Men Get Zip With Hormone Shots

Tristan Logan CBS

It seems the proven risks of hormone replacement therapy for women haven't stopped the treatments from becoming increasingly popular among men. But is it any safer for them?

Around the time he turned 55, Tristan Logan says he began noticing a distinct lack of "kick" in his kick, reports CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin.

"I couldn't exercise as much and I just felt listless," he says.

A long-time fitness enthusiast, Logan suddenly found himself short on energy and endurance. And a visit to his doctor revealed something unexpected.

"I was told by my doctor that my testosterone levels were very low," Logan says.

A drop in testosterone levels is a natural part of aging for men.
Starting at age forty they lose about 1 percent of their testosterone every year. Symptoms include lack of energy and vitality, a decreased interest in sex, even some impairment of thought and reasoning.

"Testosterone deficiency in men has really been under recognized and clearly undertreated," says Dr. Abraham Morgentaler of Men's Health Boston.

Until recently the vast majority of men just accepted the symptoms as part of aging, but in the last three years there's been a surge in doctor's prescribing testosterone for men who want their hormonal changes taken as seriously as women's.

"The baby boomers are coming to an age now where they say I don't want to feel tired, this isn't right, is there something I can do to be treated?," Morgentaler says.

Many men's health specialists believe testosterone replacement is the safe and effective answer.

Logan, who now gets a testosterone shot every two weeks, is finding the treatments effective.

"About three days after I had the first shot I was kicked right out of my depression," he says. "I was back in the gym again and I had a lot of energy. I felt great."

Morgentaler is a proponent of the treatments. "If we give men testosterone back and they feel better that's a great thing," he says.

But not everyone is convinced.

"We have a massive, uncontrolled and maybe potentially dangerous experiment going on in this country," says Dr. Robert Butler of The International Longevity Center.

There are concerns that replacing testosterone in aging men is unnatural and may be linked to heart disease and prostate cancer.

Butler says he wants to see long-term studies before recommending the treatment.

"Just as women have said they feel good with estrogen and they don't want to stop, men may feel the same way. But at least they should be operating with informed choice," he says.

Logan says he is informed by how he feels. "Right now for me the benefits outweigh any doubts I have about it," he says.

He says he'll continue to go in for his shot of vitality until there's proof it's causing him harm.
  • Lauren Johnston

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