New Delhi, Dec 15: More than 25 percent of urban Indian males have low testosterone hormones due to unhealthy lifestyles. However, lack of awareness means that many patients go undiagnosed, doctors say.
'Male Hypogonadism' affects 26.1 percent of the working population of Indian men and is caused by unhealthy lifestyle, including smoking, consuming alcohol and junk food, high stress levels etc. The hormone plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty.
According to doctors, symptoms include decreased libido, impaired erectile function, muscle weakness, fatigue and depression.
"It is an established clinical condition in medicine and in India the numbers are rising drastically over the years. However, many patients with this disorder go undiagnosed," Ajit Saxena, senior consultant urologist and andrologist, Apollo Indraprastha Hospitals, told IANS.
"There is a clear need to increase the awareness of hypogonadism with the rising evidence suggesting a rise in the prevalence of the disorder in working population of Indian men," he added.
Sadly, not many general physicians are aware of this disorder. Hence, the lack of awareness coupled with inhibition on the part of the patient to discuss his sexual health, results in the patient failing to get diagnosed.
"Patients and doctors both need not shy away from issues related to sexual health. Moreover, India needs to develop guidelines that are tailored for the Indian patients," Shalender Bhasin, MD, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine said.