Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Men who pursue bio-identical hormone therapy to treat hormonal imbalance may experience significant benefits, including more energy, mental clarity, increased muscle mass and strength, weight loss and improved sexual function.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Men
Testosterone production reaches a peak around late teen years, levels off in the 20’s and start slowly decreasing after 30. Hormone imbalance in men can occur at any point in the life cycle, but it is most commonly experienced around middle age when testosterone levels reach a peak point of decline. Though men can experience an imbalance of any number of hormones, low testosterone has the biggest impact on a man’s health and quality of life. Symptoms of hormone balance generally begin to occur with greater frequency and intensity when a man reaches middle age. This stage is often referred to as andropause, or “the male menopause.” Younger patients can experience sometimes a similar decline in testosterone levels. Use of no prescribed, and consequently no monitored testosterone levels for body building can cause a shutdown of the body self-regulatory mechanism that stimulates testosterone production. The long-term use of opioids also affects this self-regulatory system.
Symptoms of hormone imbalance in men or andropause may include:
Men who are experiencing one or more of these symptoms should consider advanced laboratory testing to assess their hormone levels. Many men dismiss the symptoms as side effects of stress, but in most cases it is low testosterone. Low testosterone can affect a man’s quality of life and be a danger to his health. Seeking treatment is the best first step to begin feeling better and improving overall health. Plus, studies have found that adequate testosterone levels are linked to reduced risk of certain diseases.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for Men?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has become the preferred treatment for men seeking to restore hormone levels to a balanced state and stop the symptoms of aging. Bioidentical hormones are one form of hormone therapy that has gained popularity in recent decades—though it dates to the 1930s—because of its effectiveness in helping men and women achieve hormonal balance. In man the most common hormones used are testosterone, HCG and DHEA. Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are occasionally needed.
Bioidentical hormones are compounded hormones derived from naturally occurring sources and designed to be structurally indistinguishable from endogenous human hormones. The term “bioidentical” refers to the exact-match replication that can be credited for the reduced number of side effects and risks patients experience, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.
Bioidentical hormones are created in a lab and compounded into tailored prescriptions at a compounding pharmacy. Compounding pharmacies operate under specified guidelines established by the FDA to compound bioidentical hormones in the exact strength and dosage as prescribed by the attending practitioner. In most cases, bioidentical hormones cannot be patented and made into mass prescription forms by large pharmaceutical companies.
Doses are carefully determined by Dr Gargiulo after meeting with you to review and discuss your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle and lab results. This information ensures that your treatment plan and prescriptions perfectly suited to the needs of your body and the health goals you wish to achieve.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for men suffering from symptoms of hormone imbalance. Men have reported vast benefits from bioidentical testosterone therapy and fewer side effects than with synthetic hormones. There are several hormone replacement therapy options available to meet the medical needs, health goals and lifestyles of most men, including pellets, patches, creams, pills and injections. The delivery method selected is largely dependent on the design of the treatment plan and personal preferences.
Why Should Men Use Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
There are plenty of reasons men should consider choosing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to restore hormonal balance. Research has shown that bioidentical hormone therapy is both safe and effective, not to mention it has a very positive effect on the health of men.
For example, men who restore testosterone to natural levels using testosterone replacement therapy have been shown to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. Adequate levels of testosterone have also been linked to higher energy levels and healthy weight control. One study found that men treated with testosterone therapy experienced a reduction in fat mass and increases in muscle mass and strength. Other benefits of hormone therapy for men include enhanced sexual desire and performance, better bone density with aging and improved spatial performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Side Effects and Research on Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical hormone therapy reduces the risk of side effects compared to other forms of hormone therapy. Though no drug, herb or supplement is 100 percent safe or recommended for every individual, bioidentical hormone therapy has comparatively fewer side effects and health risks than synthetic hormones.
Testosterone replacement therapy does come with a few side effects that men should be aware of, however, working with a highly trained and expert physician specializing in hormone therapy, your therapy will be carefully managed to reduce or eliminate potential side effects.
Common side effects of testosterone therapy usually can be prevented or treated (except for the possibility of low sperm count) include:
Men who have been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer must seek approval with their primary care physician before pursuing hormone therapy, particularly testosterone therapy.
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