Here’s why: testosterone supplements come with an associated risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Because of these potential outcomes, testosterone supplements are NOT something you want to take unless you are sure that there is a medical reason for taking them. That is why any man taking testosterone supplements should have his testosterone levels checked before taking any testosterone replacement therapy and even while receiving testosterone replacement therapy — no ifs, ands or buts.
Testosterone levels change throughout the day and throughout a man’s life. Some studies show that men who have children have naturally lowered levels; others show that men’s testosterone levels may even be affected by how well their favorite sports teams are performing! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9811365)
The statistic mentioned in The New York Times article comes from a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. According to the lead author of the study, the fact that one fourth of men receive testosterone supplements without having their levels checked prior is troublesome for the simple fact that “these men don’t have clear, unequivocal indications for this drug.” What that means is, some men who suffered blood clots, heart attacks or strokes may have taken testosterone when they did not need to.
But no matter what – if you did have your levels checked or you started supplementation without doing this — and suffered a blood clot, heart attack or stroke, we want to hear from you.