Bioidentical Hormones For Men with Andropause
Andropause arrives in a man’s life when there is a drastic drop in hormone levels, and during this time, testosterone is the hormone that tends to decrease the most. While testosterone drops significantly with aging, men at any age can experience a testosterone deficiency. When testosterone levels fall, the condition may also be referred to as hypogonadism, and this decline can cause diminishing energy, reduced libido, decreased muscle mass, abdominal weight gain, depression, reduced cognitive function, and an increased risk of heart disease.
What is Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Ft. Lauderdale Bioidentical Testosterone Therapy programs can be individualized to fit a man’s lifestyle based on hormone levels and other factors. It is important for the dosage to suit the needs of each individual, and because no two people are alike, hormone requirements differ from person to person. A biologically identical hormone replacement therapy program that includes testosterone actually helps address the causes of health issues and not just the side effects, while offering a combination of additional long-term benefits.
Are there any side effects?
Before testosterone replacement therapy is initiated, basic blood tests are drawn including, PSA, which is a prostate specific antigen test for prostate cancers, and free and total testosterone and estradiol levels. All drugs taken in non-physiological doses have the potential to present adverse side effects.
Testosterone dosage forms include sublingual tablets, topical gels and creams, pellet implants, and injections. Once a man has begun a program that fits his lifestyle, Dr. Gershenbaum will work closely with him to make sure his Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy program is working correctly for him, and he will adjust the dosage if necessary.
Some of the symptoms of a testosterone deficiency can include:
- Thinning Hair
- Insulin Resistance
- Acne or Oily Skin
- Bone Less
- High Cholesterol
- Heart Palpitations
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Prostate Issues
- Increased Abdominal Fat
- Increased Urinary Urgency
- Reduced Flexibility
- Sleep Disturbances
- Foggy Thinking
- Low Libido
- Anxiety, Nervousness, Aggression, or Irritability
- Muscle Atrophy
- Fatigue or Exhaust
- High Triglycerides
As men grow older, levels of free testosterone decrease and estrogen levels increase. In fact, the average 60 year-old male has more estrogen circulating in his blood stream than the average 60 year-old female. As if the decline in his testosterone levels were not problematic enough, new research has shown that even small increases in estrogen may have detrimental effects on men’s cardiovascular health.
Low Testosterone and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is the name of a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, and Type II Diabetes. The American Heart Association states that metabolic syndrome can be identified by the presence of three or more of these components:
- Elevated Blood Pressure greater than 130/85
- Elevated Waist Circumference of over 35 for women and 40 for men
- High Fasting Triglycerides of over 150
- Lower HDL, which is healthy cholesterol
- High Fasting Glucose Levels of over 100
Other Associated Conditions May Include:
- Pro-thrombic State, which is an increased risk of blood clots
- Pro-inflammatory State, which is an elevated C-Reactive Protein in the blood
Individuals associated with three or more of these conditions are at an increased risk for plaque build up in artery walls, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other medical conditions.
Combining these conditions with stress, aging, physical inactivity, smoking, and a genetic predisposition for heart disease or strokes can greatly increase the chances for illness. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can drastically reduce the chances for developing metabolic syndrome and other age related illnesses.
With decreasing testosterone levels, muscles decrease the uptake of glucose. Insulin levels are increased in order to assist this glucose uptake, and because of this, the body struggles to maintain normal levels of glucose and insulin. The body may become insulin resistant. The excess glucose does not get utilized properly, which leads to elevated triglyceride levels, increased abdominal fat, and plaque formation around the arteries. An individual that has become testosterone deficient is now at an increased risk for developing hypertension, lipid disorders, type II Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, strokes, and other serious medical conditions. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy reduces the risks of developing all of these conditions by normalizing testosterone levels and thus stabilizing glucose metabolism, which can also make a man less prone to improper weight gain.