Testosterone deficiency syndrome can come with 'significant' symptoms

Men who suffer from depression, brain fog and lethargy in middle age should be checked for testosterone deficiency syndrome, a Toronto urologist says.

Condition develops gradually, with symptoms blamed on other things

Dr. Dean Eltermen says testosterone supplementation in men who are symptomatic and who have the proven blood test is a safe option to treat testosterone deficiency syndrome. (iStock)

Depression, brain fog and lethargy. They're symptoms of a condition that is similar to menopause in women, but in men, it's called andropause, or testosterone deficiency syndrome.

For women, there is often a sudden drop in certain hormone levels in middle age. For men, however, the change happens gradually over years, says Dr. Dean Elterman, assistant professor in the University of Toronto's division of urology.

By the time men who are affected do notice a change — in mood or sex drive — the symptoms can be "really quite significant," affecting men in the prime of their life, Elterman says. 

He talked to CBC Radio's Metro Morning's guest host Nil Köksal about why it's difficult for men to talk about what has been nickednamed "manopause" and why they should see a doctor.

Click on the audio link to hear the interview.

Featured VideoA urologist explains testosterone deficiency syndrome