Testosterone Replacement Therapy
in MEN (TRT)
Where menopause occurs in 100% of the female population, at least 30% of men in the United States experience outward symptoms of what is popularly called “male menopause” (diminishing testosterone levels) and the other 70% if closely examined have signs of low testosterone and feel like a “new man” when treated.
Sometimes called “puberty in reverse,” male menopause, “Low T” or Andropause as it is clinically diagnosed– is the period of a man’s life when production of a vital number of hormones – primarily testosterone – begins to decline. Similarly, women experience a reduction in estrogen and progesterone production during menopause. But not everyone buys into the idea that males have their own version of menopause. The public perception is that men of a certain age are having “a mid-life crisis” that will pass eventually.
Decline usually begins in the 30s but becomes significant by ages 45 – 60, but varies from man to man. There are men who remain virile into their 80s with no visible signs of reduction in the hormone, but this is extremely rare.
Common signs and symptoms of low/diminishing testosterone levels:
- Diminished libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Muscle wasting, weight gain & decrease in lean body mass
- General lack of energy
- Mood swings, depression and anxiety
- Memory loss
- Elevated cholesterol
- Anemia and osteoporosis in the later stages
It becomes evident from all these possible symptoms that testosterone plays an extensive role in male health beyond just muscle building.
If you have several of these symptoms above you should schedule an appointment with Doll House Anti- Aging Clinic to further investigate the possibility of low testosterone and if so develop a treatment plan to get you feeling lean, strong, energetic, sharp, and sexually active again.
Measuring testosterone levels is a simple blood test that can yield significant information. It is important to measure the bio-available or “free” testosterone in the body. Bound testosterone is ineffective because it is not available to the testosterone receptors throughout the body, thus only ‘free’ testosterone will give you an accurate measurement. Unfortunately, this test is not ordered as often as it should be by most physicians. Low levels of available testosterone are easily treated through a regimen of testosterone hormone weekly injections or daily gels and patches applied directly the skin. For most men, the results are dramatic and immediate.
Under no circumstances should a patient self-medicate such as with over-the-counter ‘natural’ products often advertised in the back of men’s magazines.
These are not regulated by the FDA, and actually cause can more harm than good – for example many of these products are pro-hormones that actually convert more frequently to estrogen than testosterone. Real testosterone products are tightly regulated by the DEA and labeled as “Class III” controlled substances.
Patients on Viagra or the like may also be candidates for testosterone therapy, and the treatments can be prescribed simultaneously. Viagra does nothing to stimulate hormone production or the libido; it is used only to treat erectile dysfunction, which is different from low sex drive. In fact, getting testosterone levels back to normal actually may alleviate the need for that little blue pill!
Exercise is a valuable tool in staving off depletion in testosterone. Exercise and working out actually stimulate production of testosterone in the body. Inactive men who gain considerable weight may have more estrogen in their bodies, because testosterone is converted into estrogen in the peripheral fat of the body if not ‘burned off’ through a regular course of exercise.”
Whatever the case, there is an answer and a treatment. “Women have benefited greatly from hormone therapy. Men deserve the same consideration to prolong quality of life.”
BHRT and Progesterone
Progesterone provides those youthful, cheerful, calming, steady, well-balanced, and fertile features, primarily in women. In the past progesterone was regarded as simply the “pregnancy hormone” but research has proven its role to be much more expansive. Progesterone affects many tissues other than the uterus, including the urinary tract, heart, blood vessels, breasts, bones, hair, skin, pelvic muscles, and brain.
Progesterone is produced primarily after ovulation by the empty egg sac. Therefore, if you don’t ovulate, you make much less progesterone. There are several other (less common) reasons for low or declining progesterone levels. These include high cortisol levels, certain synthetic chemicals that incompletely mimic and interfere with estrogen (xenoestrogens), and luteal phase defects in which you ovulate but still don’t produce an adequate amount of progesterone. All these scenarios lead to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. As discussed before all hormones, especially estrogen’s and progesterone are kept in a very tight critical balance in order for us to function and feel our best.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Progesterone May Include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Weight gain
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Increased risk of breast cancer
BHRT and Thyroid
It is estimated that between 30% to as much as 80% of the population has some degree of low thyroid function (Hypothyroid). Even more unfortunate is that this imbalance, which affects so many aspects of health, is frequently either misdiagnosed, misunderstood, or completely overlooked. Hypothyroidism can be due to a genetic inheritance, menopause/peri-menopause, exposure to certain viruses, iodine deficiency, direct physical trauma to the thyroid gland, head trauma affecting the pituitary, autoimmune disease, or environmental toxins.
Common signs and symptoms of low thyroid levels:
- Accelerated aging
- Weight gain
- Cold dry skin
- Joint and muscle pain (even Fibromyalgia)
- Memory loss
- Brain fog
- Hair thinning/loss
If you have several of these symptoms you should schedule an appointment with Doll House Anti- Aging Clinic to further investigate the possibility of hypothyroidism and if so develop a treatment plan to get you feeling refreshed and energetic again.
3 Goals of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
1. Alleviate or slow down the symptoms caused by the natural decrease in production of hormones by the body.
2. Give the protective benefits which were originally provided by the naturally occurring hormones
3. Re-establish hormone balance & harmony
As stated above the goal of any Hormone replacement therapy regimen should be to provide an adequate supply of the deficient hormone in the form that is as close as possible to that which the body originally produced, therefore resulting in normal physiologic effects and ultimately symptom free effects.
No single person is alike so it is imperative that you and your physician or medical professional work together to customize BHRT. Bio-identical hormones are compounded by a pharmacist in needed strength and dosage and administered subcutaneously to meet each individuals needs. The precise components of each patient’s response to therapy will need to be determined and considered by us after:
- Physical examination
- Medical history
- Symptoms Experienced
- Laboratory testing
Close monitoring with your Doll House Anti- Aging Clinic at intervals ranging from every 3 months for 1st year of therapy then 1-2x per year thereafter will be essential to ensure that appropriate dosage adjustments are made.