London, February 3(ANI): Increasing number of men who are suffering from low testosterone are going for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), dubbed by some as 'the Superman jab,' to boost their sex life.
Doctors who specialize in such treatments prescribe their patients to rub the testosterone gel into their shoulders and supplement his natural levels of the hormone.
There were claims of lacklustre energy levels transformed, sex lives boosted, weight loss and muscle gain from users.
Low testosterone levels are associated with older men - up to 15 per cent of males over 50 are estimated to have low 'T'. But there are reports of a growing number of younger men being diagnosed with low testosterone.
"The average age of my patients used to be about 50. Now it's closer to 40 and my youngest patients are in their 20s," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Malcolm Curruthers, who runs a private practice specialising in TRT, as saying.
But many other experts have warned that that if testosterone medication is given in the wrong circumstances, it can have horrific side effects.
At the core of the debate is a grey area when it comes to medically defining low testosterone. Levels are assessed using blood tests.
A score between 11 and 30 is considered normal. A score of below eight is classified as hypogonadism. This is when most symptoms occur: diminished sexual potency, fatigue, loss of muscle bulk, weight gain, hair loss from the face, chest and legs, male breast growth, mood swings and bone problems.
A recent study found that 2.1 per cent of males aged between 40 and 79 have testosterone below 11, but many of these are not deemed to have a medical problem despite experiencing symptoms.
Professor Pierre-Marc Bouloux, a consultant endocrinologist at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, says these men do not need TRT.
In many cases, men just need to exercise more, drink less, stop smoking, eat more healthily, and have a better life-work balance, he said.
Professor Raj Persad, a consultant urologist and erectile dysfunction expert at Bristol's Urological Institute, blames an increase in the number of younger men coming to him complaining of a loss of libido on high-stress lifestyles.
"We spend hours in front of computers and doing little exercise. Throw in long days in a demanding job, little sleep and an unhealthy diet, and it's inevitable that will have an effect. Testosterone supplements can only work in conjunction with a change in lifestyle," he stated.
In addition many doctors say these supplements should not be taken for more than 12 months. (ANI)