Treating Male Hormone Imbalances with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
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Did you ever hear of grouchy old men? Men can suffer from hormonal imbalances just as women do.
As men age, their testosterone levels steadily decline once they hit 30 and then dramatically drop in their 40′s and 50′s. Growing older is hard enough for men, without having to needlessly suffer from declining testosterone hormone levels. This is called Andropause or male menopause, as the aging process and symptoms are similar to those woman experience during perimenopause and menopause. The difference is that the decline in hormones for men is not as sharp and sudden as a women’s decline during menopause. They may not feel drastic physical changes but rather small dips in their energy level, stamina, mental function, and sense of wellbeing.
Andropause is the period in a man’s life that is marked by a drop in the levels of the male hormone, testosterone. Normally occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, andropause is a slow, steady reduction in testosterone levels. Unlike menopause in women, middle-aged men do not experience a complete and permanent shutdown of their reproductive capacity. Andropause is often accompanied by symptoms that may include weight gain, fatigue and energy loss, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, mood swings, reduced physical strength and agility, thinning hair, mental fogginess, and muscle atrophy.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can help men recover from the effects of hormone decline and improve their overall health and wellness. Some of the benefits of natural hormone supplementation include:
Increased Muscle Mass can be a result of balanced testosterone levels. This is because testosterone has a direct effect on the muscle building because it forms red blood cells, which are needed to increase muscle strength and tone.
Improved Sexual Function can occur with balanced male hormones. Testosterone governs sexual function and reproduction, and with low hormone levels, men may experience low libido and erectile dysfunction. Balanced testosterone can improve libido and reduce instances of erectile dysfunction.
Improved Mental Acuity occurs as hormones come into balance. Often decline in human growth hormone, testosterone, aldosterone or thyroid hormones in men cause declines in mental prowess. This can affect boardroom negotiations, number crunching at the stock market or being a litigation attorney and arguing your case in court.
Reduced Body Fat is another benefit of balanced testosterone. An increased level of body fat can increase estrogen and suppress testosterone, and this suppressed testosterone reduces the amount of active testosterone in the blood, which in turn continues to increase estrogen. This cycle can be broken by balancing testosterone levels.
Healthier Emotions are another valuable benefit of healthy testosterone levels. Hormones affect brain chemistry, and imbalanced hormones can disrupt the functions of neurotransmitters that carry messages of calmness. Balanced hormones can improve brain chemistry, which can help many men reduce anxiety, depression, and outbursts of anger.
Thicker Hair may be the result of healthy levels of testosterone. When testosterone levels are low, another form of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) can increase and cause hair follicles to die away. Increasing free testosterone helps preserve hair follicles and increase the thickness of hair.
Increased Metabolic Functions is another benefit of balanced male hormones. Often, aging men experience metabolic syndrome because of slower metabolic processes. Some of the symptoms of this syndrome can include increased abdominal fat, blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and insulin resistance. Balanced hormones may increase metabolism and reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
What about the risk of Prostate Cancer?
Although treatment with T has been used for 70 yr and is, generally, safe and effective, there are a number of safety issues – ranging from cardiovascular and lipid alterations to hematological changes – that the physician needs to be aware of.
Unquestionably, prostate safety constitutes the most important one. No evidence exists that appropriate androgen administration with knowledgeable monitoring carries significant or potentially serious adverse effects on the prostate gland – according to an article published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation in 2005.
The current evidence does not support the view that appropriate treatment of hypogonadal elderly men with androgens has a causal relationship with prostate cancer according to an article published in European Urology in 2002.
The possibility of an increased risk of prostate cancer for healthy men has been suggested on a theoretical basis but recent experimental data showed that androgens may actually act in prevention of prostate cancer.
How is Diabetes related to testosterone deficiency?
Testosterone deficiency increases the risk of mortality from Type 2 Diabetes and testosterone replacement therapy improves survival in men with Type 2 Diabetes as shown by several clinical studies. Low testosterone is also linked to long-term risk of death in relatively healthy adult men: Endo 2007: The Endocrine Society Research Summaries Book June 5, 2007.
This study is another major report linking a deficiency of testosterone in relatively healthy men with increase death from all causes, over time. “We have followed these men for an average of 18 years and our study strongly suggest that the association between testosterone levels and death is not simply due to some acute illness,” said Gail Laughlin, Ph.D., assistant professor, and study author.
Lower Testosterone and higher Estrogen ( E2) levels correlate with increased risk of Cardiovascular disease and CV mortality. Testosterone replacement therapy in men with low testosterone levels moderates metabolic components associated with CV risk, thus reducing the risk of mortality and disease.
Thus the positive effects of HRT are limitless in men with low to normal hormone levels and often include improved sexual performance, improved lipid and cholesterol levels, increased prostate health, better blood sugar balance, healthier moods and outlook, increased focus and concentration, more strength and energy, improved well-being, greater libido, reduced aches and pains, better quality of sleep, and improved muscle mass.
San Fernando Valley Los Angeles Hormone Replacement Specialist, Anju Mathur, M.D. of Angel Longevity Medical Center Los Angeles will evaluate the body’s hormone levels, which are typically obtained through blood tests performed by a lab. Saliva or 24 hour urine tests can also be employed for a thorough evaluation of a man’s hormonal status. After reviewing an extensive hormonal questionnaire, a physical exam relevant to hormonal deficiencies and then appropriate lab tests review, Dr. Anju Mathur will provide treatments for male hormone decline, which will usually include bio-identical hormones including testosterone and other hormone replacement therapy to men who want to boost their health and overall wellbeing.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can be prescribed in various forms including transdermal or transmucosal creams and gels, injections and pellets. Once the hormones are started by the patient, the breakdown products or metabolites of these hormones are carefully monitored by the doctor. She very carefully adjusts the doses to the physiologic levels and making sure the metabolites are also balanced. In case of testosterone replacement, levels of downstream metabolites, DHT and Estradiol are monitored and balanced to optimal levels. This avoids the pitfalls of aging metabolism of hormones in men as well as avoids supra physiologic dosing.
Our philosophy is to bring back your sense of homeostasis within the body, thus a sense of wellbeing. We are not interested in treating lab numbers of hormones. We are treating you NOT the lab. You will be monitored every month for the first few months. There are two-fold benefits to this close monitoring. One is your hormones are balanced precisely, and secondly, you get educated in the process of your own hormonal balancing journey. It is our strong belief that an education in how your body functions is KEY, as we are not born with a manual of how to run our bodies. This puts YOU in the driver’s seat and lets you navigate your own well-being in the future.
The “hormone balance for life” program balances your hormones for real. Get on it!
“My treatment from Dr Mathur has been the most incredible medical assistance I have ever had. I have experienced physical and mental rejuvenation of a quality that made me feel 13 years old again. The clarity of my thinking improved as well as my sense of well-being. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to have renewed energy and wants to feel young again. Thank you Anju, I am very happy that you are here.” – Michael, Los Angeles CA