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Event focuses attention on low testosterone in men

By Katie Demeria

Valley Health's Spirit of Women chapter is hosting an event this evening called "What Women Notice." The health issue to be addressed, though, does not impact women -- it will be about low testosterone in men.

Misty Warren, Spirit of Women's clinical coordinator, said events like this are not uncommon. Though the group is meant for women, many of the topics addressed are particular to men or children.

"Women make a lot of the health care decisions for the family," Warren said. "So you can help give an issue more attention by focusing on getting the information to women."

Though Warren said she does not expect to see many men attend the event, the information is likely to get to men through their partners, which is usually the point of Spirit of Women events.

"Spirit of Women focuses on the burning questions that people have, the popular topics of the day," she said. "It's about getting that health information in your hands and then connecting you to a provider who can help you with it."

Tara Holmes, nurse practitioner with Shenandoah Urologic Specialists, will be the event's guest speaker. She said low testosterone is an issue that impacts the whole family.

Symptoms include fatigue, decreased physical stamina, loss of muscle mass and a decreased libido, she said.

"Men's sexual health affects their partners as well, so making women aware of what the symptoms of low testosterone are just increases the possibility that they will pick up on them if their partner starts to suffer from it," Holmes said.

Cases of low testosterone, Holmes continued, are becoming increasingly more common, due partly to more attention through advertisements made by pharmaceutical companies.

"It's not necessarily that it's occurring more now. People are just more aware than they were in the past," Holmes said. "And there is no one direct cause of it, either. We recommend that somebody with symptoms get an evaluation from a urologist to identify a potential cause."

Low testosterone is also an issue that many feel uncomfortable about addressing, according to Warren.

"We're going to try to make the event more fun," she said. "Because it's a topic that is not talked about very easily, we are going to have activities there that could help loosen everyone up."

The event will feature a live comedian. Warren said that hopefully will make people comfortable enough to talk about how the issue impacts them.

"That's a big thing we try to do in Spirit," Warren added. "We want people to have fun, and we do something that goes along with whatever the topic is to help them feel comfortable."

The organization hosts other events in the area throughout the year. Many focus on women's health, but several, like the "What Women Notice" event, are meant to spread awareness about certain health issues through women that may otherwise go unnoticed.

"Women usually pay the most attention to health in their family," Warren said. "And this is a good way for them to get the information that we think they want."

The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. today at the Bright Box theatre in Winchester. There is no admission fee, and those interested can register with Warren by calling 540-536-6168. For more information about Spirit of Women, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/spiritofwomen.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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