On February 2, 2009, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003. According to a Sports Illustrated published on February 9, 2009, Rodriguez tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone–two anabolic steroids in 2003.
Under the Major Baseball Leagues drug policy, the use of steroids without a valid prescription is prohibited. In the United States, primoblan, also known as methenolone, is illegal. Testosterone, a male sex hormone, can be taken legally with an appropriate medical prescription. In recent years it has been speculated that baseball players have taken testosterone illegally–without a prescription–because testosterone can enhance muscle development, strength and endurance.
In the medical field, testosterone is used to treat men with medical symptoms such as Klinefelters syndrome, Hemochromatosis and Prader-Willi syndrome. Testosterone treatment can also have significant beneficial effects on men over the age of 35 with andropause, also known as male menopause.
What is Andropause?
Andropause, or male menopause, is a medical condition caused by a drop in testosterone levels. Approximately 4-5 million men in the U.S experience testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone levels can also cause osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems, such as atherosclerosis.
The Symptoms Associated with Andropause Are:
– Irritability, depression and mood swings
– Hot flashes
– Erectile dysfunction
– Decreased sex drive
– Increased body fat around the middle
– Loss of muscle size and strength
It is highly recommended that men have their testosterone levels checked by their physician during their annual check-up. It is a simple test, but many physicians will not check your testosterone levels unless you ask. The “normal” range of testosterone in men is between 240 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. A major cause of men going untreated is doctors telling men they are fine “it is your imagination” is they fall within that range. The problem “normal range” is determined by the men who are tested not by symptoms men are experiencing. Men in the lower to mid-range will have moderate to serious symptoms. To feel good men need to be at the upper end of the range
4 out of 5 men over the age of 40 have low testosterone levels and 99% of men over the age of 50 experience the symptoms of andropause, but only 5% of men with andropause symptoms seek treatment. There are many choices for the supplementation of testosterone in males, which include topical gels, creams, skin patches, oral capsules and injections. Testosterone replacement therapy is highly effective at relieving andropausal symptoms within 3-6 weeks.
Many sports enthusiasts think its a shame that athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs to give them a competitive advantage. However, hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone do not deserve a bad reputation–testosterone and Growth Hormone can be safe and beneficial if used properly and if treated by licensed physicians via individualized treatment plans in a safe, controlled environment.
Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Right for You?
Before hormone replacement therapy is prescribed, men have a physical exam and a PSA (protein-specific antigen) blood test. A series of blood tests are ordered to measure testosterone levels and, if levels are low, a physician discusses the various treatment options. Many insurance companies cover the costs of andropause treatment, and male menopause treatment is often able to be purchased with a tax advantaged flexible savings account.
Male hormone replacement therapy and testosterone replacement are effective low testosterone treatment options for men with andropause. If you have any symptoms associated with andropause, such as low energy, irritability, hot flashes, abdominal weight gain, loss of muscle strength, loss of sex drive and the inability to maintain an erection, talk to your doctor. The sooner you speak with a physician and get checked for low testosterone levels, the sooner you can begin feeling like yourself again.