Cyclists don’t usually watch much golf. I was simply flipping channels when the commercial jumped out at me.
The volume was down low when the tired looking, drilled-out middle-aged guy appears. He looks like many of my male AF patients. Â Then, next to this especially pale-skinned dumpy looking guy, the words appear…
“Do you have low energy?”
“Want more passion for the one you love?”
I read a lot, the NEJM, medical blogs, and all manner of cycling/exercise material, but have yet to hear the words “LowT.”Â Â The commercial was sponsored by Abbott Labs and the website is by Solvay pharmaceuticals (newly acquired by Abbott.) Â It stands to reason the new moniker for the new ailment must have originated in a boardroom filled with marketing experts. Â In the same manner that Hallmark brings us Mothers’ and Fathers’ day, we now have a brand new disease, “LowT,” brought to you by the makers of AndroGel. Presenting the viagra-munching cohort of tired middle-aged men a gel-of-youth seems unfair. Cruel even.
Abbott’s message to men deep in the throes of the middle-aged doldrums: it isn’t that you don’t sleep well, it isn’t that your nutrition is horrible, it isn’t that you don’t exercise enough, (or in the case of my endurance-athlete brethren, that you drill yourself out over-training), or that your work-life is transforming you into an inflammatory haze, it’s that your testosterone level is low. Abbott isn’t going to tell men that fat cells act as estrogen factories, and that one huge negative about obesity is it turns men into women, hormonally speaking at least.
I’m just a master of the obvious who sees masses of middle-aged men with arrhythmia, not an expert endocrinologist, but this “LowT” thing strikes me as nonsensical folly.
Why are you against men feeling better?
Perhaps testosterone levels wane with age for a reason. For instance, lower testosterone levels surely decrease the risk of prostate disease. Also detrimental to male well-being (physically and emotionally) is the tension created by an androgen-fortified middle-aged male in a marriage with a pre-menopausal women. Â Boys, it is good for your heart to stay married; a higher testosterone level may make this task harder.
The potential direct cardiac risks of testosterone replacement therapy include increased cholesterol levels and a higher risk for heart events. Â That the great majority of men partaking in this magic youth gel already carry cardiac risk factors adds to the potential risk. Tired old adages like, “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” or “nothing in life is free,” come to mind.
Give me a break.