Fact: One size does not fit all. It’s all about balance and finding what’s right for you.
Fact: Beware of programs headquartered in Florida and programs provided by family doctors and urologists.
Fact: There are no side effects if treatment is done correctly.
Fact: Testing and retesting at appropriate intervals is critical to safety and optimal results.
The endocrine (hormones) system is like a symphony. Hormones interact to create and manage body chemistry that is as unique to each individual as a finger print. Another good analogy would be to compare your hormone system to the operating system on your computer – it facilitates the function of all your software programs. It is all about balance.
In diagnosing and treating hormone issues, “one size” does not fit all. This is a major problem in hormone treatment programs developing across the country. It is all about balance and finding what is best for you. The consequence of not doing so is not just poor results, it is the real possibility of causing harm to those being treated. Two examples follow:
HRT Programs based out of Florida: Less than acceptable quality programs tend to operate out of Florida, where medical laws and rules tend to be lax. Several have been closed by the State and simply reopen under a different name a few weeks later.
1) Everyone is treated with the same protocol (medications/hormones).
2) Everyone is put on an estrogen blocker whether it is needed or not.
3) Seldom do they test and treat thyroid and DHEA.
4) Retesting is nonexistent or at best inconsistent.
5) Little or no attention to lifestyle.
6) They “stack hormones” i.e. use several synthetic testosterones in combination, also known as a ”testosterone cocktail”. This is dangerous.
Note: If you talk to a Florida program, take a few minutes and call us at (888) 752-5665 – you will quickly see the difference.
Family doctors and urologists: Though well intentioned, they often lack the training or commitment of time to do to assure effective and safe results.
1) Initial diagnosis is often incorrect – e.g. – depression is treated with an antidepressant rather that a consequence of low testosterone.
2) Tendency to treat everyone with the same protocol e.g. 50mg of topical testosterone applied to the skin each morning.
3) They may not test and retest estrogen — remember — this is dangerous.
4) They often do not test for DHEA and thyroid.
5) Retesting tends to be inconsistent.
6) Little or no attention to lifestyle.
How it should be done: Test and interact with patient to identify and get a picture of their “hormone symphony”
1) Work with a doctor who knows male age related hormone symptoms and treatment.
2) Test all pertinent hormone – testosterone, thyroid, estrogen, DHEA, HGH Growth Hormone (treating testosterone without monitoring estrogen is dangerous)
3) Replace hormones to healthy therapeutic levels – approximately what you had at age 25 to 30.
4) Monitor results by retesting and patient feedback
5) Ensure good lifestyle – diet and exercise. The importance of lifestyle can not be overstated.
If hormone treatment is done correctly, you will begin feeling results in 1 to 2 weeks. It is not only safe, it is healthy. There are now numerous studies supporting the health benefits of healthy hormones to virtually all body systems; heart, brain, circulatory, skeletal, etc.
Optimal hormone levels are the levels that work best for you. For most men that is levels that are at or close to the upper end of the laboratory tested range. For example, the laboratory tested range for free testosterone is 80pg to 240pg. Most men will start feeling the effects of low testosterone at about 130pg and symptoms increase as testosterone continues to decline. The doctor that tests testosterone for a patient having symptoms, and gets result in the lower part of the range and uses the words “you are fine, you are in the normal range”–or – “you are normal for your age” – is doing their patient a serious disservice.
There should be no side effects if done correctly.
It is the only way of knowing what is happening with your hormones within your body. For example: As men age and hormones decline, men will often lose muscle and gain fat. Fat contains an enzyme call aromatase . Aromatase works to convert testosterone to estrogen. Elevated estrogen depresses sex drive and is dangerous, particularly to the prostate. We counter this by increasing testosterone and suppressing estrogen as necessary. Over the course of three to six months of healthy hormones and good lifestyle, men will lose fat, regain muscle and as a result cease to have a conversion problem. This could not be assessed or managed without testing and retesting.
Another example: Men will sometimes say they feel great with new healthy levels but their sex drive is still not at an acceptable level. By retesting we can make adjustments and often solve the problem.