Confession: For over 2 years, I dealt Testosterone. Delatestryl to be exact.
I sold it (quite legally) to Endocrinologists and Urologists throughout the SF area for their patients with hypogonadism (low serum testosterone) and for HIV patients suffering from ‘wasting’.
The symptoms of low testosterone (in addition to sexual issues) include decreased energy, fatigue and decreased muscle mass.
But, some is environmental and lifestyle-related – 50% of obese men have low T as well as 40% of men with high cholesterol (As one Dr said “The bigger the belly, the lower the testosterone’). 30% of HIV patients and 50% with AIDS have low T.
Because my territory of SF had a large number of HIV/AIDS patients and athletic men over 40-I had a top producing territory.
Why athletic men?? Urologists noticed that men who were athletes over 40 really noticed the benefit of testosterone because of increased muscle mass beyond what is ‘normal’. In fact, some guys would request their injections be given on Friday’s so they would notice the bump in their testosterone levels before either a romantic weekend or a race weekend.
The average range of testosterone is between 260-1100, yet Drs will prescribe levels up to 1400. Not only are Urologists prescribing it-but places with names like the Youth Renewal Center and Vitality Logix are writing scripts for men who are looking for that fountain of youth.
Not that there aren’t any side effects- while testosterone does NOT have a proven effect on testicular cancer-it does come with liver damage, increased red blood cell count and potentially-increased rates of prostate cancer. In fact, it’s ranked as a Class III Controlled Substance along with narcotics because of the risk.
Some men at the clinics I went to had to phlebotomize weekly to thin out their blood because it became so viscous (thick) from taking testosterone and put them at a dangerously high level of cardiovascular risk.
Yet-knowing this, they still took it and their Drs still prescribed it.
Patients say things like “I got my mojo back” – ” Our generation is trying to stay as young as we can for as long as we can”
It’s like we’ve taken a natural part of the aging process and turned it into a disease state because we are so afraid of getting older and not performing like 20 year olds any more. $1.6 BILLION dollars in testosterone prescriptions were sold in 2011 -all appealing to the very American idea that we must all look and feel young-even when we are not.
It’s the ability to love ourselves AS we are for WHAT we are-in appreciation for healthy age-appropriate bodies that we are missing. And, sadly, it’s part and parcel of American culture today.
But…..I think he’s more representative of the American state of mind towards performance and our bodies more than we’d care to admit.