Male Menopause?

Even though there is more public talk about women and menopause, men also encounter a hormonal imbalance as they age (andropause). Because women tend to have a more abrupt hormonal change they are more likely than men to realize that their symptoms are from a hormonal imbalance. Men tend to have a more gradual change–with symptoms slowly appearing over 20 year period. Often the symptoms are not seen as a hormonal decline.

Andropause - Menopause For Men

Male menopause (called andropause) has many different symptoms. These symptoms come from a drop in Testosterone. These symptoms include depression, irritability, decreased morning erections, longer recovery time from workouts, stiffness and pain in joints and muscles, decreased concentration, decreased ability to build muscle, lowered mental acuity, loss of the competitive edge, overall loss of vitality, fatigue, sleep disturbances, etc. A man may still have a good libido (sex drive) but be suffering from a decrease in his Testosterone levels because he does not realize that Testosterone perfor.s many functions in the body. Testosterone is not just a “sex” hormone.

There are also strong associations between low Testosterone and bone loss (osteoporosis), dementia, type 2 diabetes, elevated LDL cholesterol, and arthritis. There is a lot of incorrect information about the negative side effects of Testosterone and when you research the studies you will find that when bio-identical Testosterone is prescribed and monitored by a hormone specialist, Testosterone is a benefit to the overall health and vitality of men and has not been shown to cause cancer or heart disease. Proper hormone balancing for men results in a man who feels great, thinks clearly, moves easier, and enjoys life better.

Testosterone And Thyroid

J.T., a 47 y/o lady, came into my office complaining of constipation, low energy, poor sleep, the inability to lose weight, and an overall decrease in vitality. She was even considering leaving her husband of 22 years. Luckily her friend told her to get her hormones checked and she was advised to see someone who specialized in bio-identical hormones and customized care. Her regular doctor had tried putting her on an antidepressant and told her to go exercise-she knew there had to be something else she could do.

Person with no energy

After evaluating her history extensively and her lab work, I found that her Thyroid was sub optimal, her Testosterone was non existent, her Progesterone was quite low, and she had some food allergies.

The medical system is broken and the choice is to complain about it, suffer silently within it, or realize that you must go outside of the system in order to achieve optimal health. To treat you to optimal levels requires special training, spending time getting to know you, and being willing to treat you–not just lab values. This simply can not be done under the current health insurance system.

J.T. fortunately realized this and sought help outside of her insurance plan. She is now able to function optimally. It took us a few months but she now sleeps well, has regular bowel movements, has great energy and is eating better and exercising regularly. She was able to rekindle her marriage by improving her own wellbeing by balancing her hormones and by going to couple’s counseling. Optimal health is an obtainable result!

Bio-Identical Hormones For Women

What to expect after a bio-identical hormone pellet insertion for women –

You will have had a local anesthetic before the bio-identical pellets are inserted. You will receive one to two bio-identical Testosterone pellets and possibly one bio-identical Estrogen pellet depending on your specific needs. The majority of women find that the actual pellet insertion is quite painless. You may feel a slight pressure at times but no sharp pain. The only possible discomfort during the procedure is when the local anesthetic is placed (it can sting a little).

Woman Stretching

It is important to ice the area where the pellet was inserted over the following 4 hours. It is best to place an ice pack on the area for about 10-15 minutes and then have a period of 20-30 minutes with no ice, then repeat. This will minimize any swelling and discomfort that you may have.

You must avoid immersing the area in water for 4 days. Showering is fine. No baths, pool, or hot tub use. You must also avoid heavy exercise for the next 4 days. Walking is fine. Any action that causes your buttocks muscles to contract strongly has the potential for pushing the pellets out. This is only a precaution for the first four days. After that time period you are free to do whatever you wish in regards to activity and water exposure.

You may have some tenderness in the area (buttocks area, above where pants pockets are) for a few days. Rarely some women feel a slight discomfort for up to two weeks. If you follow the instructions listed above this will decrease any discomfort. If you do experience tenderness it should not interfere with your daily activities.

The majority of women barely notice any discomfort after the procedure. You are able to go back to work after the procedure as long as you can follow the precautions given.

Testosterone and Estrogen perform many functions in the human body–they are not just there to help us feel better. It can take up to 3-4 weeks to feel the benefits of the pellets. If you feel no different by four weeks after the pellet insertion, it is important to get your hormone levels done so that we can assess your needs. Sometimes you need a booster bio-identical pellet insertion after your first insertion because your hormone stores were so low.

Each woman uses up their bio-identical pellets at a different rate. You will typically need a re-pellet at 3-5 months from the time of insertion. Get your re-pellet done at the first signs of your symptoms slightly recurring.

Communicate with the hormone specialist who inserted your pellets if you are unsure of what to do or if you have any questions. It is important for us to know how you are doing so that we may help you.

Menopause Or Wacky?

Sylvia (name has been changed for privacy) sat down in front of me and said “I am whacked”. “I feel like I am crazy–I fly off the handle at little things-it is so easy to get irritated. Also, I am not depressed but I just don’t have any joy or energy anymore. And I worry about little things. My regular doctor thinks I need an anti-depressant but I don’t think that is the answer. I never had these issues until I turned 46.”

Woman having an emotional migrane

I actually hear stories like this quite often from women age 35-55. This is the time in a woman’s life when her hormones really start to change. It is so sad that women are made to feel like they are in need of an anti depressant automatically. Many health care providers, and patients, fail to look at the possibility that a hormonal imbalance can be the cause of feeling “wacky”.

It is a common misconception that hormonal changes are only felt as hot flashes or night sweats. Your hormones (specifically Progesterone, Estrogen, and Testosterone) have so many more functions in your body than just preventing hot flashes or giving you a sex drive. These hormones perform hundreds of different functions in your body. One of those things is helping you to feel emotionally balanced and to have better energy and vitality.

In Sylvia’s case I found that she lacked Testosterone, Progesterone, and B-12. I gave her a bio-identical Progesterone capsule at night which helped to calm her and enhance her sleep quality. I also inserted a bio-identical Testosterone pellet which also helped her to balance her mood and gave her back her vitality. She was counseled to eat an organic whole food based diet and to eliminate gluten (gluten has been found to be a hormonal disrupter and she was found to be sensitive to it). She was also given methyl-B12 injections (B-12 is important for the proper functioning of hormones) and this also helped her energy.

Feeling emotionally out of balance can be caused by hormonal imbalances and Sylvia’s case shows this perfectly. Feeling “whacked” is a thing of the past and without the use of an antidepressant.

Optimizing Your Hormones

Hormonal balance means feeling great and being able to enjoy your life. It would be great if it were as simple as just taking bio-identical hormones. They help tremendously but they are not the complete answer.

No Energy - Low Thyroid

Think of your optimal health and well being as a circle and this circle has several pieces. Getting your Estrogen, Testosterone, Progesterone, Thyroid, and Cortisol balanced through the use of bio-identical hormones and proper supplementation is a piece of that circle. Optimizing that piece can give you more energy and focus which hopefully helps you to address the other pieces.

The other pieces to address are your nutrition, your stress, your toxin exposure, your sleep (often helped with hormone balancing), and your exercise. Focus on a whole food organic diet full of vegetables and healthy protein sources. Drink water and consume minimal, if any, alcohol and caffeine. Do yoga and breathing exercises–work on your response to stress. Develop good sleep habits and take time out daily to move your body and exercise.
These things will take time but are well worth it. I have seen the most amazing results when my patients utilize bio-identical hormones and take an active role in improving all of the pieces. Your life is worth it!!

Inflammation: The root of many diseases

There has been a lot of research done on the role of inflammation and diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia, cancers, autoimmune diseases, and heart disease. It is fascinating to realize that these different diseases seem to have something in common: inflammation. A person’s genetic predisposition “guides” the end result (I.e. final disease that you get) of the inflammation.

fibromyalgia relief in temecula

Inflammation is caused by many things: stress, excess sugar and grain intake, and chemical/toxin exposure. These are the most common causes that we currently know of. Where do you get these? When you consume processed foods you often get sugars, grains, and chemicals all in one setting. Our society has turned into a fast food, junk food, soda addicted society. These foods and drinks irritate your body and cause inflammation.

The bottom line for you to understand is that what you eat, drink, and are exposed to can cause inflammation. This can disrupt your hormones: causing your Cortisol, Thyroid, Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen, etc to be significantly out of balance. This inflammation can also lead to severe diseases such as Alzeimer’s dementia, cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, etc.

Regenerative medicine aka anti-aging medicine is about helping you to live optimally. Balancing your hormones is more than just giving you bio-identical hormones. Hormone replacement is a piece of the puzzle. You have the power to fix some of the other pieces by lifestyle adjustments. A regenerative medicine specialist helps you to do this.

Hormone Disrupters In Our Enviornment

I see men and women on a daily basis due to symptoms from their hormonal imbalance. I treat them with bio-identical hormones and this helps them tremendously. In addition, I help them to understand the things that they can do in order to maximize the effect of their treatment.

Horomonal Toxins

Your hormones work in your body on a very specific system–the hormones (chemical messengers) fit into specific receptors on cells throughout the body. Your body functioning optimally is dependent on specific chemical structures interacting with other specific chemical structures. There are many things in our environment that can disrupt this fine tuned system. They are what we call hormone disrupters–they get into your body and masquerade as hormones, thus disrupting your body’s hormonal balance. Basically they wreck havoc on your body’s communication system (hormones) and the end result is that you do not think right or feel right.

It is imperative that you are careful with what you put into your body and on your body. You have complete control over these things.

Eating certified organic produce and consuming organic meats are a good way to minimize your exposure to hormone disrupters. Pesticides are hormone disrupters that many people know about. But have you thought about the danger in consuming dairy/beef products from cows fed GMO corn and/or given growth hormones and antibiotics? Or chicken and turkeys fed GMO corn and given antiobiotics on a regular basis? Eating organic meats, eggs, and dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) involves ensuring that they are from animals that are raised “free range” (meaning that they eat what they naturally are supposed to eat) and not given growth hormones or antibiotics.

One thing that people do not often think about is their personal care products. Have you read the ingredients on your skin care? makeup? shaving cream? shampoo? sunscreen?? What you put onto your skin absorbs in about 26 seconds and can definitely disrupt your hormones. Be a smart consumer and know that whatever you put onto your skin should be safe enough to eat. Do your research and buy from companies that have your health in mind. We suggest taking a look at Radiantly You –

There is a large number of younger and younger patients requiring my services to balance their hormones. Our society is exposing children to an increasing number of hormone disrupters. This is a wake up call to us all—pay attention to what you are putting into and on your body. Minimize the onslaught to your delicate hormonal system. You can’t be perfect, but you can be better! Teach your children to do the same. Start their lives off right as you are improving yours.

Bio-identical vs Synthetic Hormones

To understand the difference you need to first understand that hormones are basically chemical structures. Each hormone has a unique chemical structure. Sometimes the different hormones only vary by a few minor chemical differences that end up resulting in a huge difference in results.

Happy Women

Each cell in your body has numerous different receptors. The cell responds in a specific way based on the receptor that is activated. It is similar to puzzle pieces that match perfectly together. The hormone binds to its specific receptor and starts a specific reaction.

Bio-identical hormones are biologically identical to what your body makes. This means that their chemical structure is exactly the same as what your body naturally makes. Synthetic hormones are made when hormones are manipulated slightly so that the hormone can be patented. Thus the chemical structure is slightly different. Unfortunately the medical community often looks at them as exactly the same, even though they are not. Remember, your body’s hormones and receptors work based on very specific chemical structures. Simple chemical changes may seem innocent but it can potentially result in minor and major side effects.

A good example of this is Progesterone (bio-identical) and Progestin (synthetic). These two hormones are treated interchangeably in medical literature. They both can help your periods be lighter and help PMS, however Progesterone has been shown to decrease breast cancer risk and Progestin has been shown to increase your risk. This is only one example of the difference between a bio-identical hormone and a synthetic hormone.

Those of us that understand hormones believe that it makes more sense to replace your hormones with something that is the exact same as what your body would naturally make. We put back your hormone puzzle with exact fitting puzzle pieces.

Testosterone – Not Just For Men

What is Testosterone? Testosterone is a hormone that has many functions in the body for both men and women. It does impact libido but it is involved in many more bodily functions. Both men and women require optimal levels of Testosterone in order to live optimally and prevent certain diseases.

male and female sign

Testosterone is important to have if you want to feel mentally balanced and think clearly. It is also useful for helping your body recover from workouts and heal injuries to ligaments, muscles, and bones. Enhancing your energy and overall vitality is also a function of Testosterone. Night sweats in women and sleep disorders in both men and women can be a sign of Testosterone deficiency. The list goes on…..

There was a recently released study warning people of the dangers of Testosterone replacement. However the study looked at synthetic Testosterone, not bio-identical Testosterone, and the overall study had several other flaws. Over the years bio-identical Testosterone (administered by a physician who specializes in bio-identical hormones) has been shown to be safe and offers you the ability to live optimally.

Memory and Hormones

Losing your memory in your forties and fifties……

finger with reminder string

Do you ever feel forgetful?? Do you seem to have a brain fog? Are you feeling like you may be getting Alzheimer’s disease but you are under sixy years old??

Do not stress!! Memory issues are not necessarily the sign of dementia. Of course you want to have your doctor do a mini mental status exam on you which takes about 5 minutes in the office. If your doctor tells you everything is fine but you know that it is not, then it is time to look at hormones as the cause.

A hormonal imbalance of Estrogen, Testosterone, and Progesterone can affect many things including your memory. These hormones affect both men and women. It is amazing how much these hormones can affect your day to day functioning, including memory and overall brain function. If you are over the age of 35 and feel that your brain function is not as good as it should be, then you must seek the advice of a medical provider specially trained in bio-identical hormones if you want the right treatment.

Optimizing your hormones is not something that traditional doctors are trained to do. Proper hormone optimization takes time and special training. The good news is that when you get to the correct bio-identical hormone specialist, you will be able to regain your brain function and feel better in a lot of different ways.