N a t u r a l M e d
A p o t h e c a r y ,
I n c .
ANDROPAUSE D H E A
Te s t o s t e r o n e - C o r t i s o l - E s t r o g e n
Hormonal chaos? If your around the age of forty you may think the only hormonal chaos going on is happening to the opposite sex. A common misconcep;on is that females are the only ones that go through “the change” during their 40’s and 50’s. Studies show that 70% of the general public believes that men experience a mid-‐life stage similar to menopause in women. When these mid-‐life stages aﬀect women they experience physical symptoms that are very no;ceable and last anywhere from months to 5 years, where men experience subtle changes over a longer period of ;me (anywhere from 10-‐15 years). So while the days of high school and puberty are long gone and while you may feel stable hormonally there is a good chance that you are entering or experiencing andropause. Andropause technically describes the progressive decline in androgen produc;on. During andropause there are three main changes that occur almost like a chain reac;on, there is a drop in testosterone levels, an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), and an increase in produc;on of aromatase. When it comes to hormones one important thing to understand is what’s available and what isn’t. More than 95% of hormones found in the blood are bound to circula;ng proteins and in this bound state, they are unable to ﬁt into receptors. Therefore, these hormones will not be delivered to ;ssues and are considered inac;ve, or non-‐ bioavailable and ﬂushed out of the system. While andropause is part of the natural aging process the side eﬀects from hormone imbalance may cause a disrup;on in living a quality and fulﬁlling daily life. Testosterone replacement helps, not only with symptoms, but also decreases disease risks that are usually associated with the aging process, such as, heart disease and diabetes. With this handout our goal is to provide you with: • • • •
The roles of hormones in men. Explain responsible testosterone replacement and what it will and won’t do for you. Explain the diﬀerence between blood and saliva tes;ng when looking at hormone levels. Condi;ons to consider when beginning treatment and what to expect.
We hope you ﬁnd this informa;on useful and understand that we are here to help you and your physician achieve the best results. We look forward to working with you and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any ques;ons or if we can assist you in any other way.
TESTOSTERONE MEN’S Power Hormone!
Testosterone to men is like estrogen to women, and it is men’s most crucial hormone. This hormone provides males with the typical masculine traits like more body hair, and a deeper voice and is very important in the development and maintenance of male reproduc;ve ;ssues and characteris;cs such as sex drive, stamina, and needed to produce erec;ons. While it does help to bulk up and build muscle, testosterone can be a “fat buster” as it increases metabolism and helps with the release of fat from fat cells and prevents the body from storing excess fat. Also responsible for aiding in several metabolic func;ons including bone forma;on, liver func;on, prostate gland growth and produc;on of blood cells in bone marrow. This single hormone is extremely important for everyday func;oning of a male throughout his life. The body naturally produces testosterone through a few steps. These steps involve several hormones being released through diﬀerent glands:
The hypothalamus begins the process by releasing Gonadotropin-‐releasing Hormone (GnRH) to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland releases Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle S;mula;ng Hormone (FSH) Together LH and FSH travel to the testes LH binds to Leydig receptors in the testes and FSH binds to Follicle S;mula;ng Hormone receptors. The body begins to produce testosterone This process provides the body with natural levels of testosterone. The body will also trigger signals to stop releasing testosterone when levels are normal. This allows for feedback loop to trigger the body to produce or stop producing testosterone. Testosterone begins to decrease very slowly beginning around the age of 30, and by the age of 50 testosterone levels have usually dropped by about 40% from peak levels of younger years.
Benefits of testosterone include: • Signiﬁcant increase in libido (sex drive and sex desire). • Improvement in the quality and frequency of erec;ons, and strength of orgasm. • Increase in muscle mass and strength. • Increase in bone density above the fracture threshold and in the spine. • Decrease in midsec;on fat. • Improvement in mental func;on (cri;cal thinking and decision making), and verbal ﬂuency. • Improved athle;c agility and performance, and restora;on of compe;;ve edge. • Increased endurance. • Improvement in lipid proﬁle (decreased triglycerides, increased HDLs, lowered LDLs). • Improvement in blood sugar control (testosterone decreases insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes). • Improvement in an overall sense of well-‐being and friendliness. • Decreased anger, irritability, sadness, ;redness, and nervousness.
SYMPTOMS FROM TO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE... Testosterone Deficiency Anemia Bone Loss Decreased Libido Decreased Immunity Depression Erec;le Dysfunc;on Fa;gue
Fuzzy Thinking Hair Loss Heart Palpita;on Incon;nence Lack Of Mo;va;on Loss Of Muscle Tone Memory Problems
Muscle Weakness Osteoporosis Reduced Orgasm Intensity Sleep Disturbances Thinning Skin
Testosterone Excess Acne Anxiousness Aggressiveness Impulsivity
Increased Libido Mood Swings Rage Deepening Of The Voice
What can you do now to help with testosterone levels? • Exercise regularly! Exercise increases the body’s produc;on of testosterone, decreases belly fat which reduces aroma;za;on (which is an over conversion of estrogen). Lowers your blood pressure, improves circula;on all of which helps with erec;le dysfunc;on. • Lose weight! Estrogen loves fat cells and the more fat you carry you will likely have more aromatase that will covert the testosterone into estrogen. • Take a well balanced, quality mul;vitamin. Talk to your prescriber or pharmacist about whether supplementa;on of saw palmeco, or extra support with zinc, vitamin c, vitamin e, and/or selenium will be beneﬁcial. • Reduce your stress levels. While this may be next to impossible, work on stress management. Stress will aﬀect testosterone levels but it also can exasperate sexual dysfunc;on and will wreak havoc on your adrenals and endocrine system.
What will testosterone not make you do? Over the last few years, testosterone replacement therapy has received bad publicity largely due to concerns of abuse – especially among athletes and bodybuilders. Testosterone replacement when used responsibly is intended to produce and maintain the concentra;ons of testosterone, without providing unnecessary and poten;ally dangerous excess. Doses should be individually tailored to alleviate andropausal symptoms without causing side eﬀects or safety concerns. When using testosterone responsibly it will not: • • • •
Help you bench press more than your workout partner. Allow you to par;cipate in bodybuilding compe;;ons. Return your randiness to that of an 18 year-‐old. Allow you to recapture your lost youth.
OTHER HORMONES D H EA
C o r t i s o l
E s t r o g e n
DHEA The hormone DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) comes from the adrenal gland and acts as the precursor to many steroid hormones, including cor;sol, estrogen, and testosterone. The body uses DHEA to make androgens and estrogens, the male and female sex hormones. DHEA levels peak at about age 25, then go down steadily as you get older. People who are 70, for example, tend to have DHEA levels about 80% lower than young adults. Lower than normal levels of DHEA have been associated with osteoporosis, heart disease, memory loss, and breast cancer. There is no proof that low levels of DHEA cause these condi;ons, or that taking DHEA can help prevent them. When natural DHEA produc;on declines supplementa;on can improve erec;le dysfunc;on symptoms, orgasmic func;on, sexual desire, and overall sexual sa;sfac;on. Studies also show DHEA supplementa;on can also show improvements in bone density as well as improving aging skin; like increased skin thickness, improved skin hydra;on, and decreased facial skin pigmenta;on.
Cortisol Cor;sol is a steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex, located on top of both kidneys. Your pituitary gland, located in the brain, determines how much cor;sol is released; this can vary from one person to the next. The beneﬁts of cor;sol include blood pressure management, reduced inﬂamma;on, and a stronger immune system. This stress-‐ﬁgh;ng hormone converts protein into fuel when you're under physical or psychological stress evoked by trauma;c events. Once your brain no longer perceives a situa;on as threatening, your cor;sol levels return to normal. When the adrenal glands become fa;gued, they may produce lower amounts of cor;sol, resul;ng in a chronic low level of cor;sol in the blood. Low levels of cor;sol can result in chronic fa;gue and can also lead to a disease of the endocrine system known as Addison's disease. Low levels of cor;sol may also lead to reduced thyroid func;on, mild depression, inﬂamma;on, and lowered immune func;on.
Estrogen Men require a small amount of estrogen for a healthy heart, brain func;on, bones, and libido. Estrogen and testosterone are held in balance, but as testosterone levels drop during andropause, estrogen produc;on either increases or remains steady, causing an imbalance in hormones. Increases in estrogen produc;on may be from aging, diet and weight, nutri;onal deﬁciencies, and/or excessive alcohol use. When hormone levels become imbalanced and testosterone levels drop too low, estrogen acaches to the receptor sites on cells that are normally occupied by testosterone. High estrogen levels in men may eventually lead to diabetes or heart disease, problems with infer;lity, erec;le dysfunc;on, and other symptoms associated with low testosterone.
Have symptoms but unsure what to do next? Talk to your prescriber about your symptoms and looking at your testosterone levels. Most physicians do a blood test to measure hormones levels which is fine when you are just looking at testosterone. We have some prescribers that find it beneficial to do saliva testing. More than 95% of hormones found in the blood are bound to circulating proteins and in this bound state, they are unable to fit into receptors. Therefore, these hormones will not be delivered to tissues and are considered inactive, or non-‐bioavailable. The bound hormones that are measured in blood testing are too large to pass through the cell membranes of the salivary glands. Only the unbound hormones may pass
through into the saliva. These hormones are going to be, the “free” or bioavailable hormones that are going to be delivered to the receptors in the tissue of the body. This concentration of free hormones is going to show a more clinically significant result of hormones levels, thus making saliva testing far more superior. Saliva tests are very stable and can be collected in the privacy of your own home, stored at room temperature, and are stable for an extended period of time. For information about saliva testing or information on what labs to request when talking to your prescriber feel free to contact us.
We are here for you!
Looking for an easy and alterna;ve approach to your testosterone replacement? NaturalMed Apothecary is your answer. Since all of our medica;ons are made speciﬁcally for you, we are able to work closely with your prescribing physician to create the proper dosage form and strength for you. If you are looking for a natural “hormone friendly” doctor, please contact us for a referral list. We ﬁnd most insurance companies cover testosterone replacement. You may also use your ﬂexible spending account or Health Savings Account.
DOSING MADE EASY! Forget about dousing yourself in a half jar of testosterone for you to notice a difference. If testosterone replacement is an option for you we have many dosing options to fit your lifestyle! From topicals to rapid dissolve tablets we are more than happy to accommodate to make it easy and cost effective!
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What is andropause and what solutions can NaturalMed Apothecary offer you!