Reg Eagle was in his mid-forties when he started feeling irritable. His work in electronics engineering was highly stressful, but stress alone could not explain the symptoms that developed over the next five years, including night sweats, memory loss, irrational anger and waning libido.
The successful businessman was in turmoil. “Suddenly I no longer felt like myself. As well as physical symptoms, my personality changed. I’d blow my top at the slightest provocation. At first, I put it down to work stress, but then I thought I must be really ill.”
Indeed, his behaviour was so out of character that his long-term partner, Anita, a computer programmer, thought he must have fallen for someone else. Certainly, as she pointed out, he was no longer interested in her.
“I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning,” says Reg. “I felt like a zombie. I no longer wanted sex, had no energy whatsoever and my memory was so bad I had to write simple instructions on my hand, such as ‘lock office door’.”
Eventually, after suffering for more than a year, Reg went to see his GP, who did a battery of tests for everything from glandular fever and ME to HIV. Then he was told that he was simply getting old, and nothing could be done. In fact, as Reg later discovered, he was suffering from a classic case of the male menopause, or the ‘andropause.’
“Then, one day, as I was laying in bed because I simply could not be bothered to get up, I heard Dr Carruthers being interviewed on Woman’s Hour, and I thought: ‘He’s describing my symptoms.”
When he visited Dr Carruthers at the Harley Street Centre for Men’s Health clinic, blood tests revealed that Reg’s testosterone level was less than 10 pg/ml of ‘free’ or available testosterone – the normal range for men is 14-40 pg/ml.
“Dr Carruthers told me I had half the the testosterone level of a 70 year old man – and I was still only in my 40s,” Reg says. First he was given testosterone capsules, and the results were extraordinary. “Within two days my memory returned, my depression had lifted and my Libido had returned’ he says. “I felt sharp, bright and full of energy.”
His other symptoms took several months longer, but eventually all of them disappeared.