Bioidentical hormone therapy diagnosis is on the basis of clinical medicine, patient physical and history combined diagnostic testing.
Bioidentical Hormones: Helping Men Combat Aging Symptoms
It’s an unpleasant fact of life. No matter how well we eat, how much we exercise, how many vitamins we take and how well we manage stress, hormones decline as we grow older. The good news is, modern science has a solution to this age old problem: bioidentical hormone therapy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy does just what it sounds like it does—replaces hormones. Although some physicians may use pharmaceutically produced synthetic hormones—Ageology’s Chicago-based anti-aging physicians only use bioidentical—or natural—hormones. Bioidentical hormones are molecule-by-molecule, exactly the same as the hormones present in the human body.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Men should consult with an Ageology anti-aging physician about the benefits of bioidentical hormone therapy if they are suffering from symptoms that may be related to hormone imbalances, such as:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Loss of focus
- Lack of energy
- Muscle loss
Ageology physicians work with men to design an individualized plan, which may include a combination of nutritional support, a exercise, prescription supplements and bioidentical hormones. This holistic treatment can help men combat male menopause (also known as andropause), as well as thyroid imbalances and stress-related adrenal fatigue.
Pills, Patches or Pellets?
There are many different types of testosterone replacement therapy. Remember, the goal of hormone replacement therapies is not to dose to a number, but to dose to a desired effect while avoiding side effects. There are several options to choose from, including:
- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Therapy: HCG works by stimulating the cells of the testes to produce more testosterone. The upside is HCG doesn’t harm sperm count. The downside is possible side effects like rashes, allergic reactions, swelling of legs and increase in blood pressure. This method works best when a man’s testes are still working but need a little boost.
- Pellets: Pellets offer a steady release of testosterone over a four- to six-month period. However, men have to undergo a procedure in a physician’s office every four to six months to pursue this bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
- Injections: Testosterone injections are one of the easiest, most affordable and relatively painless (when shown the proper way to inject!) method available to men. Highly effective and with no risk of transfer to the wife and kids, this method is a long standing favorite of physicians for decades. Risks include injection site tenderness, potential for blood clots, and like all testosterone therapies, a reduction in sperm count.
- Topical Creams and Gels: Ageology physicians strongly urge against the use of the testosterone gels, which are highly concentrated. If a man’s wife and children are exposed to this medication it can cause rather dramatic and unwanted effects. Testosterone creams, however, applied properly and at a physiologic dose, are a safe and effective form of therapy.
- Patches: Testosterone patches work for men who, for whatever reason, don’t want to pursue other available testosterone replacement therapies. The limiting factor to this bioidentical hormone therapy: the patch must be applied every night before bed. It’s also costly if not covered by insurance.
- Sublingual and Buccal Testosterone: Sublingual and buccal testosterone is placed in the mouth either under the tongue or between the cheek and gums. This form of testosterone replacement therapy is effective, well-tolerated, convenient and discreet. However, the form of therapy has had minimal clinical use.
- Oral Testosterone: This method of treatment should be avoided.
Contact an Ageology anti-aging physician to learn more about how you can accurately diagnose and treat low testosterone. Our Chicago-based experts’ first approach to treatment is always to explore beneficial changes in diet, exercise and stress management. We can also evaluate how current prescription drugs could be causing hormone abnormalities, and prescribe customized bioidentical hormone replacement therapies when needed.