Regardless of gender, hormones are essential to maintaining strength, alertness, and energy throughout your life. Hormones in women usually begin to diminish in their 30s, with stark effects experienced by the late 40s and depleted levels occurring in the mid-50s. As for men? They can feel a steady decline as early as their 30s and 50% will have symptomatically low hormone levels once reaching that age milestone of 50. Sooner than later is the key to keeping those vital hormones operating at full speed. As we age, our hormones decline, but it is the hormones decline that bring on the physical signs of aging. Let’s start thinking of aging as a disease caused by low levels of hormones.
Getting to the Root Cause of Hormone Deficiencies
Our hormones are what power us to be healthy and robust. When their potency diminishes, you may experience extreme exhaustion, muscle mass and strength depletion, sleep problems, shifts in moods or feelings, and your brain is less sharp. Your health will take a turn for the worse; muscle shrinkage and weakening happen, bones become less dense, and you get fat accumulation (especially around your midsection!). The best way to stay healthy is to ensure the hormones fueling our bodies don’t weaken.
Hormone deficiencies can be caused by various issues, like stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much alcohol. However, the most common reason hormones decline is that we age, and the glands that produce these hormones decrease in function and eventually stop producing hormones. The key is understanding your case and identifying the underlying problem or problems causing the deficiency. Once you know what’s happening inside your body, taking corrective action and bringing your hormones back up to optimal levels will be easier.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement (BHT) is a safe and successful measure for women. When administered correctly, and in equilibrium with one another, hormones – including estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA – our patients experience increased energy levels and strength, enhanced sexual desire, and improved mental acuity. According to Estrogen Matters by Carol Tavris – a social psychologist- an analysis of 30 clinical trials reveals that those who initiate hormone therapy before 60 have a 39% lower risk for death than non-hormonal users.
Hormone Deficiencies can affect many bodily functions and lead to various signs and symptoms. Common causes of hormone deficiencies include aging, genetic mutations, medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, surgical removal of glands that produce hormones, diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as stress. Identifying the underlying cause of a hormone deficiency is essential to treat it adequately and reduce the risk of further complications.
The Importance of Testing
In reality, there isn’t a single “normal” level of hormones that is ideal for everyone. Everyone’s body is distinctive, and the amount of hormone you require to function optimally varies by person. Factoring in all these components when interpreting hormone levels can be complex.
The Diseases Cause by Hormone Deficiencies
The sex hormones are responsible for building, whether it be muscle or bones. They are responsible for balancing the neurohormones in the brain, staving off depression and anxiety. Osteopenia, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, depression, anxiety, and aging are just some of the diseases brought on by a decline in our hormones.
That’s why it’s so beneficial to have certified professionals such as our physicians on board—they don’t just settle with generic statements like “It’s part and parcel with getting older” or “that reading looks great given your age,” or “your results are normal.” Instead, they work hard to recognize when your hormonal balance needs some readjustment based on what truly meets you best.
Our team of experienced medical professionals utilizes various testing methods, including blood, saliva, and urine tests, when necessary. The debate concerning the best method cannot be easily answered because each has its benefits and drawbacks. Nevertheless, with the help of our MDLifespan physicians, you can rest assured that your results are in competent hands.
Treatment of Hormone Deficiencies
Treatment of hormone deficiencies is based on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, supplements, and pharmaceuticals. The goal of treatment is to restore hormones to a healthy baseline level to improve overall health and wellness. When treating hormone deficiencies, we stand by the statement: “The Right Method, the Right Hormone, the Right You!
Patches and Creams and Pills
For men, the only effective way to receive testosterone is through injections or pellets. However, women do not need as much of this hormone and can benefit from taking creams or patches instead of pellets and injections.
This allows women to manage their hormone application daily – allowing women to increase the amount of hormones applied during highly stressful situations.
Both men and women can benefit from testosterone replacement therapy, including injections. With a single injection administered every 7-14 days, users experience an immense boost in their natural testosterone levels! For women, this manifests as increased strength and libido; improved muscle mass & bone density; lowered fat percentage; plus the ability to better manage stress.
For males who use injections for TRT, results include heightened sexual desire; enhanced erections; greater muscularity & skeletal integrity; accelerated burning of stubborn belly fat; not forgetting higher quality sleep overall. All these benefits make injected testosterone a powerful choice in hormone replacement therapy!
Pellets are a highly effective way to introduce hormones into your body, as they provide a steady and consistent dosage that helps avoid unpredictable fluctuations in mood. Utilizing pellets also eliminates frequent visits to doctors’ offices or pharmacies since it is administered by an experienced professional every 4-6 months. In addition, these tiny pellets mean no more needles for those who dread them! Pellets offer an effective and easy solution for individuals seeking hormone therapy – making life easier so you can focus on what matters most to you!
Regardless of gender, Hormone Replacement Therapy offers good enhancements to your body and mind. Not only will you gain improved strength in muscles and bones, but you will also enjoy a surge in libido. With an increase in vigor, the changes to mood and memory are quite notable, along with fewer fat deposits on your frame. Additionally, skin is left smoother and healthier due to these treatments.
For women facing hormone deficiencies, fascinating new research from the Women’s Health Initiative reveals that women who begin hormone therapy before turning sixty can reduce their risk of death by an astonishing 39%. Even more promising, studies suggest that bioidentical hormones like estradiol patches and micronized progesterone capsules could lower risk of cancer and osteoporosis.
Recent research has established that testosterone therapies have numerous positive effects on men’s health and well-being with no significant risk of cancer. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support depriving older adult males of receiving testosterone treatments. Furthermore, studies by Harvard urologist Dr. Abraham Morgentaler prove that these specialized treatments do not increase the chance of cardiac ailments or coronary disease; in fact, there are many advantages when treating cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes.
Regarding male and female hormone testing, our comprehensive method of Advanced Testing for Hormone Deficiencies are evaluated through the following testing methods:
Body Composition Scan
As we age, our body composition changes, and it's essential to understand what these changes are and how they can affect us. A body composition scan is one of the best ways to accurately picture your current body composition.
Aging can lead to catastrophic consequences, such as broken hips and legs. The most significant issue is that these situations could have been avoided had someone monitored bone density levels earlier. This would allow for early treatment, ultimately preventing further loss of bone mass, fractures, or other serious complications that may even result in death.
Throughout her life, a woman's hormonal fluctuations are greatly influenced by outside forces such as stress and infections, and genetics inherited from her mother. These can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in a woman's body due to inadequate production or excess amounts.
Hormone testing in men is essential in evaluating a man's general health. Whether you're a man of a certain age or have experienced symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, or lack of sex drive, hormone testing can help identify the root cause of your problem.
Replacing the hormones you lose as you get older is what MDLifespan does best! Our physicians have over two decades of experience treating men and women with Low T and menopause using bioidentical hormone therapy.
There are many therapies that our providers keep in their toolboxes. The critical thing to remember is that you — as a unique individual — may undergo a different treatment plan than someone else. Your provider will determine which therapy is right after thoroughly reviewing your test results.
Our comprehensive Solutions for Hormone Deficiencies:
Detox and Cleanse Therapy
Detoxification is an essential but often misunderstood and misconstrued process. Despite popular belief associated with trendy "detox" drinks that promise quick results without lasting impact, the real power behind detox stems from making small lifestyle changes to help your body flush out unnecessary toxins for improved health and well-being over time.
Amino acids in a long chain are called proteins. But amino acids in a short chain held together by “peptide” bonds are called peptides. Peptides work by activating various receptors throughout the body, causing the release of hormones that influence your health, body composition, and exercise performance and recovery.
As we age, it can become increasingly challenging to stay in shape. Our bodies start to shift, and we may find ourselves struggling more than ever before. Extra weight brings down your self-esteem and saps the energy out of you, not to mention that it has a detrimental effect on your sex life - even worse than smoking!
We value fact over opinion. Refer to our FAQs for the most commonly asked questions. We have listed the medical references which we have stated.
To review the articles and references cited on this topic of Hormone Deficiencies, click here
What is the Hormone Theory of Aging?
Your body and brain secrete and control the hormones that regulate many body processes, including metabolism, use of nutrients, excretion, and reproduction. As we age, these systems become less efficient, leading to changes in your body, such as menopause in women or low T in men. As we age, our hormones decline, but this very decline in our hormones makes us old.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are hormones derived from plants, such as soy or wild yams, and are designed to be structurally identical to the hormones produced naturally inside the human body. Additional ingredients in each prescription vary by hormone: testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc. and by form: creams, gels, pellets, pills, etc. Bioidentical hormones are custom-mixed formulas containing various hormones that are chemically identical to those naturally made by your body. These hormones can follow normal metabolic pathways, forming essential active metabolites in response to hormone replacement therapy.
When should I think about replacing/balancing hormones?
In general, your body’s natural hormones begin to decline after your mid-20s, and hormone imbalance symptoms frequently present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between 35 and 40. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, it is best to seek testing and treatment as soon as possible. Delays in addressing hormone imbalance can affect future health and quality of life.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy can cause breast cancer. Is this true?
The 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study of 163,000 over 7 years found that post-menopausal women taking combination (horse estrogens and synthetic progestin) hormone therapy for menopause symptoms had an increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and urinary incontinence. However, since that report, many of the findings have been revisited.
It turns out that the women who took only oral estrogen had less breast cancer than the women who took no hormones at all. Estrogen alone doesn’t cause cancer. But with the addition of synthetic progesterone — a known carcinogen — to the estrogen, those women did have an increased rate of breast cancer, but very slight: the difference between women who took estrogen and synthetic progesterone vs. those who didn’t was an increase of only 7 women out of 10,000 women per year.
A 2013 French study of 15,000 women over five years gave women a natural estradiol patch and natural progesterone. The study found that those women had 10% less breast cancer than women who took no hormones.
Will Bioidentical Hormone Therapy affect my weight?
Hormones are chemical messengers that cause the body to make changes affecting weight gain or loss. Changes in hormone levels also depend on lifestyle factors, affecting mood, metabolism, and energy levels. For example, when women become less active, there is often a gradual decline in testosterone. This hormone is known to boost metabolism and has the benefit of helping lower fat levels. Thus, a woman’s ideal weight is easier to achieve when testosterone is balanced.
Are there risks of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
The question should be, “What are the risks of NOT doing bio-identical hormone therapy?” If you do not use hormones to maintain your balance, you will age more quickly, have less energy, have symptoms of menopause or andropause, and increase your risk for disease like osteoporosis and neurogenerative changes. We monitor you closely, so your chances on BHRT are minimal.
Are bioidentical hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
Many people are under the misconception that bioidentical hormones are not FDA-approved. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant sources, such as soy and yams, which are approved by the FDA. Bioidentical hormones may be delivered in the form of creams, patches, pills, gels, injections, pellets, or vaginal rings. Bioidentical hormones are designed in a lab and shipped to a compounding pharmacy, where they are custom designed to fit the needs of each patient. Because each prescription is custom compounded for each patient, FDA approval and regulation are limited.
Why do men need testosterone replacement?
Testosterone is the hormone that maintains mental focus, energy, metabolism, bone and muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. As men age, the production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline, and many men experience symptoms of low testosterone. By balancing a man’s hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy, men can restore vitality and reduce the symptoms of low testosterone (also known as andropause).
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy safe? I’ve heard it can increase my risk of heart problems.
Study after study has shown that Testosterone Replacement Therapy is safe when dosed correctly and improves your heart’s health.
Just two examples:
A 2015 Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 patients found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated. But the correct dose is critical: Treating Low T but not restoring levels to normal doesn’t appear to impart many benefits, at least in terms of cardiovascular risk. Testosterone isn’t prescribed with the goal of improving heart health, but that is a consideration in many cases.
Can Testosterone Replacement increase my risk for prostate cancer?
Although many physicians have long believed that Testosterone Therapy can increase men’s risk for prostate cancer, that belief has been largely debunked by multiple studies such as those done by Harvard urologist Dr. Abraham Morgentaler. These studies showed that Testosterone does not increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer, or risk of recurrence and, indeed, can help with the quality of life. Other studies have backed up Dr. Morgentaler’s findings.
Will Testosterone cause my natural hormone production to decline?
If our staff recommends hormone therapy, your natural testosterone production is too low. If you go off your testosterone therapy program, your levels will likely return to where they were before you began treatment. Make sure to speak to our doctor about this issue if it concerns you.
Will I lose weight on Testosterone?
You will likely lose fat, but not necessarily lose weight, as your lean muscle increases and your body fat decreases. Adding a good diet and regular exercise is essential to the success of your therapy.
Is Testosterone the same thing as anabolic steroids?
Testosterone is an anabolic steroid, but testosterone replacement therapy is the therapeutic use of testosterone. Any drug can be misused and abused. Our physicians will only treat patients with testosterone deficiencies (andropause or hypogonadism). Suppose your blood tests do not demonstrate a deficiency in your testosterone levels. In that case, our physicians will likely check a 24-hour urine production of testosterone, as this method of testing for testosterone often reveals low testosterone, whereas blood tests do not. All our medications are FDA approved U.S. manufactured bioidentical hormones identical in structure to what your body already produces. If you qualify, you will only be prescribed therapeutic dosages intended to bring your hormone levels to an optimal level within the clinical reference range.
Why can’t men use patches, gels, or creams to get my testosterone?
Testosterone is very hard to absorb through the skin, which makes it challenging to get the amount of testosterone a man needs through a pill, cream, or patch. For a man to absorb the amount of testosterone he needs, the cream/gel must contain ten times the amount necessary — it’s hard to cross the skin barrier. Therefore 90% of the testosterone will remain on the skin, making it easier to transfer to kids, wives, or pets, which we don’t want.
Why use pellets for hormone therapy?
Pellets are the most effective, safest, and most convenient form of testosterone replacement. Testosterone pellets have been in use for more than 60 years. Unlike creams and gels applied to your skin, pellets have no risk of contaminating women, children, or pets. Pellets deliver more consistent testosterone levels. Over the long term, patients avoid the fluctuations seen with other hormone delivery methods. Testosterone pellets are virtually painless and have few side effects. Another option is self-injected testosterone. But men often complain about pain; the weekly injection frequency; difficulty traveling with testosterone and needles; and side effects.
How does pellet therapy work?
Each pellet — about the size of a small breath mint — contains only natural testosterone. During a quick and painless procedure, these pellets are implanted under the skin in the upper buttock area. The incision is so tiny that it can be closed with tape. Once implanted, pellets deliver a steady dose of testosterone. Because they dissolve slowly over four months, you avoid the ups and downs seen with therapies like weekly (and painful) testosterone injections. The effects last 4–6 months after treatment.