Human Growth Hormone: Not Just Living Longer, But Living Better

Mike CarragherAnti-Aging, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone that has many critical physiologic functions in the human body. It has been the hormone associated with being the “fountain of youth” and sought out to provide “anti-aging” effects. While it does reduce the physical signs and symptoms of aging, it also reduces the risk of developing the most common diseases associated with aging.

As we age, many of your key hormone levels decline, and you start seeing and feeling the effects of this. This can happen as early as your late twenties or early thirties. Lack of adequate Growth Hormone in adults can result in a whole slew of symptoms, not just physical, but mental and emotional as well.

Many of the common complaints are:

  • Fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Declining results at the gym (despite eating “clean” and exercising regularly
  • Decreased stamina, strength, or exercise tolerance
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Emotional symptoms (moodiness, grumpiness, anxiety, depression)
  • Thin/crepey/dry/sagging skin
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased vitality
  • Decreased sense of well being
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory issues

What Exactly is Human Growth Hormone and What Does It Do?

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain that stimulates cell reproduction and cell regeneration and has been seriously studied since the 1950s.

In children, it is necessary for normal growth and development. In adults, HGH is necessary to maintain many important physiologic functions, including cardiovascular function, the proper amounts of body fat, muscle, and bone, as well as maintain cognitive function.

Human Growth Hormone deficiency in children results in short stature and delayed physical development as well as other metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.

In adults, inadequate HGH production is called Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). AGHD is recognized as a metabolic syndrome. Some of its resulting problems are an unhealthy body composition and cholesterol profile, as well as decreased exercise capacity.

This results in an increase in the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease. Low bone density and decreased muscle strength are also seen in AGHD. This can result in osteoporosis and frailty. The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism notes that when combined with lifestyle modifications, Growth Hormone replacement reduces weight and fat mass while preserving lean body mass.

There are several studies that have shown Human Growth Hormone plays a crucial role in a person’s mental and emotional well being. Adults with AGHD have higher rates of depression and treatment of this deficiency results in an improved energy level, sense of well being, vitality, and quality of life.

How Do I Know If I Have a Deficiency in Human Growth Hormone?

Human Growth Hormone can’t be measured directly, but when secreted, HGH travels through the blood to the liver where it is converted to its active form, a protein called IGF-1. IGF-1 can be measured and is a reliable marker of how much HGH our body is secreting. HGH deficiency can also be recognized as a subset of symptoms like those mentioned earlier.

Your numbers may be considered “normal” according to your local lab, but they may not be “optimal.” Optimal is when you feel and function the best. It’s important to see an Age Management and Hormonal Optimization physician to look at both of these markers (numbers and symptoms) together to see if replacement would be beneficial for you.

How Do I Raise My Human Growth Hormone Levels?

SLEEP. Nearly fifty percent of HGH secretion occurs during the third and fourth REM sleep stages. Sleep deprivation and not reaching these deeper levels of sleep suppresses HGH release.

GET MOVING. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT training) is a natural physiological stimulator of HGH release. Incorporating this into your exercise routine will help boost your levels naturally.

NUTRITION. Proper nutrition not only enhances your natural HGH production, but it also promotes a healthier metabolic profile. Protein (especially animal-derived protein) provides important essential amino acids known to increase natural Growth Hormone secretion. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, sugary cereal, cookies, soda, potato chips), as these spike insulin levels, which results in decreasing your body’s ability to use HGH.

Proper TIMING of eating plays a key role in optimizing HGH levels. Avoid eating two hours before going to bed, as this will cause an untimely insulin spike during the time HGH should be maximally secreted. Instead of the traditional three meals a day, eat smaller meals throughout the day (approximately every three hours) to avoid insulin spikes. Avoid high sugar foods and drinks after exercise because it will interfere with the natural release on HGH that exercise causes.

SUPPLEMENTATION. Nutritional supplements such as Glycine (500 mg nightly), L-Arginine (2 grams three times a day), Glutamine (2,000 mg a day), Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU a day), Niacin (1,500-3,000 mg a day) have all shown to raise Human Growth Hormone levels. However, you cannot achieve optimal levels with these alone.

MEDICATIONS. The surest way to increase the amount of HGH in your body is by having a physician prescribe HGH and monitor your progress. There are a couple of different classes of medications that do this:

  1. HGH can be administered directly, with a nightly injection just under the skin using a tiny needle.
  2. Secretagogues/Growth Hormone Analogs are medications that stimulate your body’s own production of HGH and are also administered with a nightly injection or with a small tab that dissolves under the tongue.

If you think you would benefit from HGH or suspect a deficiency, get an evaluation with a physician who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Optimization. It can make a profound difference in your quality of life and help you regain your vitality and retain your youthfulness.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Is It A Mid-life Crisis? Or Is It Male Hormonal Decline?

Mike CarragherHormone Replacement Therapy, Libido, loss of energy, low energy, low libido, low sex drive, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

When we talk about middle age as a society, it’s generally accepted that women hit menopause and that men might have a mid-life crisis. But what if men are not just having some kind of breakdown where they question their past choices and their future? What if these men are having their own form of menopause?

It’s time to talk more about male “menopause” and the symptoms men could experience from it, including difficult emotional symptoms. Men are often expected to bottle their emotions, so emotional changes could be particularly hard for them to navigate.

Plus, women are used to dealing with hormonal changes throughout their lives, but men may not be as equipped to do so. Let’s address male “menopause” – what it is, what the symptoms are and how to navigate it.

What Is Male “Menopause”?

Male “menopause” – or Andropause as it is more accurately called – is not quite the same as it is for women, aside from the obvious differences. That’s because all women with normal functioning go through a sudden and significant reduction of sex hormones, whereas not all men experience symptoms of andropause.

Also, women’s reproductive function ends with menopause, whereas men can continue to produce sperm. Some refer to andropause as testosterone deficiency syndrome, but this is not completely accurate since testosterone is not the only hormone that is deficient. It is often thyroid hormone, human growth hormone, DHEA, and other key hormones that contribute to the symptoms of andropause.

Nonetheless, andropause is similar to female menopause because they both affect sex hormones. In men, andropause can happen at any age, but generally beginning as early as a man’s early 30s, when the levels of testosterone, growth hormone, thyroid hormone or others decrease. Men have a more gradual reduction in hormone levels compared to women’s quick decline during menopause.

Andropause can begin in some men in their early 30s. Often called testosterone deficiency syndrome, the symptoms of Andropause include brain fog, fatigue, inability to lose weight, and difficulty getting or keeping an erection.

Mental Health Symptoms of Andropause

If you’ve heard of this problem, you’ve probably heard of the physical and sexual symptoms like reduced energy levels, increased body fat and reduced muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction. Of course, these are serious and difficult aspects of andropause. Yet there are other symptoms that men don’t generally want to talk about. These are the emotional symptoms of andropause.

First of all, it would be normal for a man to react emotionally to the physical and sexual changes he goes through. For instance, it can be difficult to have trouble getting and staying hard and to have a reduction in the quality and amount of ejaculate.

Yet at the same time, he could experience sadness, depression, and trouble concentrating. He might lose his mental edge, finding it hard to remember names and information. It might become harder for him to keep up with the younger men at work. On top of having trouble performing sexually, he might have less interest in sex, to begin with. He could feel less motivated and have less self-confidence.

How Can Andropause Be Treated?

Men are not usually encouraged to talk about their feelings and emotions they’re experiencing. Yet it doesn’t help to ignore them. When a man’s testosterone goes down, he can have trouble handling changing emotions. It’s worth addressing the problem when it’s getting in the way of your health, happiness, and productivity.

And doctors are used to hearing about it. While you might not want to say anything, it’s likely that some of your friends and colleagues are going through the same thing. After all, statistics show that it happens in 2-5% of men from 40 to 49, 6-30% from 50 to 59, and 20-45% from 60 to 69. After that it becomes extremely common, affecting as many as 70% from age 70 to 79 and up to 90% of men in their 80s.

And while andropause might not be quite the same as female menopause, there are still plenty of available ways to manage and treat it. Lifestyle changes like creating healthier sleep, exercise and diet help manage the symptoms of andropause. Finding ways to reduce stress can also have a positive impact. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an excellent treatment option and should be overseen by a physician who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Optimization.

Andropause comes with many changes that can affect your virility, your health, and your productivity, which means it can impact your personal relationships, your work and how you feel. It’s worth talking to a specialist so you can minimize the negative emotional impact that these changes can bring. Optimizing your hormones can help you to continue to live life to the fullest with the highest quality of life possible for you.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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The Pros & Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Mike CarragherHormone Replacement Therapy, Hot Flashes, Libido, Perimenopause, SexLeave a Comment

The decision to start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a big step for many women. Some wonder about the benefits of HRT, while others worry about possible effects from the treatment. Almost every woman who considers hormone replacement therapy appreciates information on the pros and cons of the therapy.

Approximately 80 percent of women who go through menopause experience symptoms and about one-fourth of these women experience severe symptoms of menopause. The symptoms of menopause can be more severe than many women anticipate, and symptoms can last longer than expected too. Night sweats and hot flashes can last for more than seven years in more than half of all women!

Doctors often prescribe hormone replacement therapy to treat moderate to severe menopause symptoms. Despite the benefits of HRT, only a small percentage of women in menopause use hormone replacement therapy.

Menopause is a time that marks the end of menstrual cycles. It means that a woman can no longer bear children because her ovaries, which produce eggs, no longer produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and a woman stops ovulating.

Menopause generally begins when a woman is in her late 40s or early 50s. The average age of menopause is 51 in the United States.

Symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. These symptoms can often interfere with a woman’s daily life. Menopause symptoms primarily include hot flashes, sleep problems due to night sweats, and vaginal changes, primarily dryness. Symptoms vary according to the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which tend to fluctuate as the ovaries stop functioning.

Pros of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Hormone replacement therapy provides a number of benefits for women, especially for women suffering from symptoms of menopause. First, hormone replacement therapy helps women feel better. HRT also protects against bone loss and many other health conditions.

Hormonal fluctuations during peri-menopause cause uncomfortable symptoms – HRT can alleviate those symptoms to help women feel more comfortable. Hormone replacement therapy is exceptionally good at relieving hot flashes, particularly at night.

HRT can improve vaginal health. Decreased moisture production can cause vaginal dryness. Loss of elasticity, coupled with vaginal dryness, can cause pain and even slight bleeding during intercourse. Reduced sensation may affect libido as well. Hormone therapy can help relieve dryness and increase moisture and sensation, making sex more pleasurable. Loss of tissue elasticity can affect the vagina and urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside world. Loss of elasticity here can cause sudden, frequent and strong urges to urinate. It can even cause urinary incontinence, which is the leaking of urine from the bladder. Women in menopause may even have urinary tract infections (UTIs) more frequently. Hormones help maintain elasticity and muscle tone in the bladder and urethra, helping resolve embarrassing symptoms.

HRT  protects bones. Estrogen, produced by the ovaries, helps keep bones strong. Estrogen decreases sharply when a woman reaches menopause and this leaves her vulnerable to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak bones. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures of the hip and spine. In fact, one in every two women over the age of 50 will suffer a bone fracture due to osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Hormone replacement therapy restores estrogen to levels high enough to protect bones from osteoporosis and fractures. Maintaining estrogen levels after menopause essentially stops bone loss.

Hormone replacement therapy can protect women from other health problems too. Estrogen is important to heart health, for example, so when estrogen drops because of menopause, the risk of heart problems increases. HRT can even reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy can even present unexpected benefits that everyone can love. These HRT benefits include boosted collagen production, increased skin thickness, and decreased wrinkles that defy the signs of aging. Hormone replacement therapy even lowers the percentage of body fat and decreases fat around hips and thighs.

Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

As with all medications, hormone replacement therapy does present a risk of side effects. The main concern for women is an increased cancer risk. This is where the type of hormones used is key. Synthetic progesterone, marketed under the brand name Provera, for instance, increases breast cancer risk.  

However, bio-identical progesterone actually decreases breast cancer risk as well as an endometrial cancer risk. The use of estrogen therapy may cause the uterus to grow, which increases the risk of uterine cancer; but this is only if a woman does not take progesterone to counter the effects of estrogen on the uterus.

Because of the potential for side effects, the choice to undergo hormone replacement therapy should be done only with a physician trained in bioidentical hormones. Not synthetic hormones, which can be risky. Working with a professional who can provide a personal assessment of healthcare wants and needs is helpful. A doctor can prescribe a personalized hormone replacement therapy to fit a patient’s needs, reduce their symptoms, improve their quality of life, and decrease their risk for virtually every degenerative disease of aging.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Understanding the Impact of Hormonal Changes on Your Mood During Perimenopause and Menopause — and How to Start Feeling Better Today

Mike CarragherAge Management, PerimenopauseLeave a Comment

If you are like most women, you became an expert on managing mood swings associated with hormonal changes throughout your menstrual cycle. Managing the hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause can create an entirely new set of emotional symptoms, though, which catches many women by surprise. You’ll be happy to know that there are a number of ways to improve your mood and many of the other symptoms of menopause.

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Menopause is usually defined as one year plus 1 day of having no menstrual cycle. Menopause does not happen overnight, though. Hormone production within your ovaries slows down in fits and spurts, which causes hormone levels in your body to fluctuate. Doctors refer to this as perimenopause. From start to finish, the entire process of perimenopause can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to reach full menopause.

Most women go through menopause without developing a significant mood disorder, but almost all women notice some degree of moodiness. These mood changes are a very common symptom of fluctuating hormone levels.

Mood changes may also be a natural part of marking the end of your childbearing years. This can be bittersweet for some women and extremely painful for others. Body changes can prompt concerns about attractiveness and even lead to a distorted body image. As they approach menopause, many women feel emotional as they reflect upon their place and purpose in life. A few women celebrate menopause because it frees them from worries of pregnancy and inconveniences of menstrual periods. Such large changes in your life can cause mood shifts, even without the hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause.

The type of mood changes and their severity varies among women. For some women, the mood swings of menopause are like gently rolling hills. For other women, though, menopause is like a rollercoaster of emotions.

Mood Changes Associated with Menopause

Here are some of the more common mood changes associated with perimenopause and menopause:

Irritability: Up to 70 percent of women say that irritability is their biggest emotional problem during perimenopause. These women say they feel less tolerant and more easily annoyed as they go through.

Depression: Depression affects up to one in every five women going through menopause.

Anxiety: Menopause can bring about tension, worry, nervousness and even panic attacks. Many women who are prone to anxiety find that it worsens while going through menopause; others may develop anxiety for the first time.

Crying and weepiness: The tendency to cry or feel weepy may be more pronounced as you approach menopause. You might find yourself weeping about things that did not bother you before.

Insomnia: If you are like 40 to 50 percent of women in menopause, you experience insomnia. You might experience other symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, which interrupt your sleep. Loss of sleep can leave you feeling tired and foggy, which can cause irritation and moodiness.

While hormonal changes in your mood are natural and normal, the mood changes associated with menopause can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fortunately, there are ways you can start feeling better today.

How to Improve Mood Changes Associated with Menopause

Overcome the mood changes that make menopause uncomfortable and inconvenient through exercise, nutrition and modern medicine.

Get more exercise

Regular exercise is important to physical and mental health. Physical activity relieves stress, improves mood, releases endorphins (your body’s own morphine) and helps put problems into perspective. Tai chi, yoga, and meditation can help you reduce and manage stress, irritability, and other symptoms of menopause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2.5 hours of moderately intense activity each week, along with muscle strengthening exercises on two days a week for all adults.

Consume a nutritious diet

A healthy diet, especially one rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce moodiness associated with menopause.

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormones are responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause, including mood swings. Ovaries produce important hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which are important to regulate menstrual periods. As you approach menopause, your ovaries slow production of these hormones. The slowdown is not sudden, though, so hormones levels may drop one month and surge the next, which can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces diminishing hormones to stabilize moods. Using specific hormones can address specific symptoms. Progesterone is the hormone of choice to treat hot flashes and night sweats, while testosterone treats loss of libido, loss of sexual desire and diminished orgasms.

The more you know about the effects hormonal changes can have on your moods during menopause, the sooner you can start feeling better.  The best way to know what’s going on internally is to have an Age Management & Hormone Optimization Specialist evaluate you and test specific hormone levels so replacement dosages can be recommended that will alleviate your symptoms, ease this difficult transition and ensure your quality of life remain as high as possible as you enter this new phase of life.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Answered: Men’s 10 Top Questions about Male Hormone Decline

Mike CarragherUncategorizedLeave a Comment

If you’re like most men, you don’t even know how much hormonal decline may be affecting your life.  Or if you do, you are frustrated with the problems it brings. Here are the top ten questions and answers men have about hormone decline.

1. What’s a hormone and why do they decline in males?

Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect the vast multitude of processes occurring in your body. They help control functions as simple as hunger and body temperature.  They profoundly affect sexual function, sleep, muscular growth, and heart function. They even affect more complex body systems like mood and emotions and brain function.

As we age, hormone levels typically decline (some key hormones tend to rise…but unfortunately they’re usually the ones we want to remain low).  And hormonal decline can begin at quite a young age – melatonin, for example, the “sleep” hormone, begins to decline at about 18 or 19 years old and continues to fall for the rest of our lives.

The reason you should care about hormones declining is that hormonal decline may be the most important contributor to the aging process.  We see and feel the effects of aging as our hormones decline: skin changes, sex drive, and sexual function declines, energy declines, we tend to gain weight in our midsection, become forgetful.  Basically so many of the things we just call “getting old” is a result of hormone decline.

Another reason you should care is that as your hormone levels decline, your risk of almost every chronic degenerative disease increases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis.   

2. Why would my hormones decline?

As we age, the cells in your body which produce hormones begin to die off. It’s called age-related hormonal decline. Some may say it’s a “natural” part of the aging process, but regardless, its effects on the body are profound.  

Other factors, like poor nutrition or lack of (or excessive) exercise, can speed this process up.

Other factors can hasten the decline as well. These include injury or infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, chronic illness, stress, alcoholism, and obesity. Your drop in hormones may also be due to the use of certain medications, especially corticosteroid drugs and hormone medications used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

3. What are the most common symptoms of hormone decline?

Symptoms vary, depending on the man and his hormone levels. The most common symptoms of hormone decline include:

  • Diminished sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Decreased bone mass
  • Fatigue
  • Low semen volume
  • Increased body fat
  • Mood changes

4. When do symptoms of hormone decline in men usually start?

Decades ago, men used to start noticing symptoms of hormone decline typically when they were in their late 30s or early 40s. Now men are beginning to experience these symptoms as early as their late 20s. Researchers are still working to determine why men are experiencing hormone decline earlier than ever before.

5. Men typically think of testosterone when they think male hormones. Is it just low testosterone?

The human body relies on a complex blend of hormones that work in conjunction to keep your body running in top condition. This means it will take more than a mere testosterone replacement to correct hormone decline. Thyroid, DHEA, HGH, Pregnenolone, Cortisone, Vitamin D, are all key players and work in conjunction with one another. Testosterone is just one instrument in a symphony of hormones that result in a complex symphony of instruments that optimize health.  

6. Is there a treatment for male hormone decline?

Hormone replacement therapy can restore hormones to therapeutic levels, reduce the annoying symptoms of male hormone decline. Treatments can include skin patches, gels, tablets that dissolve in your mouth, pellets inserted under the surface of the skin, and injections.

7. When should I get started?

The best time to start hormone replacement therapy for men is when you notice symptoms – before the symptoms become a big problem. If you are feeling symptoms, the problem may have existed for a while and your hormone levels may already be low. Immediate treatment helps you feel better faster.

8. Will I need HRT for life?

You will only need HRT for as long as you want to maintain the benefits of the therapy.

9. Can I ramp up my HRT dosage as needed?

Not necessarily – more is not necessarily better in the world of hormones. Your healthcare provider will monitor your hormone levels and adjust your HRT dosage accordingly. You might be surprised to learn that the therapeutic range of your hormones is often not the “normal” range you might see listed on your lab report. Only an Age Management and Hormone Optimization specialist, who has received special training after medical school and residency in order to practice in this field, can prescribe and adjust your HRT dosage.

10. Who should I talk to for more information?

For more information about hormone decline and hormone replacement therapy for men, talk with a doctor who is an Age Management and Hormone Optimization specialist. An appointment does not take very long, and you should have your key hormone levels tested.  The more you know about hormone decline in males, the better you will feel and the more you will improve your quality of life and look and feel the best you possibly can.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Am I Too Young for Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Mike CarragherAge Management, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Hormone Replacement TherapyLeave a Comment

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been an effective treatment for hormonal decline in men and women for decades.

As we age, our hormone production goes down, leading to a range of undesirable symptoms. Typically HRT has been used by older people, often in their 40s or 50s or older, to help correct the hormonal imbalances caused by aging. But in recent years HRT has been employed by younger people as well since hormonal decline is beginning at younger and younger ages.

No matter what your age, if you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal decline, HRT may be a good solution for you.

Am I Too  Young For Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone production can be negatively affected by a range of issues, many of which can arise in adults of any age. More and more men and women are finding themselves struggling with hormonal imbalances in their 30s and 40s, sometimes even younger. Hormone production can begin to decline as early as 18 or 19 years old, so it is not surprising that some younger adults find themselves suffering from the symptoms of hormonal imbalances.

HRT for Younger Men

Testosterone levels in men typically begin to noticeably decline around age 30 and continue to decline over the following years. While a gradual decline in testosterone is normal, studies have determined that there has been a remarkable reduction in the level of testosterone in men across the board. A man at 40 today may have somewhere around 15% – 20% less testosterone than a man at age 40 just twenty years ago.

As testosterone declines, it is common to experience symptoms like lowered sex drive, decreased energy, difficulty building muscle or depression. Whatever your age, these symptoms are undesirable. They will make it difficult to make the most out of your life and can leave you feeling less happy and vital than you should.

Most men in their 20s, 30s and even possibly 40s are not likely to look to testosterone first when they experience these negative symptoms. Most think it is just a low period in their lives or attribute the symptoms to other medical issues they are dealing with. The same is true for most traditional doctors. Most doctor’s first assumption is that the symptoms are caused by other issues because they are not trained to consider hormonal decline as a cause of these problems.

Fortunately, low testosterone can often be treated effectively with HRT. Bioidentical testosterone cream or injections or other medications that increase the body’s own production of testosterone (like hCG or clomiphene)  can correct imbalances relatively quickly, which means you can get back to feeling the way you are supposed to feel.

HRT for Younger Women

The majority of women know to expect hormonal changes sometime in their 50s as menopause sets in. But women in their 30s and 40s may not think about hormonal imbalances when they start to experience symptoms like weight gain, loss of interest in sex and other issues related to hormonal decline. Instead, they may assume that something is “wrong” with them, which is unfortunate. If the symptoms are related to hormonal imbalances, they may be remedied by HRT.

Perimenopause is the medical term for the transition period into menopause. During perimenopause, the body starts to wildly varying amounts of estrogen, before the loss of production at menopause. It can start as early as the late 30s, and last from a few months to a full 10 years or more. During perimenopause, the symptoms of menopause may start to show up.

The symptoms of both overall hormonal decline and perimenopause can usually be managed with HRT. It is important for younger women to be aware of the possibility of hormonal imbalances. If you are not feeling like yourself, HRT may offer a way to correct the problem in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Maintaining Awareness of Your Body

The best judge of how you feel is you. Only you know what is normal for your body, and when things start to change to abnormal you are the one best equipped to recognize problems as they arise. When you do notice something is wrong, take action and seek help from a medical professional.

Testing for hormonal imbalances is not difficult to do. It requires a simple blood test. If the blood test shows you have hormonal imbalances, your doctor can advise you on what options you have to improve the way you feel and get you back to your best self.

Need Help With Your Hormones?

First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes). After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms.

Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Hormone Decline in Men: Learn 6 of the Warning Signs

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-AgingLeave a Comment

Hormone Decline in Men

Hormone decline in men is a real thing! Did you know that male hormone levels (like testosterone) decline at a rate of one percent or more each year after the age of 30?

The term male menopause is a little bit of a play on words because the hormone changes men experience are not really the same thing as what a woman goes through when ovulation stops. The more accurate term is andropause because it targets the cause of this decline more accurately. Androgens are “male” hormones, such as testosterone.

If you are a man experiencing hormone decline, it doesn’t really matter that much what anyone calls it, what matters is how it impacts your life and what can you do about it.

Do You Know The Warning Signs Of Hormone Decline?

Your hormones impact just about everything in your life – from your mood and energy levels, to your body composition and sexual wellbeing.

If you haven’t yet, take our free hormone decline risk assessment to score your hormone health, learn about how your hormones impact just about every area of your life, and learn what you can do about it.

Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

What are Hormones and Why Do They Matter?

Hormones are chemical messengers. And your body produces lots of them. They are key components in critical body functions like metabolic rate, energy production, fat burning, sleep, digestion and even sex.

Men and women produce three of the same important hormones related to sexuality and reproduction, just in different quantities:

  • Testosterone
  • Prolactin
  • Estrogen

Testosterone is the hormone that gives men defining characteristics like body hair, increased muscle mass and sperm production. When testosterone levels start to drop, there are side effects. It is really the imbalance of all three hormones that causes noticeable changes in men, though.

FREE RESOURCE: Hormone Decline Risk Assessment for Males

Why Do Men Suffer From Their Own Version of Menopause?

When a woman goes through menopause, it is a very specific sign. It means she no longer has menstrual cycles and is  no longer able to bear children. For men, the change in hormone production is less dramatic.

Baseline levels of testosterone vary from one man to the next. For men that have naturally high levels of testosterone in their blood, that yearly decline of one percent isn’t a big deal. For many men, though, by the time they are 50, they begin to notice a change in how they feel.  Additionally, baseline levels of testosterone have fallen by 15% over each of the past two generations, and there are likely environmental contributors that are affecting androgen levels in men.

So men today are feeling the effects of low testosterone at younger and younger ages.  I am seeing more and more men in my practice who have low testosterone levels as young as their late 20s and early 30s.

Hormone Decline in Men

What are the Six Signs of Hormone Decline in Men?

Since testosterone levels are different in men, and there are other hormones at play, the exact symptoms will vary, as well. Some men experience pronounced changes while others may just feel a little less motivated. But remember, hormonal decline is associated with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and cancer. In general, the symptoms of male hormone decline include:

  1. Low libido — The desire to have sex that drives so many when they are young is based largely on hormone production in both men and women. When testosterone levels drop, so does a man’s desire for sex.
  2. Erectile Dysfunction – This would include the loss of those spontaneous morning erections. It may become difficult to get and maintain an erection even when aroused.
  3. Sleep disturbances — Changes in the way you sleep that might include insomnia or feeling like you want to sleep during the day.
  4. Changes in Your Body Shape — Often the way fat is distributed changes as testosterone levels drop, so men develop belly fat and even breasts. You may also notice you have less muscle definition.
  5. Digestive Problems and Body Aches — You may have sugar cravings and there can be a change in your bowel habits, as well, and you may notice achy joints.
  6. Mood Changes — Low testosterone can make you feel irritable and grumpy. Or lazy and less motivated. The changes in other aspects of your life like the inability to get an erection have an emotional impact, too, like feeling depressed or anxious.

What is the Treatment for Hormone Decline in Men?

It starts with you seeing a physician who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Replacement for a check-up. Sometimes there is more to a change in hormone production than just aging. This imbalance is associated with many chronic diseases, as well, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Changes in how you feel and your sex drive or sexual function can be the first signs of some disease processes like prostate cancer or heart disease. For most men, though, the problem is very treatable.

It’s important to get the right kind of treatment and not give in to the appeal of low-quality “hormone” products or substitutes. Stay away from over the counter brands that promise to boost testosterone or cure erectile dysfunction, for example. Men produce hormones at different levels so that one-size-fits-all solution won’t work. Plus, there are many poor quality products on the market that can potentially make your problem worse.

Customized and specific hormone replacement therapy combined with lifestyle changes like a customized exercise plan specifically designed to put your maximize the effect of your hormones and the right diet will help you look and feel better. Once your hormones are replaced and the symptoms of male menopause are gone, you can get back to the way you are supposed to feel start enjoying life again.

Need Help With Your Hormones?

First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes). After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms.

Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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5 Facts About Healthy Aging You May Not Know

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-AgingLeave a Comment

It probably comes as no surprise that maintaining good health throughout every decade of your life will require a bit of work and dedication. You may be surprised, though, at just how simple Age Management and Hormone Optimization can be!

Are You At Risk for Hormone Decline?

Your hormones impact just about everything in your life – from your mood and energy levels, to your body composition and sexual wellbeing.

If you haven’t yet, take our free hormone decline risk assessment to score your hormone health, learn about how your hormones impact just about every area of your life, and learn what you can do about it.

Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

1. Exercise can slow some of the muscle loss associated with aging.

People with sedentary lifestyles lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of their muscle mass every decade after the age of 30. Exercising slows this age-related muscle loss.

If you’re not exercising at all, try adding small amounts of exercise, such as bicycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking walking breaks at work. Try yoga to reduce stress.

Add a high-intensity exercise to your routine. High-intensity exercises (like sprints or heavy weight lifting) burn more calories and trigger the release of muscle-building hormones, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). High-intensity workouts stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which is associated with bigger muscles and stronger bones. HGH also supports function of your immune system and promotes fat metabolism. Try “explosive exercises,” such as kettlebell swings and jump training, to improve muscle elasticity.

Also, vary your exercise routine to keep your muscles working differently and to keep your brain engaged.  Mixing up your exercise routine or even learning new sports increases the number of new brain cells created in parts of the brain that are integral to memory and thinking.  

FREE RESOURCE: Hormone Decline Risk Assessment for Males

2. Older adults do not need more sleep than younger adults

Most young people think that older adults sleep all the time – actually older people need slightly less sleep than do their younger counterparts. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that people aged 18 to 64 get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Those aged 65 and older only need seven to eight hours.  Much of the reason older people sleep more, especially during the day, is because they are tired due to hormonal decline, not because they inherently “need” more sleep.”

Sleep is critical in every decade of life. Getting enough sleep improves immunity so you get sick less often, stay at a healthy weight, and decrease your risk for serious health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Snoozing enough can also reduce stress, improve your mood, your ability to think clearly and helps you make better decisions.

Sleeping also boosts melatonin, also known as the “sleep hormone.” Made by the pineal gland in your brain, melatonin helps control your sleep/wake cycles so your body knows when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be alert. Melatonin is also one of the most powerful antioxidants known, so it can prevent cellular damage inflicted by free radicals. Levels of melatonin start declining when you are in your late teens; levels continue to drop throughout life. Many people find it helpful to take melatonin supplements to support healthy aging.

3. Reducing stress can decrease your risk for heart disease

Stress can occur at any age, and it can negatively affect healthy aging. The longer stress continues, the worse it is for your mind and your body. Stress can cause fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration, for example, and it can make existing health problems worse. Chronic stress can even cause disease, according to the American Psychological Association, including an increased risk of heart disease.

4. You need fewer calories as you get older

Your 40-year-old body will be quite a bit different from your 20-year-old body, of course, and your aging body has different requirements when it comes to your health needs through the years. You will not need as many calories when you are in your 40s and 50s as you did in early adulthood, for example. A moderately active woman needs to consume about 2,200 calories each day when she is in her early 20s, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 – 2020, but she only needs about 1,800 calories per day by the time she is in her 50s. Likewise, a teenage boy needs to pack away 2,800 calories daily while a guy in his late 40s only needs 2,200 calories.

FREE RESOURCE: Hormone Decline Risk Assessment for Females

5. Taking care of your heart today can give you a healthier brain tomorrow

Research shows that healthy aging of your brain relies on a healthy heart and blood vessels when you are younger. Now is a good time to straighten out your eating habits to improve your heart health. Avoid packaged foods, cookies, potato chips and other foods that raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Increase your intake of fiber, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eat walnuts, salmon, spinach, and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to increase your “good” HDL cholesterol, which ultimately lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.

Taking the correct supplements and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will keep your brain in top shape. Hormones are CRITICAL for healthy brain function. For example, women who take estradiol after menopause have a 50% decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease!

Need Help With Your Hormones?

First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes). After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms.

Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

 

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