinical trial into the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy could provide answers, of course. But at this point, "there's only about a dozen studies, all of them short-term studies that included a small number of men," Bhasin said.

While some men enrolled in these smaller trials did experience some improvement, "none of these studies was large enough to show clear-cut benefits on the health of older men," Bhasin added.

Risks associated with long-term use of a powerful hormone such as testosterone are equally unclear, he added. "The two major areas of controversy are whether giving testosterone therapy to older men will increase their risk of prostate cancer, including other diseases, and whether it will increase or decrease their risk for heart disease. There's no evidence right now in either direction."

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