Bioidentical Hormones for Men’s Health
There are many challenges facing men as they age. In addition to decreased levels of testosterone, other hormones taper off during andropause such as estradiol, DHEA, vitamin D, melatonin, human growth hormone and thyroid hormones. At the same time other hormones, such as insulin, estradiol, parathyroid hormone, and cortisol may accumulate in excessive amounts.
As these hormone levels decrease, men experience a magnitude of symptoms that affect the genitals, bones, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, cardiovascular system, skin, brain and energy levels. Due to the hormonal imbalance, men experience energy decline, loss of libido and sexual performance, weight gain, insomnia and emotional changes. There are also increased risks of cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. With proper implementation of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, these risks and symptoms can be greatly reduced and sometimes eliminated altogether.
Andropause and Bio-identical Hormones
Andropause, or male menopause, is a name that has been given to a menopause like condition in aging men. This relates to the slow, but steady reduction of the production of the hormone testosterone and dehydrotestosterone (DHT) and an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that occurs in middle-aged men, as a result of normal aging. Unlike women, middle-aged men do not experience an abrupt and permanent physiological shutting down of the reproductive system as a normal event.
Andropause is usually caused by a very gradual testosterone deficiency. On average, testosterone declines 10% every decade after age 30, which is about 1% per year, and when men reach the mid-50s, about 30 percent experience andropause. It is most likely that males with diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses will develop early andropause. Poor diet or exercise may also significantly accelerate that loss.
Typically, the decline in testosterone levels is very gradual and imperceptible. Among the various symptoms, some of the most noticeable include mid-abdominal weight gain, loss of strength and energy, loss of muscle tone and mass, erectile dysfunction, decrease in libido, fatigue, and sleep disruption. As men’s levels of testosterone decline, they become more at risk for premature death and chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, stroke, cancer, and bone loss.
Since andropause is caused predominantly by a deficiency in hormonal levels, bioidentical hormone replacement or stimulation therapy combined with lifestyle changes and supplements can help significantly offset the effects of andropause. The process of determining the right combination of supplements, hormones, exercise, and diet starts with an evaluation with a physician at Forever Ageless. The result is a completely customized approach to lifestyle and health goals as prescribed by experienced and extensively sub-specialty trained Age Management Medicine physician.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy has many benefits, some of which can include:
Men suffering from excessive stress, depression, weight gain, medical illnesses, prostate cancer treatment, which includes chemical or surgical castration, radiation therapy, and prostate surgery and andropause often experience a decrease in sexual desire. This can be caused from an imbalance of multiple hormones, but anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, pain pills, as well as inadequate or unbalanced hormone replacement therapies can further aggravate the symptoms.
When testosterone levels are low, men often experience a decrease in sexual desire. This also includes loss of libido or erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms may include reduced energy, signs of depression, moodiness or mood swings, inability to concentrate, lowered sperm count and osteoporosis. Men with lowered testosterone may also experience more physical changes such as a decrease in body mass, hair loss, weight gain, breast enlargement, and a decrease in testes size.
Increased Muscle Tone
A loss of muscle tone may be due to multiple illnesses and deficiencies. Everybody knows that testosterone deficiency in aging men may cause a decrease in muscle tone and mass. However, a deficiency or an excess of other hormones, such as thyroid, cortisol, insulin, and parathyroid and minerals, which include iron, copper, and calcium, or nutrients and vitamins can also affect response to exercise and recovery time. Certain “healthy“ diets or exercise programs may have negative impacts on muscles. Muscle weakness and ache are frequent side effects of popular antihypertensive and cholesterol lowering medications.
Improved Sleep Quality
Insomnia is a frequent problem that we all face with normal aging. Normal aging, by itself, greatly affects production of all hormones, such as pituitary hormones, testosterone, thyroid, estradiol, progesterone, melatonin, insulin, and cortisol. This greatly contributes to sleep disruption by disturbing the production of catecholamines, GABA, endorphins and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Difficulty in falling or staying asleep is especially common among perimenopausal and menopausal women. On top of that, alteration in hormone balance predisposes people to weight gain and loss of muscle tone, resulting in the development of sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, night cramps and other sleep pathology. Chronic inflammatory conditions such as chronic bronchitis, arthritis, neuropathies, and fibromyalgia add to the night aches, coughing, and breathing difficulties. Frequent trips to the bathroom are another frequent complaint of our new patients. All those issues, in turn, further aggravate sleep disruptions and usher in chronic fatigue.
Decreased Cardiovascular Disease Risk
There have been many studies that confirm the correlation between heart disease and low levels of testosterone and estrogen in men. Research has shown that testosterone replacement therapy can help prevent heart disease. Studies have also proven that men with heart disease are twice as likely to have low testosterone than those without heart disease. Testosterone and estrogen deprivation therapy in patients with advanced prostate cancer is well known for excessive cardiovascular mortality.
The risk of osteoporosis increases as men age. Studies show that men are losing bone at a rate of approximately 0.5% each year. It is a well-known fact that close to 80% of patients will be dead within two years of their first hip fracture. Osteoporosis, like most degenerative diseases, is insidious–there are only a few symptoms that can suggest that you might have such a problem until it is too late. You may also be surprised to find out that some of the very popular types of “healthy” diets and exercises, common health conditions and frequently used medications may actually significantly aggravate bone loss. The mainstream medicine does recommend routine bone density scans for women. However, no matter the results of bone densitometry, it is important to take proper action for prevention. We have been taught that calcium aids to build healthy bones, which is true, but what people are often not taught is that such deposition in bones does not happen just because we feed our body calcium. It takes the right mix of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones that naturally occur in our bodies to really make sure that the calcium is stored in the bone instead of in other organs such as blood vessels, kidneys or joints. However, that right mix is lost with normal aging. Bone health could be further aggravated by illnesses, medications or wrong diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy in combination with appropriate diet, supplements, and exercise allows Forever Ageless to treat effectively the causes of lowered libido in a natural way. Once an evaluation is performed, the physician will prescribe a specific combination of hormones that are prepared at a compounding pharmacy. As a person takes the supplements over the next three months, changes are monitored and hormone dosages will be adjusted to drive symptoms in extinction.