Written by: Professor Malcolm Carruthers
At the Centre, our team of doctors make use of the full range of information available to them from a review of symptoms, medical history, physical examination and blood test results to reach a conclusion on whether the patient is likely to be suffering from testosterone deficiency syndrome or whether some or all of the symptoms may be due to other causes. Some of the key symptoms reported by patients suffering from testosterone deficiency syndrome, such as fatigue, can also be the result of diseases such as diabetes. It is important to exclude these before any diagnosis of testosterone deficiency syndrome is made.
Patients attending the Centre for Men’s Health have a very thorough blood test before their first visit. This includes a testosterone test and enables the medical specialist seeing them to review not only the status of the patient’s sex hormones, such as testosterone, but also the complex range of factors regulating their action, together with tests of blood fat, liver, kidney, and prostate function, and red and white blood cell counts.
At the appointment, a full assessment or “work-up” of each patient is carried out. During the hour long appointment, as well as discussing in detail the blood test results, the doctor also reviews the patient’s symptoms, medical history and current health status and concerns. He also carries out a physical examination, including a check on the prostate.
A key part of this information gathering process is a review of the results of a detailed questionnaire completed by the patient. The Ageing Males’ Symptoms (AMS) questionnaire covers three areas – physical and somatic, psychological and sexual function. The information from this internationally validated questionnaire is used by the doctor in establishing a measure of the severity of symptoms and as an element in the assessment of whether the patient has testosterone deficiency syndrome. The questionnaire is available here if you would like to assess your symptoms. Please note though that the questionnaire results require careful medical assessment alongside other key information before any diagnosis can be made.