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Dr Chris Airey, BMBS, MMedSc
I’ve always been interested in sports and fitness and was heavily involved in rock climbing, weightlifting, martial arts and rugby as a young man up until joining the Royal Marine Commandos.
After graduating from Medical School and working in the Accident & Emergency Department and Acute Medicine for the NHS, I also began to work privately with men and women to improve their overall health and wellbeing. I am passionate about helping people live a health-conscious lifestyle so they can feel the best they can.
As I grew older I became more interested in men’s health and hormonal health. The benefits of lifestyle interventions such as nutrition and exercise are vital, but sometimes there can be a missing piece to the puzzle.
Despite living healthily, as I hit 37 years old I started to suffer from symptoms of testosterone deficiency. I became irritable, had low libido had no energy, felt tired all the time and began falling asleep in the day. I had gone from running and weightlifting daily to having no motivation to train.
I had my testosterone levels checked and found them to be low and realised that I do not have to accept feeling this way.
I started to research the effects of testosterone and the health benefits of testosterone optimisation.
After starting TRT
On starting treatment the improvement in the way I felt and my quality of life was astounding. I returned to weight lifting and began training for Ironman 70.3. My libido returned and I felt vast improvements in my energy and motivation.
I enrolled in a Master of Science course in Endocrinology to further increase my knowledge in hormonal health and joined the European Society for Sexual Medicine, and the Androgen Society.
Read more about Dr Chris Airey on Our Doctors page.
Over a 3 year period, I noticed my energy levels drop and a decrease in my muscle size and tone. Whereas I used to love going to the gym almost daily, I now struggled to motivate myself and found exercising almost impossible. My strength dropped and my body fat increased despite having less appetite for food.
I found myself snapping at my girlfriend for no reason. I began to experience anxiety at work and my voice would crack incessantly. I needed more and more sleep but found that I was struggling with insomnia. At work, I couldn’t focus. Mental arithmetic proved impossible and I would experience brain fog, constantly forgetting tasks. Despite always having a very healthy sex drive, even this began to decrease. I didn’t know what was happening to me. Maybe I was just getting old?
I started feeling low in mood, often without good reason. My work performance suffered and I couldn’t motivate myself for anything. My girlfriend started to ask me if I was feeling ok. I felt myself becoming more inward and depressed.
I finally realised that something was wrong. At 27 years old I felt like an old man. I had no motivation and felt anxious and depressed almost continuously.
A close friend said he had his testosterone levels tested and they had come back low. I could grow a beard and had more muscle mass than average: surely I didn’t have testosterone deficiency at this age?
I filled out the ADAM questionnaire scoring 7/10. I ordered my first test that night. A simple prick to the finger, a vial filled and posted back. Within a week I had my results: they came back low…
I was so relieved I finally knew what was causing this! I sent off a second test with almost identical results. I started testosterone replacement therapy just 2 weeks later.
My first injection and I was pretty nervous… but within a couple of injections it was extremely easy.
Just 2 days after my first injection and I felt fantastic. I was bouncing out of bed and didn’t yawn once in the morning. I could finally train in the gym again and my strength sky-rocketed! I was receiving compliments and even suspicion from fellow gym-goers a few times a day.
At work my confidence exploded – I smashed through an interview and got the job I’d been aiming for since university. Despite starting a new job I was sure of myself and fitted into the team quickly. I no longer had brain fog and my memory improved overnight. I was more approachable, charismatic and built rapport with patients and colleagues easily. It was like a wonder drug; even my voice deepened and became steadier.
I was less grumpy in the evenings and my sex drive came back full force. Now I did more than just sit on the sofa watching Netflix every night. Despite my girlfriend having initial reservations, she commented on how I was friendlier and less irritable; she was now fully on board.
6 months in and my body weight has jumped to 94kg (from a slightly chubby 88kg) despite my body fat levels dropping almost 5%! I am myself again; cheery, approachable, confident and full of energy. I no longer feel low in mood for no reason.
I wonder how depressed I would have been with low testosterone if I hadn’t had a wonderful girlfriend, friends, family and a job supporting me. My work life is great: I am assertive and cruise through the day with energy. I even spend my afternoons and mornings before work starting a new company! It is rare that I am ever low in mood now – my life is completely changed.
Living a busy London lifestyle for 5 years was beginning to take its toll.
I was trying to have it all by working long hours in a stressful enterprise sales job, then going out partying all weekend and burning the candle at both ends.
I started to slow down and began to find it harder to focus at work, particularly during long meetings and presentations where it was my job to manage the room and be constantly on the ball. My motivation seemed to be slipping away but I couldn’t work out why. Every morning it was a battle to get out of bed, I just didn’t feel like I had any energy!
At the same time, I was really struggling to motivate myself to work out regularly, I was starting to put on a bit of weight on my belly and I found myself drinking more – sometimes a bottle of wine to myself in the evening after work.
When I did go out drinking or partying with friends, the hangovers seemed to be more brutal than ever. There were days when I had to call in sick to work because I literally could not move without feeling nauseous after a heavy night out.
My relationship with my girlfriend was also suffering. I seemed to always come home from work feeling tired out, irritable and grumpy, with very little patience. At the same time, my libido was nowhere to be found.
This was all completely out of character, none of it made sense. I knew I had to change something before I lost my job and risked my relationship.
After a couple of years of things getting progressively worse, I decided to go for personal coaching sessions to try to improve my relationship and work life – it must be something wrong with me psychologically, right?
Despite attending regular sessions and spending £1,000’s trying to work out what was wrong with me, I saw minimal improvements.
One day I was in the car with my brother, and he admitted he’d been having a very similar experience. He’d been diagnosed with testosterone deficiency and had started testosterone replacement therapy.
I got tested immediately and my results came back – my testosterone levels were almost identical to my brother’s!
It was an easy decision to make – within 3 weeks I had started testosterone replacement therapy.
After starting TRT
The effect was almost immediate: the day after my first injection I woke up at 6am, jumped out of bed, and I can remember walking down the road thinking:
1. I cannot remember the last time I felt this good about myself, and
2. How many men have got low testosterone and don’t even know it is the reason they feel awful?!
My energy for life was back!
I was getting up early every morning with ease. I was less irritable, less grumpy, and my sex drive returned overnight.
I could focus again at work and my voice was steady and assertive in meetings: everyone listened when I spoke. When I went to the gym, I was able to complete a proper workout without the usual mental battle telling me to just give up and go home.
I was only going to the gym once or twice a week but my body fat levels dropped by 6% and my muscle mass went up by 5kg. It was nothing short of remarkable.
Rather incredibly, my 2 day hangovers and feelings of nausea have also disappeared! I don’t go out as much as I used to, but when I do, I know I can get up at a normal time and get work done.
12 months on and I am involved in running 3 exciting new businesses, working harder than I ever have before but never losing motivation or feeling fatigued.
I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, despite the fact that I only train once or twice a week.
My mood is much more steady and my relationship is back to its best; I don’t need coaching anymore. I would never have thought that it was low testosterone, but it turns out it was my hormones causing this after all, not laziness or poor motivation. TRT has completely changed my life.