Father of two, 44, was diagnosed with ‘male menopause’
A man who has experienced so-called ‘male menopause’ has revealed how NHS doctors initially told him his symptoms were ‘all in his head’ before he was eventually diagnosed with low testosterone levels.
Ross Tomkins, 44, from Ponteland near Newcastle Upon Tyne, suffered from amnesia, lethargy and joint pain for years, but attributed his fatigue to a busy working father of two.
After being diagnosed with low testosterone by a private London doctor, Ross, he was then given iodine supplements in his early 30s and started testosterone replacement therapy – and saw an immediate improvement in his health, energy levels and general well-being.
Now wanting to help other men in his position, Ross founded Alphagenix, which aims to raise awareness of male menopause (also known as andropause), treat affected men and debunk the myths surrounding low testosterone levels in men.
Ross Tomkins, pictured, suffered from amnesia, lethargy and joint pain for years but put his fatigue down on a busy dad before he was diagnosed with low testosterone
“In retrospect, I can now see that the symptoms had been present for a few years before I first went to the doctor,” Ross told FEMAIL.
“At the time, I attributed my fatigue to working long hours, setting up my business, training to climb Kilimanjaro and having two small children.
‘Unfortunately neither my GP nor any of the NHS endocrinologists were able to help. In fact, one of them even told me that the “symptoms were all in my head”.’
Although it was the joint pain that brought Ross to the doctors, he described his brain fog as the “by far the scariest symptom.”
He recalled: “At its peak, I remember driving home from work and giving myself a simple challenge to describe the car I was in and list as many words as I could.
‘To my horror, I couldn’t get a word out. I held onto the steering wheel but still couldn’t say the word, I looked at the dashboard and out the windshield, but couldn’t think or pronounce the words.
After being diagnosed with low testosterone, a private London doctor, Ross, pictured with his wife Joanne, was given iodine supplements and began testosterone replacement therapy – immediately seeing an improvement in his health, energy levels and general well-being
‘In many ways this became the defining moment in my hormonal journey as after discussing this with my wife we decided to seek an alternative opinion outside the NHS.’
A qualified physical therapist, Ross, who shares daughter Isabelle, 13, and son Lincoln, 11, with wife Joanne, sought a range of treatments — from meditation to crystal therapy — to try to cure his symptoms, but were unsuccessful.
Is there such a thing as a ‘male menopause’?
The NHS notes that the term ‘male menopause’ is imprecise as it suggests that symptoms are the result of a sudden drop in testosterone in middle age, similar to what happens during female menopause.
However, in men, testosterone levels steadily decline as they age.
This low testosterone can be treated with hormone replacement therapy.
It wasn’t until he visited Dr Willis, a private men’s health doctor in London, that he finally found out that he had low testosterone.
The doctor helped Ross understand his endocrine system and the importance of testosterone.
“Until now, my testosterone had never been mentioned and they were targeting my thyroid function,” Ross continued.
“I will make my first appointment with Dr. Willis never forget I wasn’t sure where to start so much had happened even I was told I was imagining it but he listened carefully and after I finished my story told clearly my testosterone was low I had an iodine deficiency and needed a natural form of thyroid medication.
“He confirmed his diagnosis through blood work and my recovery was about to begin.”
Ross, then in his thirties, noticed the benefits of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) almost immediately.
“I remember marveling at the clarity of thought, lack of joint pain, lack of apathy and newfound energy levels. It felt like I was a teenager again.”
The father of two also made changes to his diet, exercise and sleep to keep his hormone levels up.
After a few years, Ross was able to stop taking iodine supplements but continued on TRT.
Now looking to help other men in his position, Ross founded Alphagenix, which aims to raise awareness of male menopause (also known as andropause), treat affected men and debunk the myths surrounding low testosterone levels in men.
Now he wants to help others with Alphagenix (www.alphagenix.co.uk)), an online service that helps men understand the effects of low testosterone levels.
Following an initial consultation, blood tests are performed at the client’s premises through a network of clinics and an evaluation is scheduled to discuss the results. If necessary and no inconsistencies are discovered, treatment options are discussed, including tablets, gels and injections.
Over a one-year period, a client can expect six doctor’s appointments and five blood tests while monitoring progress.
Customers also get access to a private WhatsApp group with health coaches, mindset coaches, PTs, and nutrition therapists to answer questions.
Alphagenix has a team of private doctors supplied by BMP Medical Ltd who are all UK trained and registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).
They continue to work in the NHS and private consulting.