Written by: Centre for Men's Health
Dr Malcolm Carruthers writes: There comes a time in many men’s lives, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, when they can be faced with loss of energy, weight gain, irritability, memory loss, depression and night sweats. There is often a loss of drive in their professional or business life, together with reduced libido and erectile dysfunction. Changes often less sudden in their onset that are often overlooked either because the man is so pressurised by the rest of his life or that he assumes it is an inevitable part of growing older.
Life can be compared to a trip in a glider when, after being catapulted in our teens and early twenties to the peak of our innate physical and mental abilities by a powerful cocktail of hormones, including particularly the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen, we then go into a variable glide path for the rest of our lives, the rate of descent largely being controlled by the body’s hormonal balance. Some hormones, particularly the stress hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, increase wear and tear and the rate at which we use up our energy, having what is known as a catabolic (or break-down) action. Others, particularly testosterone and oestrogen, have the opposite, or what is called anabolic (or build-up) effect. Men’s testosterone levels start to fall naturally from their mid-twenties onwards. These levels may be further depleted by stress, as well as poor dietary, lifestyle choices and a number of other factors . By the time men hit the age of 50, Centre for Men’s Health research has shown that 20% suffer from the debilitating symptoms labelled as “Male Menopause” “Andropause”, or as it is more frequently termed these days, “Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome”.
Despite its prevalence and the ever growing evidence to show that addressing men’s testosterone needs is one of the most important areas of preventative medicine of the future, Centre for Men’s Health research shows only 1% of men are currently being treated under the NHS.
Lack of awareness
A study conducted for the Men’s Health World Congress in Vienna 2011 indicated only 8% of GPs would suspect Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome if a patient complained of the key symptoms and that 75% of men weren’t aware of the condition. With public health lagging far behind private medicine in recognising and treating Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome, many patients encounter challenges and significant delays in achieving a diagnosis and therapeutic trial of testosterone treatment on the NHS with many patients exhibiting symptoms of testosterone deficiency despite having what is deemed a normal level of testosterone in the blood. Our research has indicated, variations in the androgen receptor can radically affect the effective use of the hormone in the tissues, combining with other factors to cause androgen resistance, a key factor, similar to the insulin resistance seen in adult onset diabetes, where you can have high levels of the hormone but the body is resistant to it.
Turning back the clock
In our experience of successfully treating over 2000 men across the last 30 years, testosterone replacement therapy can be dramatically effective in relieving symptoms and restoring drive, health, potency, and a sense of renewed vitality and virility when given to the right patients in the right doses at the right time. This is backed by studies that highlight the benefits of TRT for the heart and prostate. It reduces obesity, can prevent complications of diabetes, can lower cholesterol and is being used to treat heart attacks and strokes in diabetics. It makes men calmer, more loving as well as happier and sexier, restoring the life in the man, which had gone down the pan.