Replacement killers

By now, you know I’m a huge proponent of hormone therapy. And I’ve been especially vocal about my support for testosterone replacement.

The fact is, your health depends on optimal testosterone levels. And as one recent study shows, so does your comfort.

A team of Boston researchers recruited 84 middle-aged men for this randomized, controlled trial. All of them had low testosterone caused by opioid analgesics.

Yes, prescription painkillers can lower testosterone. The catch-22 being that this sex hormone may actually help to blunt pain. (Of course, this isn’t the first double-edged sword we’ve encountered where pain meds are concerned.)

Of the 65 men who actually completed the study, roughly half received testosterone gel daily for 14 weeks. The other half received a placebo treatment.

Researchers assessed pain and quality of life measures both at the beginning and the end of the study. And wouldn’t you know?

The men who received testosterone enjoyed significant improvements in several aspects of pain perception–including threshold, intensity, and after-sensation. And they benefited from a noteworthy boost to quality of life, too.

Given the other perks of T replacement–higher muscle mass, lower fat mass, increased energy, and a boost to your sex drive–I can’t say I’m surprised at all.

Effects of Testosterone Replacement on Pain Perception, Pain Tolerance and Quality of Life in Men with Opioid-Induced Androgen Deficiency: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Endocr Rev, Vol. 34 (03_MeetingAbstracts): LB-FP-6