Former Dallas Cowboy Daryl Johnston talks 'low-T'

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 5:28 PM

DALLAS -- As a Dallas Cowboy, Daryl Johnston was known as "Moose," but in retirement, he admits feeling less bullish, especially when it came to workouts.

"Fatigue became an interruption in the things that I did on a day-to-day basis," Johnston said. "First, I had the conversation with myself, 'Is this what life is going to be for me moving forward or is there something else there?'"

Johnston said he did what most men won't, he called his doctor. He later tested positive for low testosterone.

After age 30, most men begin experiencing a decline in the hormone, said Dr. Harry Fisch, a urologist and reproductive specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. The decline increases with age. 

Symptoms of "low-T" can include:

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • abdominal weight gain
  • sexual dysfunction.  

However, not every man experiences every symptom.

 "If you're a diabetic, have high blood pressure and increased cholesterol level, in addition if you have COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] or asthma, you're at a much higher risk of having low testosterone," Fisch said.

Fisch and Johnston are bringing attention to low-T on behalf of AbbVie, the maker of AndroGel, the most popular testosterone replacement drug. Sales of AndroGel rose to $1.15 billion last year as the company increased TV advertisements for the medication, according to numbers obtained by Bloomberg.

Men should be proactive about their health, Johnston said. He hopes to break some of the stereotypes surrounding men’s health.  

"That it's not cool to talk about issues of health when we're macho guys," he said.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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