Bioidentical Hormones and Testosterone Therapy for Men
As both men and women age from youth to mid life, their hormones naturally decline. In women, the loss of periods and possible menopausal symptoms are hard to miss. For men, this transition is more gradual, starting with a drop in testosterone as early as the late 20’s, a fade in adrenal ‘building blocks’ from the 30’s onward, and then around 50 and beyond, a gradual rise in estrogen levels.
This process is called andropause, and there are four potential factors that play a part in the symptoms of male hormone decline:
- When the testicles produce low amounts of testosterone, andropause symptoms can be more pronounced.
- Low amounts of pituitary hormones may decrease the stimulation of testicular production of testosterone.
- A deficient amount of the adrenal hormone DHEA, which is a precursor for testosterone, may also add to testosterone decline.
- An elevated level of estrogen, which is NOT one of a man’s dominant hormones, can reduce the benefit of his testosterone levels, and aggravate andropause symptoms, especially when testosterone levels are also low.
Without a diagnosis and the correct support therapy, the symptoms of male hormone decline can become more severe and more noticeable over time. Unfortunately, due to the gradual onset and subtle progression of symptoms, many men have the popular notion that they have to live with the symptoms. Many men say, “well, its my age, I guess I’ll have to learn to live with it”.
The good news is that by getting to the root of the issues, the symptoms related to hormone decline can be reduced or completely eliminated. Some of the symptoms that are associated with male hormone decline include:
Loss of Stamina
Many men may notice a greater degree of fatigue with routine activities or exercise.
Low Grade Depression
A loss of enthusiasm or self-confidence, and greater irritability or anxiety may be experienced with testosterone decline.
Loss of Passion
Often, men going through andropause can feel a reduced passion for life in general and decreased sexual desire.
Erectile dysfunction may occur more often, and one key sign of testosterone decline is a loss of morning erections that may have been taken for granted during the teens to 30’s.
Lack of Response to Exercise
Low testosterone can cause a man to experience a loss of muscle mass and definition.
During hormone decline, men may notice a significant gain in waistline fat.
Low testosterone may cause a rise in blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipid levels, which causes an increase in the potential risk for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease.
Hormones control a number of functions, and when they are balanced, numerous benefits can be achieved. Balanced hormones can create positive changes in many areas.
Benefits of BHRT include:
Improved sexual interest and performance can be achieved with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
More strength, energy, and stamina through the day are common experiences with hormone balance.
Improved Mental Function
Increased focus, concentration, and memory may be experienced with hormone supplementation.
Increased Metabolic Functions
Improvement with impaired lipid and cholesterol, or blood sugar levels may occur with hormone balance.
Improved Prostate Health
When hormones become imbalanced, it may increase the risk for prostate cancer.
Improved moods, a better self-image, and more enthusiasm for life may be a result of hormonal balance.
Aches and pains may be summed up as inevitable aspects of aging; however, hormonal balance can decrease inflammation and pain.
More Muscle Mass
Hormone supplementation may allow for a better fitness response to exercise, with improved muscle mass and definition.
Bio-identical hormone therapy may produce a better response to weight loss efforts and a loss of belly fat.
Higher Sleep Quality
When hormones are regulated, symptoms of insomnia, trouble falling asleep, or waking up in the night and not being able to fall back asleep can be eliminated, and a better quality of sleep may be achieved.
A review of personal and medical history, a pertinent physical exam, and the appropriate lab testing is used to determine if hormone deficits are a factor in symptoms. If they are, Dr. Baker can move forward to map out an individualized therapy plan for each individual.