At Vein Specialists of the South, we view the news with you in mind. A growing number of men are using Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRP). When I read about a new study, I wanted to bring it to your attention. One of our goals is for you to enjoy Better Veins For Life.
If you are taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRP), you may be increasing your risk of developing blood clots. JAMA Internal Medicine published a study which found a correlation between testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and an increased risk of blood clots. This study has prompted numerous opinion pieces and health reviews. We felt it was important to include our input on this topic.
About Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is approved for men with significantly low levels of testosterone due to injury, disease, or genetics. Low testosterone levels can lead to fatigue, low sex drive, reduced muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and a general feeling of “haziness” during the day. Treatment consists of oral prescriptions or injections.
However, all types of ‘Low T’ are not the same. There is a difference between ‘low testosterone levels’ due to a condition such as hypogonadism, and normal factors such as age. Do you feel like you have lost the vigor of our youth? The vitality of your 20s can diminish, as the years pass, leading you to feel tired and stressed Bellies become rounder. Muscles become softer.. You may feel fatigued with complaints of a low labido.. What happened? Where is the exuberance and excitement? TRT promises a reclamation of the past, but does it deliver? More importantly, is it safe?
What is the concern with TRT?
Testosterone decreases with age, about 1-2% per year after the age of 30 in a process termed “andropause.” Other factors for testosterone loss include obesity, low activity level (e.g. sedentary lifestyle), and genetic disposition. So if you feel you are not the man you were and you seek a solution, you are not alone.
In the past two decades, testosterone therapies have quadrupled, earning it the term “T-fad” by many. You may have sought, or been advised of, TRT as a solution to issues listed above. T-clinics have popped up all across the country; it seems like a cure-all for men.
Adjusting hormones for men and for women, by either natural or medical means, is known to increase health risks like venous disease and blood clots. For women, pregnancy is a natural cause. Hormonal birth control is another culprit. A number of prescribed, as well as over-the-counter, medications can ‘increase your risks of blood clots’ as a side effect.
Yet, as the JAMA article states, there is a very real risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) from TRT. According to the research, the risk for VTE rises among all men, marginally higher in men under 65 years of age, when undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. Even six months after treatment, the risk was twice as high for men with or without hypogonadism.