New data presented at this years Society for Endocrinology BES conference reveals low diagnosis and under treatment of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TDS).
Data reveals that whilst TDS is prevalent in older men and associated with various co-morbidities, it remains under diagnosed and under treated.
Lack of awareness is one of the major factors contributing to delayed diagnosis and inappropriate management in men with low testosterone, with two-thirds of men who took part in the survey experiencing symptoms for up to 2 years before seeking advice.
The main reasons for this delay were:
♦ Wrongly believing that it was not a serious problem (49%)
♦ Wrongly believing that it was ‘part of life’ (46%) or a normal consequence of ageing (44%)
The survey was conducted in 101 males aged 40 or older who had been diagnosed with low testosterone for a mean 4.1 years.
Despite TDS affecting over 700,000 men aged between 50 and 79 in the UK, embarrassment was also revealed to be another cause for not seeking help.
Unfortunately, when help was finally sought, for almost one-quarter of men aged 40 years, and 40% of those aged 60 years, treatment for their TDS was never received.
One of the survey’s authors, Dr David Edwards, GP and immediate past president of the British Society of Sexual Medicine, says: “It is tragic that so many men are not receiving treatment for their low testosterone following a correct diagnosis. This clearly highlights the need for improved awareness and management of this condition.
“Testosterone is required by all men for a healthy life physically and psychologically so it’s really important that low testosterone – which has been linked to certain risk factors including chronic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, and obesity – is treated. I urge men, and their partners, not to brush the symptoms under the carpet as being a normal part of ageing.”
For the men surveyed, common symptoms were decreased libido (65%), tiredness/fatigue (64%), erectile dysfunction (59%), and listlessness/no energy (48%).
Other symptoms include reduced muscle mass and weakness, depression, loss of concentration, irritability and hot flushes and sweats.
In 2015 Besins Healthcare UK launched a campaign called Talking TDS to raise awareness of TDS and help men experiencing some of these symptoms. A short film has been produced about the symptoms to look out for which include:
♦ Low libido
♦ Erectile dysfunction
♦ Ejaculatory dysfunction
♦ Reduced muscle mass and weakness
♦ Reduced well-being
♦ Loss of concentration
♦ Hot flushes and sweats
♦ Reduced body hair
To view the film, click here:
If you suffer from a combination of any of these symptoms consult your GP. The diagnosis of this condition is based on the presence of appropriate symptoms, combined with a reliable measurement of testosterone levels taken in the morning, on more than one occasion.
For more information about TDS, click here:
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