Testosterone has been marketed in America as a miracle drug for millions of men who have been diagnosed with low testosterone as a result of a separate medical condition. Early studies highlighted the positive, showing that men who used the supplement experienced increased strength and energy. As a result, doctors began prescribing the drug for even the mildest of low testosterone problems in low energy, low libido and depression. There have also been prescriptions for conditions in men that may fall out of the range associated with low testosterone, like with the natural decline in testosterone as men age. The use dramatically tripled for men over forty between 2001-2011. In 2011, nearly one in twenty-five men over sixty were taking the drug. As more men began taking the hormone, the side effects became more apparent. Among the problems are the risk of developing blood clots, in the form of deep vein thrombosis and venous thromboembolism. There has also been concern that the use of testosterone increases heart conditions although this continues to be disputed.
The concern for the blood clotting issue has reached the attention of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has recently required manufacturers of the products to include warnings about the risk of blood clots. They are currently researching the cardiovascular risks that have also been found, including stroke and heart attacks.
There has been criticism that the use of testosterone has essentially been tested on the American male population. Some doctors are becoming less convinced the problem of low testosterone is as prevalent as assumed. Men can naturally increase their testosterone levels by losing weight and exercising, especially weight lifting.
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