Hormone Therapy for Men
HORMONE THERAPY AND ANTI-AGING FOR MEN
Hormones play a crucial role in the functioning of your body. Hormone levels and balance are extremely important for your health, physical shape, and well-being. As a man ages, his body becomes less effective in producing these vital hormones. Hormone levels fall to unhealthy levels creating a hormone imbalance in your body. Many men can notice the symptoms resulting from a decline in testosterone levels in their 30’s and 40’s. In fact, testosterone levels begin to drop as early as your 20’s. With Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, you can balance your hormone levels and optimize the synergy within your body. Once hormone levels are optimized, men are likely to see an increase in energy, performance, libido, and many other health and lifestyle improvements. It even helps with your sleep, recovery time from exercising, and libido.
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE?
Testosterone is men's primary sex hormone. It is mainly responsible for many of the characteristics associated with men- deeper voice, body and facial hair, bigger muscles, etc. Testosterone also plays a major role in sexual maturity, fertility, and sexual performance.
BENEFITS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT?
You may feel younger, stronger, healthier, and happier with a better sex life by optimizing your sex hormone levels.
With testosterone replacement therapy you may notice
- Increased energy and mental clarity
- Increased muscle tone and reduction of fat stores
- Restoration of sexual function and erections
- Increase libido/desire
- Improved cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease
- Improved sense of well-being, overall drive, and motivation
WHAT IS LOW TESTOSTERONE?
As a person ages, testosterone production decreases but it can drop below the body’s usual range, also called andropause. Testosterone levels naturally start to decrease after the peak age of 18 and some men notice significant symptoms of low testosterone (low-T) by the age of 35. The severity of these decreases and associated symptoms can vary significantly from guy to guy.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE
- Erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or maintaining erections)
- Difficulty sleeping/insomnia (falling or staying asleep and association with low testosterone and sleep apnea)
- Reduction in muscle mass (and ability to build muscle mass)
- Reduced bone mass
- Decrease in sex drive
- Low energy/fatigue
- Increase in body fat (especially around the midsection and chest)
- Changes in mood/mood swings: low testosterone can cause a lack of focus/motivation, increase irritability, and a higher risk of depression
- Decreased sense of well being
- Loss cognitive function/mental clarity (“brain fog”)
- lower semen production
- Hair loss
- Reduction of testicle size
- Hot flashes/night sweats/profuse sweating (often caused by estrogen decline, but can also be associated with a decline in testosterone)
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LOW TESTOSTERONE
- Increased risk of cancer or Alzheimer’s
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Premature hair loss and wrinkling
Progesterone is known as our calming, mood, sleep, libido, and bone-enhancing hormone. What a lot of men also don't realize is Progesterone functions as a precursor in our body to produce testosterone while also acting as a balance to decrease estrogen. As men age, the level of progesterone starts to decrease. Natural production by the testes and adrenals in men starts to decrease with aging and can lead to an imbalance, not only of progesterone but also lead to decreased testosterone and an increase of estrogen. The balance between Testosterone, Progesterone, and male Estrogen is the key to being healthy.
When the balance of progesterone in men is inadequate, it can result in what is known as “estrogen dominance,” a condition frequently associated with women, resulting in nervousness, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, prostate enlargement, higher risk of prostate cancer, and low libido. Progesterone in men prevents testosterone from becoming estrogen. Progesterone helps to counteract the effects of estrogen on the male body. Not only is progesterone found in males, but men rely on the alleged “female hormone” to preserve their masculinity. In fact, progesterone is a precursor to testosterone. As men age and testosterone begins to decline, estrogen levels steadily rise. As estrogen levels increase, progesterone levels plummet.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW PROGESTERONE IN MEN INCLUDE:
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Gynecomastia (“man-boobs”)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Impotence· Bone loss
- Muscle loss
In addition, men with low levels of progesterone have a higher risk of developing health conditions, such as osteoporosis, arthritis, prostatism, and prostate cancer.
PROGESTERONE AND PROSTATE HEALTH
As men age, testosterone and progesterone levels drop, and estrogen levels rise. As the term “andropause” has become pervasive in our culture, more and more men are supplementing with testosterone. Unfortunately, the benefits of replenishing lowered progesterone levels have been underestimated. Progesterone works to restore normal size to the prostate gland by inhibiting the effects of estrogen, which is a prostate ell proliferator.
Progesterone also inhibits 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to the more potent dihydrotestosterone. 5-alpha- reductase inhibitor drugs are commonly used in BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, and male pattern baldness. Finasteride inhibits the function of only one of the isoenzymes (type 2), while dutasteride inhibits both forms. Both drugs have serious side effects, unlike progesterone.
ESTROGEN IN MEN
The hormones testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen contribute to your body’s overall function. They need to be balanced in order for your sexual function and characteristics to work typically. If they’re not balanced, you may notice some unusual symptoms.
Estrogen is typically called the “female” hormone. Testosterone is called the “male” hormone. This isn’t entirely accurate as both are present in everyone’s bodies. But higher amounts of testosterone tend to be present in biologically male bodies. And higher amounts of estrogen tend to be present in biologically female bodies. Estrogen is key to the development of sexual functions and characteristics in women during adolescence and helps maintain that function throughout life. It’s similar for men. But a particular form of estrogen known as estradiol is especially crucial to male sexuality.
Testosterone is the most significant hormone to male sexual development and function. But estrogen needs to stay in balance with testosterone. to help control sex drive, the ability to have an erection, and the production of sperm. Estrogen in men is essential for modulating libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis.
Testosterone naturally decreases as men age, while estrogen increases. This isn’t much to be concerned about unless your estrogen levels are abnormally high. This can be a risk factor for conditions like diabetes and certain forms of cancer.
IS HIGH ESTROGEN BAD FOR MEN?
Although the male body needs estrogen to function correctly, too much estrogen can cause health problems. Increased levels of estrogen can cause symptoms such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, and depression.
ESTRADIOL AND THE BRAIN
In the nervous system, estradiol plays an important role in a wide range of neurological functions. To this end, estradiol is involved in fine motor control, learning, memory, sensitivity to pain, motor coordination, and protecting the brain against stroke damage and Alzheimer’s disease.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW ESTROGEN IN MEN
Some of the same symptoms of high estrogen can happen if you don’t have enough estrogen. This is because estrogen imbalances can result from hypogonadism, a condition that results in a lack of hormone production in your body. Hypogonadism can lower levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones, leading to many of the same symptoms of high estrogen levels.
CAUSES OF LOW ESTROGEN IN MEN
Low estrogen due to hypogonadism can have a number of possible causes, including:
- Autoimmune conditions like Addison’s disease or hypoparathyroidism
- Genetic disorders like Turner syndrome or Klinefelter syndrome
- Infections of the sexual organs, such as mumps
- Kidney or liver conditions
- Undescended testicles
- An overabundance of iron in your blood (hemochromatosis)
- Exposure to radiation
- Having surgery on your penis or testicles
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Conditions that affect the pituitary gland
- Rapid weight loss
- Not getting enough basic nutrients and vitamins
- Brain surgery
- Tumor growing on or close to your pituitary gland
Depending on what your symptoms are and which hormone(s) your body needs, your practitioner may choose to prescribe bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, DHEA, melatonin, or others as needed.
Bioidentical hormones mimic the affinity of human endogenous hormones; therefore they are effective on more biological pathways, at all levels. Because bioidentical hormones are an exact structural replica of endogenous hormones, side effects are rarely observed, and in the event you do experience side effects, talk with your doctor—the dosage may simply need to be adjusted. The added benefit of bioidentical hormones is that each dose is tailored specifically for your needs, not simply what doses the pharmaceutical company offers (as is the case with synthetic hormones.)
Your pharmacy may be able to provide you with an ingredient list for your specific medication.
You may be suffering from Testosterone deficiency if you have the following symptoms:
- Reduced sex drive, sexual dysfunction or erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes
- Muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone
- Weight gain (specifically in the abdomen)
LOW SEX DRIVE IN MEN:
• Low sex drive in men is most commonly linked to issues with sexual performance, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. However, men with a hormonal imbalance may also struggle with the desire to have sex.
• Low testosterone is frequently the diagnosis for sexual dysfunction in men. Testosterone plays a role in energy and weight management—two side factors important for sex drive. It also plays a strong role in sexual desire, stamina, arousal and performance.
• Erectile dysfunction, which commonly occurs in older men can be influenced by low testosterone. Erectile dysfunction (ED) that is not a result of low testosterone may be treated with a class of drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors. These drugs enhance blood flow to the penis, which leads to an erection. If this pathway is blocked, as a result of vascular impairment, it can be a sign of more serious diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke or complications with diabetes.
• Premature ejaculation is the most common form of sexual dysfunction in men and affects men of all ages for a variety of reasons. Ejaculation is regulated by neurotransmitters, hormones, prostate and erectile dysfunction. The cause of premature ejaculation (PE) may be an issue with one or some of these systems/conditions. For example, hyperthyroidism has been shown to contribute to PE and may be treated with anti-thyroid medications. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which act on the neurotransmitter, serotonin, can help men who are struggling with PE. Prostate issues and erectile dysfunction can also be contribute to the incidence of PE.
• Although low testosterone is the most commonly diagnosed factor for low libido and sexual dysfunction in men, it is not the only hormone to play a role. Men who are stressed, depressed or lack sleep may also show a disinterest in sex. These symptoms may be related to high cortisol, or adrenal fatigue, or an imbalance of the thyroid hormones that influence metabolism, energy and sleep.
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- Increased muscle mass
- Increased libido
- Reduced fat
- Improved sexual performance
- Has been shown to lower cholesterol levels
- Strengthened bones
- Minimized symptoms associated with diabetes
- Sharpened mind
- Improved mood
- Improved skin tone and elasticity
- Increased energy and stamina
• Men and women have reported increased aggressiveness, acne or irritability during the initial phases of testosterone hormone therapy, but these issues are generally resolved as levels become balanced.
⦁ Occasionally, hormone therapy patients will complain of itching or redness at the injection or insertion site, these symptoms diminish as the body adjusts to treatment.
It is always recommended that you communicate side effects to your physician to be promptly addressed.