A University of Iowa researcher says some men might benefit from testosterone replacement therapy. Moshe Wald has identified patients who have abnormally low levels of the male sex hormone, and he says they can suffer from many symptoms that mimic the effects of age or ill health. Those can include a loss of bone density, lower energy, depression and even memory problems.

Doctor Wald says while it’s normal to have a lower testosterone level with age, low levels can also be a medical problem. He says it’s different from giving estrogen to women after menopause. Usually we see it in older men but sometimes he sees it in younger men. He says there are some similarities between the situation in aging women and aging men, but it’s not the same.

“When we give testosterone to a male patient that has an established indication for that, we need to make sure that we are not putting him at risk.” The risks for women include cancer, but Dr. Wald says in men, there is less risk of dangerous side effects and more physical problems that the therapy can help remedy.

It can’t restore youth, he cautions. “We actually are treating known symptoms.” He says replenishing the low level of the hormone can improve some cognitive functions, sexual function, and some metabolic parameters. Wald says 13-Million men in this country experience testosterone deficiency.