Anyone who has had dealings with database driven newsletter programmes knows that they are temperamental creatures who certainly do not always obey instructions and often go off on a riff totally of their own. We’ve been there… So, when someone else’s programme behaves in a quirky fashion it always evokes a wry smile.
And I am afraid that I have smiled wryly several times recently as the excellent Dr Chris Steele’s newsletter programme has been throwing a number of wobblies with the result that I have been deluged with a rush of newsletters dating randomly from any time over the last six months. However, this does have some benefits as yesterday I received an excellent one, from the 12th June, that I had obviously overlooked previously, about the male menopause or andropause.
In my ignorant female way, I really knew very little about the male menopause, although I did know that it existed. However, it would appear that it can cause blokes just as much grief as the female menopause causes some women – but because it is little known few men go to their doctors and fewer get treated. Essentially, as with woman, at around 50, levels of sex hormones start to fall, oestrogen in women, testosterone in men. This can result in many similar symptoms (fatigue, loss of libido, sweats and flushes, depression, loss of confidence, weight gain etc) but in men it can often also result in erectile dysfunction. And as with women, a very successful treatment is to boost the individual’s levels of the relevant hormone. The most high profile sufferer to date, Robbie Williams says that TRT or Testosterone Replacement Therapy has changed his life as, although he is only 37, his some what chaotic lifestyle had reduced his testosterone levels to those of a man of 100!
For a much more detailed discussion of both the condition and the therapy see Dr Chris Confidential of June 12th!
And then this morning arrived another newsletter – but this one for the correct date – 30th October! This one on the knotty problem of hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid.
It is well know that hypothydroidism can cause a wide range of very debilitating health problems, including crippling tiredness and fatigue, weight gain, constipation, feeling cold all the time, depression, memory loss, puffy face, thinning hair and more. It is also well known that, as with the menopause and andropause, boosting levels of the thyroid hormone is usually very helpful in relieving symptoms. The difficulty comes in deciding when someone is, and when they are not, producing adequate levels of the thyroid hormone. There are a number of blood tests available, but many experts do not believe that they give accurate readings of the situation.
Nearly 10 years ago Dr Barry Durrant Peatfield caused a great commotion amongst thyroid experts with his book, The Great Thyroid Scandal in which he suggested both that the commonly used blood tests were a waste of time and advocated the used of pigs’ thryoid rather than the commonly used thyroxine. (There is quite a lengthy article on the FM site both about Dr Durrant Peatfield and some readers’ experiences.) Although some doctors (including, I am glad to say, Dr Chris) are now more wary of accepting blood test results as gospel, the dispute is by no means settled and, if you do feel that hypthyroidism could be your problem, you should not allow yourself to be fobbed off with apparently ‘normal’ blood test results. Insist that you have all the tests available and, if they still come back ‘normal’, then ask to go on a trial period of, say, three months of thyroid hormone therapy before a final decision is made.
Dr Chris’ article is excellent and well worth reading. However, what struck me and what I think should be stuck up above every doctors’ desk was this comment:
If you want to sign up to Dr Chris’s newsletter – which I think comes weekly but I have now got rather confused by my bulk back deliveries…. you can sign up at www.drchrisconfidential.com