Hormone Deficiency

J.M. is a 55 year old fireman and over the past few years he had noticed that he could not run in and out of buildings like he used to. He found himself getting irritated more easily and felt like he had passed his peak. Even though he was working out he had a difficult time building muscle. He even noticed a little muscle loss and a hard time losing fat.

J.M. had seen his regular doctor and was told that his labwork was normal and that he was just getting older. Luckily he did not accept that as fact and sought out help. His hormone labwork was definitely not optimal. Normal ranges at the labs are determined by testing a part of the population and then coming up with the average numbers. But what happens when the people they are testing are out of balance hormonally? In modern society the average person does have a hormonal imbalance and this results in the “normal” lab values being incorrect.

Couple Holding each Other

Your hormone lab values may be interpreted as “normal” when in actuality they are low–the imbalance is missed simply because the “normal” lab values are incorrect. The medical profession gets pressured from many angles and most doctors are hesitant to look outside the “normal” values. They tend to accept the “normal” lab values without question. They forget to really look at the person and see that there is a hormonal imbalance. They are simply not questioning the validity of the “normal” values. This is not their fault–due to the nature of insurances they do not have the luxury of time to treat “outside the box”.

Hormonal imbalances exhibit specific symptoms and it takes time to get to know the patient and determine what he/she requires to achieve and maintain proper balance. Lab work is just a piece of information and it needs to be interpreted looking at optimal values, not the “normal” values. Optimal lab values are the values we see in people who are functioning at a high level and feel great. Unfortunately these values can be flagged as “abnormal” on lab results. This can scare the uninformed. “Abnormal” is often optimal. Look around you at the general population’s health. This is a sad truth.

The goal of proper hormone balancing is to get rid of your symptoms and prevent future medical issues like dementia, heart disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, etc. This is only possible by taking the time and investing in yourself by seeking the help of a specially trained hormone specialist.

J.M. was found to have a significant Testosterone deficiency. We also found a B12 deficiency and slight thyroid imbalance. Once these deficiencies were corrected he regained his vitality. He has been carrying the fire hose and climbing ladders better than the guys younger than him. His workouts are creating a muscle gain and fat loss. J.M has the energy to enjoy his free time and is now really living his life.

Healthy Foods

This is the 21st century and you now have easier access to information. You may be feeling fine or you may be having some health concerns and either way you realize that our bodies require proper nutrition in order to function optimally. A healthy whole food diet full of organic produce and protein is a great start. Unfortunately, the nutrition content of our food supply has deteriorated due to many factors. In today’s world we can no longer rely only on the food we eat to achieve optimal health–supplementation is required to augment the food we eat.

Organic Foods

Sadly the majority of people are confused on what to take or whether to take supplements due to the misinformation about supplements in the news. All supplements are not equal. When taking a supplement it is important to get one of a high quality. High quality supplements are proven to help your hormones work better, enhance your energy, help you think better, and overall improve your health.

There a few companies out there who take great care to research each ingredient, ensuring that it is provided to you in the right form and is properly absorbed by your body. They also do not put gluten, lactose, or other unnecessary ingredients in their supplements. For those who enjoy simple supplement shopping you will find high quality supplements sold at our office–we purchase high quality well researched supplements from companies that only sell to doctors. If you are someone who enjoys researching supplements you may go to a local store that provides organic supplements or search carefully online.

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Proper Sleep

Sleep is extremely important for your health and vitality. Proper sleep is impossible to achieve unless your hormones are balanced. Low Estrogen, Testosterone, and/or Progesterone can all cause poor sleep.

Once those hormones are balanced some people still suffer from poor sleep. Often they have high cortisol. In today’s world everyone is bombarded by stressful things and even if you think you are handling them, they cause high cortisol and can affect your sleep.

Woman Sleeping

In order to reduce your cortisol unplug from the world whenever you can. Turn off your phone and computer whenever possible, and definitely within 2 to 3 hours of bedtime. Avoid watching news, staying informed in less dramatic ways. Take a yoga class, try deep breathing exercises, or try meditation. Epsom salt baths are a great inexpensive thing to treat yourself with. The float experience in Temecula is a fabulous treat.

You must set up your bedroom to encourage sleep. Put black tape over any lights. Ensure that your bedroom is dark and at a comfortable temperature. Go to bed at a reasonable time and allow for 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

You can also try melatonin and chelated magnesium before bed. These are calming and help induce sleep. If your mind is still busy try hypnotherapy or counseling.

If you are not sleeping well, get your hormones evaluated and balanced while working on the above recommendations. You will start sleeping soundly.

Early Signs Of Fading Hormones

On a weekly basis I have patients saying “I wish that I had come in to see you sooner”. Often they did not recognize the early signs of hormone deficiencies. If they did recognize the signs, they have usually attempted to get answers by utilizing their insurance and seeing their regular doctor. Either way, they have suffered longer than they had to and are happy that they now feel better.

Man sitting on question mark

Men and women both suffer from hormonal imbalances at around 30 to 50 years old due to many reasons: hormone disrupting chemicals (in products we use on ourselves and our house, in our food, in our water), stress, poor overall diet, poor sleep, etc. We age poorly when our hormones decline. Signs of hormonal decline are irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor muscle tone, inability to lose weight, increased aches/pain, brain fog, decreased memory, decreased vitality, etc. Men may get a decrease in morning erections and women may get hot flashes and/or night sweats. There are a lot of symptoms of hormone imbalance that get ignored because they often come on gradually.

It is not normal aging for you to feel “old”. When you optimize your Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen, Thyroid, and Growth hormone it enables you to live your life fully and do the things that you enjoy doing. Replacing your missing hormones with bio-identical hormones is a piece of the wellness puzzle. The first step is recognizing that you may have a hormonal imbalance and not waiting to get it evaluated. The second step is realizing that health insurance is focused on disease and not wellness. In order to have proper treatment you must seek the care of a physician specially trained in hormone balancing. This is customized care that is not covered by insurance. Put your health and well being first and don’t be a person who regrets waiting.

Small Steps – Big Changes

As you are sitting or standing there reading this, thoughts are going through your mind and you are starting to realize that there are things in your health that you wish to improve or change. And if you made this shift in your health you would feel better and have a more positive life. And, as you realize this, you also realize that often fear is the reason that you have not made this shift.

footprints in the sand

There are many fears that you may have: the fear of failure, the fear of who you would be if you did change, the fear of being ridiculed, or some other fear. No matter what your fear is, it stems from an internal dialogue. We all have a voice inside our head that talks to us. It is this voice that says you can’t do this, you will fail so don’t even start, or it says something else that hinders your progress.

If you wish to become healthier it involves hormone balancing, a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, the right supplements, and minimizing toxin exposure. It also involves turning that little voice inside you to a more positive and helpful voice. It is the slight shifts in you that cause the huge results later on. If you know what to do to get started, then do it. If you don’t know what to do or need assistance with this in another way; ask for help.

When do I stop taking bioidentical hormones??

This question comes up every now and then, and it is a great question. First of all, realize that taking bio-identical hormones has become a necessary thing because we live in a world full of toxins and chronic stress that disrupt our endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of the different glands that produce hormones as well as the multitude of hormones that are produced.

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are simply chemical messengers that allow our different cells to communicate with each other. Hormones attach to the different cells through highly specific receptors and create a reaction in that cell that is specific for that hormone. Certain toxins can unfortunately mimic some of our hormones and disrupt our hormonal balance. These toxins come in the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we put on our skin, the household cleaning agents we use, etc. It is almost impossible to escape being exposed to them.

When you realize that stress also affects our hormone imbalance and you combine that with the numerous toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, it is easy to see why we require bio-identical hormones in order to balance out the equation. Minimizing toxin exposure, dealing adequately with stress, and taking properly prescribed bioidentical hormones is the best way we know of at this time to live a vital life as long as possible.

The answer to the question stated above is “why would you want to stop taking them and deteriorate slowly over time. Do you stop exercising when you achieve good physical health.??”. Taking bioidentical hormones (Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Thyroid) is an important piece of the Optimal Health puzzle in this crazy, toxic world that we live in.

Declining Hormones

Imagine moving around and being able to do the things that you love to do. Perhaps you are already feeling vital and strong, but perhaps you are like the majority of people out there who yearn for a body that serves them better. Are you feeling tired, achy, moody, flabby or just feel that you have passed your peak?? Men and women both can feel this way and it is not the way that you have to age. Having a slow decline in your health is not your destiny—you can live with vitality and when it is your time to go, leave this earth quickly and not after a slow deterioration over 30, or more years.

With modern sanitation, medicine, and an abundance of food we are living longer lives. Unfortunately with longer lives we are seeing a marked increase in the number of chronic illnesses and the number of years that an individual is alive but is in a deteriorating state. We can not avoid dying but we can shorten the dying process and increase the number of years that we live feeling younger. If you are all about the quality of life then continue reading.

Declining hormones, along with poor lifestyle choices, are largely responsible for the slow deterioration that we are seeing all around us. The good news is that we have the capability to prevent this slow deterioration, and even reverse some of it . This gives us the ability to live long AND vital lives, not just long lives.

Happy Couple

Decreased levels of Testosterone, Thyroid, Estrogen (women only), Progesterone, and Growth Hormone are often experienced for years before a person seeks medical attention. The decline can be subtle, especially for men, and is often misdiagnosed as depression, anxiety, the normal aging process, or simply that nothing is wrong with the person. The problem lies in the fact that the majority of doctors are not specially trained in detecting hormone imbalances as they are taught to look at normal values and they are not allowed the proper time to get to know you and your unique needs. Let’s face it–you do not want to be average, you want to be above average, right?? The “normal” values do not represent optimal.

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Testosterone pellets

Men and women are both in need of Testosterone, just in varying amounts. Testosterone is critical for ensuring that you have vitality, are able to heal, can sleep soundly, have mental focus and it helps to stabilize your mood. It is not just about libido, or sex drive.

Hormone Pellets

Bioidentical Testosterone pellets are an effective way to get a daily dose of Testosterone. (In women we can also add bioidentical Estrogen pellets if needed). The pellets are easily inserted into the fatty tissue in the upper outer part of your buttocks as a simple outpatient procedure. The pellets secrete a low dose of Testosterone into your blood stream on a regular basis and secretes more when your heart rate and blood flow goes up. It is the most physiologic way to receive bioidentical Testosterone replacement.

It may take a few weeks after your first pellet insertion to visibly notice a difference. Testosterone performs a multitude of bodily functions, many of these are undetectable to you. Men typically require repeat pellets at about 4 to 5 months, with a maximum of 6 months and occasionally needing them at 3 months. Women typically require repeat pellets at 3 to 4 months, with a maximum of 6 months.

In return for a few simple procedures a year you can think more clearly, have less pain, feel happier, and overall live with more vitality. Bioidentical hormone pellets are one option for you to consider when optimizing your hormones.

Testosterone is not just for men!

I see many different types of women for hormonal issues and occasionally they have actually started bio-identical hormones but still did not feel optimal. It is extremely rare for them to have been put on Testosterone, and if they were it is usually a suboptimal dosing. This shows that there is a lot of misunderstanding about Testosterone –both with patients and with prescribing doctors.

Testosterone in woman

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both men and women. Obviously men have a higher amount in their blood than women, but it is still an important hormone for women to have. Many people think that it is only a hormone for sex drive and nothing could be further from the truth!! Testosterone is responsible for helping you heal, enhancing your mood, improving your focus and memory, helping your sleep, and giving you overall vitality. It has a few hundred functions in the body and without optimal Testosterone levels you will simply not feel like yourself.

Replacing your Testosterone with a bio-identical replacement hormone is a big part of regaining your vitality. Eating a healthy low sugar whole food diet, minimizing your toxin exposures, reducing your stress, and taking bio-identical hormones all work together to ensure that you live longer feeling young and vital. If you are feeling tired, depressed, have aches and pains, can’t sleep well, have brain fog, or feel less than vital; you will want to get your Testosterone and other hormones checked by a hormone specialist.

Men-O-Pause

Hi Dr. Blanscet,

Thank you for the great information on the hormonal changes that women go through as we age. I was wondering if guys go through something similar. I always tease my husband that he is going through “Man-o-pause.” Is there such a thing?
-Heather V.


Indeed there is! Andropause is the medical term for the decline in hormones that occurs as men age. Testosterone is the main hormone that declines in men, although I also look at other hormones. Testosterone has many roles in the body. Not only is it key for drive and stamina, it is essential for many other functions in the body. Testosterone plays a role in bone density, muscle mass, and red blood cell levels, among other things.

Couple Holding each Other

Men make up a large percentage of the patients who seek out hormone therapy. They are often referred by their wives or have heard about hormone treatment from some of their guy friends. The symptoms men may experience include: decreased energy, more aches and pains, changes in mood, trouble concentrating, issues with erections and/or libido, increased body fat, poor muscle tone, slower recovery after workouts, sleep issues, and they may generally feel like they’ve passed their peak. You may hear him complain that he’s “getting old.” A man with low testosterone may not necessarily experience any change to his sex drive, but other symptoms will be evident.

Men’s hormones drop more gradually than ours do so it can often be overlooked. Generally testosterone will decline slowly starting in the thirties. Our toxic environment seems to be accelerating this decline. Remember that testing in a “normal” range for testosterone is not the same as testing at an “optimal” level, so doctors without special training in hormones may not recognize a problem. The trouble is that “normal” is based on a population that is overweight, fatigued, and stressed; basically a population that is not feeling optimal. Often everyone gets caught up in the facade of staying within the arbitrary “normal values” that the whole person is forgotten. Before you assume that the man in your life is doomed to suffer because his lab work is “normal”, trust your gut feelings that something is not right and have his hormones evaluated by a physician who is trained to get him to optimal lab values and functioning.

The great news it that when done correctly it is perfectly safe for men to have Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Men on optimal HRT report feeling at their prime again. Improvements in motivation, mood, memory, energy, sleep, libido, and even their physical appearance have many men loving life again! There are several ways to restore hormone balance in men including bioidentical pellets, creams, or injections. Each man is different and needs a personalized HRT program that addresses his unique needs.

Do not rely on your insurance to pay for optimal wellness–if you want to feel balanced it is in your hands. For the men and women out there: if you are experiencing the decline in your health and the drop in vitality that comes with a decrease in hormones, act now and stop suffering. Schedule a consultation with a hormone specialist!