A myriad of reasons exist why hormones change but what is not disputed is that as we age, Testosterone decreases and as women approach menopause, estradiol and progesterone decrease. A deficiency in these hormones can lead many signs and symptoms including:
- Weight gain
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased sex drive
- Pain with sex
- Increased visceral fat
- Insulin resistance
- Joint Pain
- Irregular sleep
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning skin
- Diminished exercise recovery
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) refers to hormones taken after menopause begins and is meant to replace the missing hormones no longer being produced. Hormone optimization, on the other hand, refers to taking hormones to optimize levels leading to improved well-being. For instance, the suggested normal range for male testosterone ranges from 300 – 1100 ng/dl. Consequently, the average physician may advise a male with a testosterone level of 301 ng/dl that he is within normal limits and no testosterone is needed. How do you think that person feels with testosterone level of 1100 ng/dl vs 301 ng/dl? Completely different! Hence, hormone optimization is intended to aim for physiologic levels that provide the best chance for feeling your best.
It is well known that menopause is that time when a woman’s ovary decreases estrogen production and follicles producing progesterone decrease. The estrogen withdrawal can produce symptoms that interfere with daily activities, sleep, and a healthy sex life. In males, testosterone production diminishes and has been coined by some to be andropause. Both menopause and andropause lead to a decrease in hormones that are believed to be protective and keep us feeling great. The age at which this occurs has changed over the years occurring earlier in life than previously. Why, you might ask? While the complete answer is unknown, it is believed to be related to the foods and beverages we ingest, chemicals in our water, and the medications we take.
Determining if you are a candidate or not begins with a history and physical by Dr. Christopher Newman and obtaining a panel of labs to assess current hormone levels and evaluate other important elements in wellness.
Hormones can be provided using a combination of pellets, pills, patches, or creams. The hormones are bioidentical the method administered will be discussed with Dr. Newman.
Dr. Christopher Newman is certified in Age Management Medicine which focuses on exercise physiology, nutritional optimization, and hormone optimization. The philosophical tenets of wellness medicine is not typically addressed in contemporary medical school teachings. Physicians wishing to treat patients in that regard need additional training to become competent in this area. As an Age Management Medicine certified physician, Dr. Christopher Newman is an expert in wellness medicine and will help you decided if hormones are appropriate for you.