Anyone using a testosterone boosting supplement? Does it help?
Anyone using a testosterone boosting supplement? Does it help?
Sex. Yes, it makes me feel like a man.
gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.
A test supplement could have a rather nasty effect on your prostate (specifically, make a subclinical cancer more aggressive and difficult to treat- here's one study that suggests that, even if it is a case series). And men who take test supplements should probably be screened more often for prostate cancer. So, if you don't mind getting more digital rectal exams, hey, who am I to say?
So the real question here is why on earth would you want to take a test supplement? Are you hypogonadal?
Yeah, I use one. But it is by prescription, since I am diagnosed with low testosterone. For the last 5 years or so I've used Androgel.
It's true that it would make prostate cancer progress a lot faster, but it doesn't require a digital rectal exam to diagnose prostate cancer. That's what is used to diagnose BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia. I regularly take a PSA test, which is the test to see if there is early prostate cancer. It's a blood test.
Second, the PSA is a crappy test when done as the only part of a PC screen. There's a huge literature on the PSA's inability to catch many PCs (false negatives that may result when a PC doesn't cause the prostate to secrete lots of the protein) and its over-reactivity to non-PCs (false positives that may happen if you've just had sex or you have a viral infection or prostatitis or whatever). While the DRE is likewise not sufficient to screen for PC, it can, when done by a skilled practitioner, detect nodules and other irregularities in the shape (e.g., asymmetry) or consistency of the prostate- these can suggest the presence of a PC. A positive DRE and a negative PSA are cause for some concern, just as an elevating (or highly elevated) PSA and a negative DRE are. The urology literature is pretty convincing that if you're going to screen for PC, you should do both the DRE and the PSA. But many docs don't do the DRE because they really don't feel confident in their skill at doing it correctly. And men have been known to suddenly remember that they have to get back to work when the glove and lube come out of the drawer.
All this said, two out of the three guidelines out there do not mandate routine PC screening, but rather a discussion with patients about the pros and cons of doing it. The jury is really out on this stuff- it's a very controversial procedure, because of the false negatives and positives I described above. The decision to screen or not is ideally a shared one- between a man and his doc. Problem is, most men, and many, many docs don't really understand the issues here.
In your case, or for any guy who's on test supplements, frequent monitoring of prostate status is essential. To the OP- my bet is that if you go to your doc and tell him/her that you're on a test supplement (unless you have a good clinical reason to be), s/he's gonna tell you to stop. And with good reason.
Sorry for the rant.
Last edited by MTBLover; 02-28-09 at 01:30 PM.
No need to apologize, you're far better informed on this than I am, and I appreciate the information. I don't see a doctor for my primary care, I see a PA, and I will ask him next time I see him if I should also get DRE's. I'm not crazy about them, but I'd rather not get prostate cancer. At age 46, I think the risk is fairly low for me, though.
I really don't want to go off the Androgel, though. My overall health seems *far* better since I started the testosterone supplementation. My testosterone isn't particularly high with the Androgel, it just brings my levels up to the mid-normal range for guys my age, which is all that I'm after.
Well, sometimes I get carried away... I research this very issue for a living. I hear you about the Androgel- low test levels can be problematic, and this is exactly the kind of clinical condition for which the drug was made. BTW, you should never have a PSA within 48 hours of a DRE or other "stimulation" (could be a long bike ride, ejaculation, or "other activities"- not judging, but it needs to be said). Although generally not as likely after a DRE, an otherwise stimulated prostate will secrete more PSA and the levels will be higher than if the prostate was in a resting state. This is a fairly common error- the doc will do a DRE and then send you to the lab! Ugh!
BTW, a disclaimer- Under no circumstances should anyone reading this (or my other post) take this information as medical advice. All medical issues should be discussed with your practitioner! The Interweb is a dicey place to get medical advice.
Last edited by MTBLover; 02-28-09 at 04:15 PM.
Love, as in desire, not just sex, does seem to work. I'd be interested if there is any literature on the testosterone boosting power of love.
I don't have a handy reference, but I've heard from people who would know that testosterone boosting does help speed the recovery process. In a multi-day race, for instance, you could hammer hard and then the next day be recovered enough to hammer some more, instead of needing to hang back in the pack hoping for no breakaways. So it's banned, of course.
I don't know one way or another about supplements. In the US there aren't many multi-day events, so I don't think testosterone boosting would be of any advantage except to speed recovery between training sessions. Which I don't think would lead to any difference in ultimate condition or performance in any single day event.
"... the age of Happy Motoring is over. Many Americans have already bought their last car -- they just don't know it yet."
James Howard Kunstler, 2008.
I simply use andro-gel.....works wonders
If you think you have an issue you should go and get tested. Trying to self-medicate for such a difficult to target issue is just going to frustrate you.
I don't know that I totally agree with that. I find that doctors are way too timid about prescribing testosterone, even if someone has an issue. If you get tested and you appear to have an issue and you cannot find a doctor to step up, I don't think supplementing is the worst thing on the planet. You just have to understand the full ramifications.
Yeah, certainly testing needs to be part of it since your testes are going to stop making test when it detects the extra test in your system and high amounts of test are a cancer risk.
But it's really hard to find doctors that are willing to prescribe because test supplementation has been demonized by the media and some in the medical establishment. I don't disagree with anything you've said, but the pendulum needs to swing a little in the other direction. When doctors wont prescribe to someone with a 200 level, there's a serious issue that needs to be addressed. If it's a quality of life issue, sometimes you need to take things into your own hands.
you might as well be asking for anabolic steroids.
My doctor indicated testosterone DOES NOT help speed recovery - which seems to fly in the face of what has been said in this string. Any definitive data on this question? Also, she indicates testosterone therapy can heighten blood glucose levels, so anyone borderline diabetic should not consider this and anyone using supplements should keep an eye on their glucose levels. I get the impression she will prescribe testosterone replacement only if low bone density has become a concern. Thoughts?
Isn't the issue really how much boosting takes place? The natural variation within the population is quite large. Is there a correlation between higher incidence of aggressive prostate cancer in men with naturally high levels of testosterone? If not, then supplementing up to around that level should not be a major issue.
With all the expert testimony, there's little left to add.
I'm not sure if there are "markers" or other types of laboratory blood value ranges that can be considered absolutely effective in identifying those individuals who are actually "suffering" or could otherwise benefit from hormone therapy. Certainly there must be some disagreement among professionals, especially among those who offer there expertise from differing disciplines, such as "coach" or endocrinologists."
But in respect to original post, it would seem if you were so involved with you personal health that you are considering hormone supplementation as a method of increased well-being or performance, you would think that you would want to know all about just how definitive things like blood tests and any other medical history weighs into any possible risks.
I've seen "infomercials" for products and find it hard to believe that anyone would "buy in" to the presentations as fact. But when drug advertisements spend 90% of their time of "benefits" and less than 10% on risks, I guess its understandable.
FWIW I had a buddy who took DHEA when he started a short-lived lifting binge at around 22. Not sure how much it helped with the lifting, but he developed small but noticeable solid breast tissue. It's still there years later -- tiny conical knockers.
I would avoid messing with your hormones except under clinical supervision.