Dr Chris Airey interview on BBC Radio Solent

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Transcript of the radio interview of Optimale Medical Director Dr Chris Airey, discussing Testosterone Replacement Therapy on BBC Radio Solent on the 31st March 2021.

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Transcript

Lou Hannan – BBC

Back in June 2020 nearly one in five adults revealed that they were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic according to the Office for National Statistics. According to new research one issue that faces almost 40% of men over the age of 45, and maybe a key factor in the decline of men’s mental health is low testosterone. Well, joining me now is Southampton doctor, Dr Chris Airey from Optimale, a company that provides men across the UK with medical services and advice to treat the symptoms of low testosterone. Chris, thank you ever so much for coming onto the programme, tell me more then about this research and also a little bit more about Optimale.

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

So, essentially, Optimale are a company in the UK, that helps screen and treat patients that have got low testosterone. And so yeah, the research came about from a recent paper and obviously testosterone tends to decline as we age and some the symptoms that come from low testosterone can sort of mirror the symptoms that you can get with depression and there is some crossover between the two.

Lou Hannan – BBC

And what is the link between the two then? Why can low testosterone cause depression?

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

So, low testosterone can cause irritability changes in mood and there’s also some evidence that it may affect some of the neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin in the brain.

Lou Hannan – BBC

Why did you want to get involved with tackling this issue then?

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

I suffered some of the symptoms myself and I’ve been on treatment for some time. That was what got my interest up really and then on seeing the benefits, (1.) that it had for myself and (2.) that it had for a lot of other patients, it was something that I got really interested in.

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Lou Hannan – BBC

For chaps that are listening to this then that may be feeling depressed. I mean, it’s a difficult one isn’t it because it’s a very, very blanket symptom to explain that there are other symptoms that can lead potentially to a look at low testosterone and whether that might be an issue?

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

Absolutely I think firstly, obviously mental health is I guess a really big problem at the moment, particularly in the middle of a pandemic and people’s jobs are under threat and people can’t go out and do the things that they want to do and get the support that they would normally get. Low mood although being a symptom of low testosterone is also a symptom of depression and lots of other issues.

So, if you had other symptoms such as irritability, really low energy levels, feeling tired all the time, problems with libido, erectile dysfunction. These are all symptoms that could indicate it was your testosterone levels to blame.

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Lou Hannan- BBC

And you said testosterone levels decrease as you get older, are there any other causing factors? Is it genetic, is there a reason why one person may be affected over another?

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

It is genetic but it also depends on where you start obviously that there’s an awful lot of people that will have declined in testosterone, they may never get any symptoms, and although their levels are going down slightly, their levels are still adequate for them. So, sort of screening everybody to see what their levels are isn’t something that’s required but if men do have a lot of the symptoms that we’ve discussed then a test may be worthwhile for them.

Lou Hannan – BBC

And in terms of getting that test how easy is that is that something you can go to the doctor and ask for?

Dr Chris Airey – Optimale

Yeah, absolutely, if you’ve got the symptoms that we’ve discussed, they should be able to speak to your GP, and they may offer a test for you, or you could use a private company such as Optimale who can arrange testing for you.

Lou Hannan – BBC

And then the big question: What sort of treatment is there? Can it be reversed? is there a way of treating it?

Dr Chris Airey- Optimale

Yeah, absolutely. So, normally, patients will have a couple of blood tests to just make sure that their levels are low, and then another one to confirm it and also to make sure that there aren’t any other issues such as thyroid problems that could be adding to the problem. They then have a consultation where they go through the risks, benefits, and then if they do go on to replacement therapy, it can be creams or gels or potentially injections,

Lou Hannan – BBC

Chris, thank you very much indeed for explaining that and yeah just getting it out in the open really because it’s often a subject that’s difficult to talk about as well.

Dr Chris Airey there from Optimale talking about different levels of testosterone in men so the advice there, if any of those symptoms ring true for you go and see your doctor.

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