Why should men consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement?
Testosterone is the hormone that is most responsible for muscle strength and endurance, sex drive and performance, and the mental drive to “succeed.” Studies show that most men lose about 1% of their testosterone production per year after the age of 30. Since the decrease happens so gradually, most men do not notice the effects of the drop in their hormones until they are really depleted. If you have poor mental or physical energy, erectile dysfunction, low libido, loss of muscle mass, depression, irritability, poor bone density, anemia, poor concentration, procrastination, increased abdominal fat, insomnia, or a combination of these symptoms, you may be able to correct these symptoms by bringing your hormone levels back to the level you had when you were younger and more vital.
At Explore Health in Scottsdale, AZ, optimizing your health and wellness is our priority. Call us today, to discuss BHRT therapy and if it could benefit you
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
BHRT therapy, also known as bio-identical hormone therapy, is a life-changing treatment for anyone suffering from imbalanced hormones. There are several delivery systems that may benefit you depending on your symptoms, lifestyle, and personal preference.
When considering hormone replacement, it is important that the hormone utilized are bioidentical. Bioidentical means your body cannot distinguish the difference between our supplemented hormones and the hormones your body produces naturally. If Synthetic hormones are used, the therapies are not only ineffective, but they are potentially dangerous.
Am I a Candidate for BHRT Therapy?
If you suffer from a hormonal imbalance, you are a good candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Our office is amazed that some of our patients have been on conventional hormone replacement but are not getting proper or timely blood tests to measure their hormone levels. In order to accurately prescribe BHRT, we will perform the appropriate test and follow-ups appropriate to ensure your BHRT therapy is optimized. Many men have been on testosterone therapy from their urologist or general practitioner, but the effectiveness of the original therapy has decreased over a period of years. Often men these men have never been tested for excess estrogen which is often the reason for the diminishing benefits. Once tested and the estrogen levels are brought back to normal levels, our patients report they feel the benefits of their testosterone treatments like they did when they originally began hormone replacement treatments.
What are the Primary Signs of Low Testosterone?
The most common signs of low testosterone are those related to sexual function. Men may have trouble in achieving or maintaining an erection or lose the desire for sex altogether. Paradoxically, they also may experience fewer spontaneous erections, such as those that occur during sleep, and may experience premature ejaculation.
Are there Secondary Signs of Low Testosterone?
>Other signs of low testosterone include mental and physical fatigue, depression, irritability, insomnia, mental fog, memory problems, poor motivation, procrastination, lean muscle loss and poor recovery from exercise.
What are the treatment options if I choose to receive Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Hormones can be given in many forms; however, hormone pellet therapy is the preferred delivery method for most of our patients. The tiny hormone pellets are inserted just under the skin in a simple, relatively painless procedure. The pellets usually last approximately 4 - 6 months.
The benefits of hormone pellets are that they are slowly absorbed according to the activity and stress level of the patient. The body will sequester the exact amount needed for continuous delivery. Other forms of hormone replacement deliver either a daily dose or weekly dose of hormone often resulting in a large spike in the system and then dropping to very low levels until the next dose is given. Patients that have been unsuccessful with other forms of hormone replacement have found great success with pellet therapy.
For men that don’t want to utilize hormone pellet therapy, we also offer compounded testosterone cream that’s simply applied to the skin, oral troches that are put under the tongue, and testosterone injections that you can perform at home.
What Activities should I do to Maximize the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Simply put, men that have optimal levels of testosterone will naturally be motivated to exercise more often and to increase the frequency of sexual intercourse. These effects are consistent and indicate a return to the higher levels enjoyed by younger men. We get great satisfaction when our patients tell us our treatments have helped improve their entire relationship with their partner. Often times, we initially treat the female partner and after their libido increases the male partner comes in order to “keep up” with their committed partner.
How often should I get a testosterone shot to maximize the benefits?
Many of our patients have been on testosterone injections from their general practitioner or their urologist, but only receive a shot every other week. This is usually not a successful strategy as the testosterone levels will go from an optimal level, to adequate level and during the time before receiving the next shot, their levels will be very low. Most of our patients receive a weekly injection and some feel the best when we split the weekly dosage into two and have them inject two times per week.
What are the Signs of Elevated Estrogen in Men?
Testosterone therapy can slowly increase the estrogen levels in men to the point where they may have levels more appropriate for women. Often this can happen gradually, and men will think they need to increase their testosterone levels again when the solution is to decrease the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Symptoms of high estrogen in men are similar to low T and can include: low libido, poor erectile function, swollen prostate, frequent urination, mood changes similar to those experienced during their menstrual cycles, hot flashes, increase in breast tissue or sensitive nipples, low energy, etc. There are studies that show that elevated estrogen in men also increase your risk for a stroke, heart attack or prostate cancer.
Do I need to stop Testosterone Therapy if I have elevated Estrogen Levels?
Men that experience elevated estrogen symptoms will be given a lab test to verify their estrogen levels. If they have elevated estrogen, we can provide natural products or a safe and effective prescription medication to slow down the conversion of testosterone to estrogen to allow our patients to once again enjoy the benefits of an optimal testosterone level.
What are the Side Effects of Male Hormone Therapy?
If men are given “physiological” replacement testosterone therapy where we are not exceeding the normal levels, testosterone replacement is very safe. Many doctors tell their patients that testosterone replacement may increase their risk of prostate cancer, but Harvard researcher and testosterone expert, Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., has shown that testosterone does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. This information confirms what our office has seen clinically for 25 years. Most men that are diagnosed with prostate cancer are older and have lower testosterone levels. Prostate cancer rarely is observed in younger men with higher naturally occurring testosterone levels.
Just as low levels of testosterone can cause symptoms and increase risk for disease, pharmacological levels of testosterone replacement where people use excessive amounts that exceed normal healthy levels can be dangerous. This type of testosterone replacement has often been associated with bodybuilders and athletes that think more is better, but the negative effects can cause liver damage and many other serious health problems.
Does Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy cause the testicles to decrease in size?
One predictable effect that will occur when testosterone levels are optimized is a decreased size of the testicles. This happens slowly after optimal levels of testosterone have been achieved. The body will detect the adequate levels and the hormonal signals to tell the testes to produce testosterone will decrease. As the testicles decrease their production, they will naturally decrease in size. For men that are concerned about this, we suggest that they “cycle off” testosterone replacement approximately once per year. For about a month, we have them stop their BHRT and use a protocol we have developed to stimulate the natural production of testosterone from the testes. After a month of the protocol, most men notice their testicles will return to the normal size and they can resume hormone replacement therapy.
Does testosterone replacement cause an unhealthy increase in Red Blood Cells?
Testosterone stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. For men with anemia, this can offer great improvements in stamina, energy, and vitality because their blood has more oxygen carrying capacity. For men that already have an adequate number of RBCs, testosterone replacement may slowly increase the number of RBCs and the hematocrit in their complete blood count (CBC) to where these numbers exceed the normal levels. In order to correct this predictable and healthy response to the hormone replacement therapy, we simply have our patients donate blood approximately once every three to four months.
How can I improve my testosterone levels naturally?
Some of our patients don’t want to use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy but still want to receive the benefits of improved sexual performance, mental and physical energy, etc. Most cultures had traditional herbal remedies that helped restore or maintain a man’s vitality. These may include ginseng, maca, yohimbe, ashwagandha, horny goat weed, gingko, velvet deer antler, etc. While these products will not actually provide significant increases in the testosterone blood levels, many of our patients do notice significant improvements in their low testosterone symptoms after using a comprehensive supplemental regimen that supports the entire endocrine balance including support for adrenal stress, improved sleep, sex hormones, neurotransmitters, and improved vascular flow.
Why is Testosterone Replacement illegal of High School, College, and Professional Athletes?
Many people think that since it is illegal for athletes to use testosterone therapy, it must be dangerous or unhealthy. Actually, the main reason testosterone therapy is illegal is that the performance enhancements make it impossible for athletes not using testosterone to compete with the athletes that do. Testosterone helps build lean muscle, improves recovery from exercise, helps prevent injuries, and increases red blood cell production for improved oxygen utilization. As long as you are not competing in sports that restrict testosterone replacement, optimizing your testosterone levels may help you continue your high level of performance and improve your recovery from exercise as you get older.
Are there other hormones that are important for men that will optimize their health?
In addition to testosterone, it is important to also measure and optimize thyroid (TSH, Free T3 and Free T4) and adrenal (DHEA-S, cortisol) hormone levels. Even though it is not normally thought of as a hormone, high levels of insulin can cause blood sugar problems that may be confused with symptoms of low T. In addition, elevated insulin levels or insulin resistance are warning signs that may lead to diabetes. Many of our patients that were not getting results from testosterone therapy were never evaluated for thyroid, adrenal and blood sugar control and once these levels were measured and optimized, they finally realized the benefits of hormone replacement therapy they were looking for.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
If you think you could benefit from BHRT therapy, we strongly encourage you to contact us at Explore Health in Scottsdale, AZ today to schedule your initial consultation. If you would prefer a virtual consultation, we offer video chat consultations through our medical records system, as well as via Facetime and Skype. We also offer telephone conferences for your convenience.