Iconic Austin restaurant owner talks about battle with male menopause


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN GUSKY


Posted on December 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 7:40 PM

AUSTIN -- Male Menopause, "low T" or low testosterone, Andropause are all names addressing the same condition -- the decrease in testosterone in men as they age. Now one iconic Austinite is attaching his name to the condition to encourage other men to realize low T is an illness that is treatable.

"If it was chicken and dumplings, it would be Thursday," said Eddie Wilson, the owner of Threadgill's.

The iconic Wilson is always ready to serve up good food and equally juicy stories.

"One of my very favorite things in the restaurant is this picture of Farrah Fawcett kissing me on my chubby cheek there," he said, pointing to a picture in his restaurant.

Dessert comes in the form of his one-liners.

"I've got a sense of well being that I haven't had since I was a first string hippy," said Wilson.

But there's more than humor associated with that one liner. The 67-year-old Wilson says he is indeed feeling much better these days compared to just two short years ago when he says he suddenly became anxiety ridden.

"I started acting like Walter Matthau in the 'Odd Couple,'" said Wilson. "I felt like a one man odd couple. I was just going back and forth and getting grouchy. In my business I don't need to be around here if I am Walter Matthau."

Wilson thought his anxiety and lethargy was due to 16 weeks of chemotherapy for lung cancer. But once he was declared cancer-free, a simple blood test revealed his testosterone levels had dropped significantly. That was a battle Wilson says he knew he could win.

"I was taken aback when I was told I had lung cancer," said Wilson. "I wasn't in the least bit taken aback by discovering that there was a reason for me to feel like an aging old guy -- because I was -- but there was a treatment for it."

"He's a smart, sharp guy and has a comeback to any line," said Herb Singh, M.D., a urologist with Urology Austin. "But he felt he was slower in terms of his thinking and how sharp his mind was.  Those are things he noticed a dramatic improvement in when we started treating his low testosterone."  

Singh treated Wilson with testosterone pellets smaller than a penny that are injected into the skin.  Singh says there are a variety of options and all require treatments on an ongoing basis. The goal is to improve symptoms and restore testosterone to healthy levels.

"There wouldn't be an age-old myth about the fountain of youth if there wasn't some sort of problem with growing old," said Wilson. "My problem with growing old was identified, at least in part, by a blood test."

Click here for more information on the symptoms and treatment options for male menopause or low T.