Male hormones make us who we are as men. They make us taller, stronger, and more muscular than women. They lower our voices, give us a strong sex drive, and put hair on our chests. Understanding what happens to our hormones as we age is important to our health and wellbeing, as well as our desire to continue being masculine. Read on to learn more…
Male Hormone Replacement Therapy
Our ability to produce our own hormones naturally diminishes as we age. It’s a fact of life that as hormones decline, our ability to handle stress, our ability to maintain muscle and bone mass, and our ability to maintain our sex drive is threatened. Hormone imbalance as we get older is normal in the sense that it happens to everyone; but it is completely avoidable and reversible. At Renew Man, our physicians are experts when it comes to male hormone replacement therapy. We help men who suffer from low testosterone, low thyroid, and the symptoms of andropause (or male menopause) every day.
Some Facts About Male Hormones
The following are some things every man should know about his hormones, and hormone replacement therapy:
- Hundreds of hormones control the chemistry of your body. Without hormones, nothing in your body works. Our hormone treatment programs address those hormones that most impact the aging process and quality of life: testosterone, estrogen, thyroid, DHEA, and cortisol.
- Hormone treatment for men is safe if done correctly.
- All of the hormones mentioned above are important. But testosterone is the most important. Low T is responsible for most of the symptoms men experience during andropause.
- Male hormone therapy is healthy. Men feel significantly better 4 to 6 weeks after their hormones are balanced. And studies now show that balanced hormones result in a healthier body and mind, and less chronic illness (including Alzheimer’s) over time.
- Effective hormone treatment for men is about balance. One size does not fit all. At Renew Man, your treatment program is individualized and designed just for you.
- Testing and retesting hormones at appropriate intervals is a critical component to any safe and optimal treatment plan.
In the sections below you will find additional information and cautions that should assist you as you seek treatment for your andropause symptoms. What you learn from this website and any other research you’re doing should put you in an informed position to ask the hard questions of any healthcare provider with whom you discuss male hormone treatment. If you do not get straightforward, factual answers, please take a moment to call us, or request a consultation through our contact form. Take charge of your healthcare decisions—you owe it to yourself.
Male Hormone Replacement Therapy & Optimal Male Hormones
Optimal hormone levels are not the same for everyone. This is where a lot of physicians and hormone treatment programs go wrong. At Renew Man we are concerned with getting you back to the male hormone levels that work best for you.
For most men, those levels will be at or close to the upper end of lab tested ranges. This means that symptoms will persist if blood levels are within the lab tested range, but are at the low end of the scale. Doctors who tell these patients they’re fine under these circumstances are doing their patients a terrible disservice. Estrogen is an exception, please see our page on estrogen for more information.
Having said that, a proper course of treatment shouldn’t rest solely on lab tests. How you feel and how your symptoms are responding to treatment should also figure heavily into the equation.
Why Testing And Retesting Are So Important
While we rely heavily on how you tell us you feel (i.e. subjective information), testing and retesting your hormone levels is the only objective way we have of knowing exactly what is happening hormonally in your body.
For example: As men age and their hormones levels decline, they will often lose muscle mass, and gain fat. Fat contains an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase works to convert testosterone to estrogen. The problem is that elevated estrogen leads to undesirable symptoms like low sex drive, and can increase your chances for developing prostate cancer. We counter this process by increasing testosterone, and by suppressing estrogen as necessary. After a 3 to 6 month period of having balanced hormones and a healthy lifestyle, men will lose fat, regain muscle, and as a result cease to have this conversion problem. Lab testing gives us the information we need to address this situation effectively.
We can also make adjustments to treatment via retesting. For example, men will sometimes say that they feel great with their new healthy testosterone levels, but that they still lack an adequate sex drive. By retesting, we can make adjustments, and often solve the problem.
The bottom line: male hormone treatment could not be administered or managed properly without testing and retesting.
As you do your research and begin exploring treatment options and providers, you may wish to keep the following in mind:
Use caution if you’re talking to a provider located in Florida. Providers offering subpar (i.e. ineffective, unsafe) hormone replacement programs often operate out of Florida, where medical laws and regulations tend to be more lax. Several providers have been closed by the state, and simply reopen under a different name a few weeks later. In these programs:
- Everyone is treated with the same protocol (medications/hormones in the same doses). There are no individualized programs.
- Everyone is put on an estrogen blocker, whether it is needed or not.
- Seldom do they test and treat for thyroid and DHEA (a big omission).
- Seldom do they monitor and control hematocrit. Testosterone will increase hematocrit in some men. If not treated, it can increase the chances of stroke.
- Retesting is nonexistent, or at best inconsistent.
- Little or no attention is paid to lifestyle.
- They often “stack hormones,” which means they use several synthetic testosterones in combination (rather than using strictly bioidentical testosterone). This is a very dangerous practice.
If you talk to a Florida program, take a few minutes and call us afterwards. You will quickly see the difference between quality, safety, and experience (14+ years in our case), and lack thereof.
Though well intentioned, when it comes to the delicate and complex balance needed when managing male hormones, most family doctors are adequately trained, and lack the knowledge necessary to assure effective and safe results. The following is too often true when family doctors or general practitioners try to treat andropause:
- Initial diagnosis is often incorrect. For instance, depression is treated with an antidepressant, rather than addressing deficient hormones.
- There is usually a tendency to treat everyone with the exact same protocol.
- They may not test and retest estrogen. Remember, this is dangerous.
- They often do not test for DHEA and thyroid.
- If testing is not for thyroid, it often isn’t done correctly or treated correctly.
- Retesting tends to be inconsistent or not done at all.
- Little or no attention is paid to lifestyle.
Urologists often have the knowledge base necessary to treat andropause, but will not take the time to provide safe, quality treatment. Urologists are often high-production doctors, and their practices see a high volume of patients. Hormone replacement therapy and treatment (if done correctly) takes time, patience, and follow-up.
Hormones are their specialty. However, 90+% of their clients are usually women and diabetics. Endocrinologists may know a lot about hormones, but they treat few if any andropausal men, and surprisingly, they usually lack the knowledge to do so effectively.
How Male Hormone Therapy Should Be Done
At Renew Man, you can expect not only superior service and a passionate commitment to addressing your needs, but also unrivaled training and expertise among our physicians. The following is an example of what proper and safe hormone therapy looks like, and what you can expect from your Renew Man doctor:
- Our doctors perform lab testing, and interact with their patients to identify and get a sense of each individual’s hormone imbalances.
- Our doctors know andropause, and they know how to treat it effectively, and safely.
- Our doctors check all pertinent hormones: testosterone, thyroid, estrogen, and DHEA.
- Our doctors replace hormones to healthy therapeutic levels (roughly what you had when you were 25 to 30 years old).
- Our doctors monitor results via patient feedback, and by periodic retesting at regular intervals.
- Our doctors ensure good lifestyle habits by encouraging a healthy diet, physical activity, and managing stress.
If you would like to learn more about male hormone treatment, please call us at 800-859-7511 and let us know how we can help you. Or you can request a consultation through our contact form.