There is a lot of health information available on the Internet. I remember old wives tales that I was taught in medical school. Although I sound like an old man, it takes good judgment and medical experience to weed out and interpret what is right and wrong with medical information.
Now, the thing about hormones is that the environment is causing a significant and premature decrease in hormone levels. Take a group of guys the same age today and measure the average testosterone. Compare this to an age related group in the 1950s. The latter group has levels 40% higher. Treating with hormone optimization is trying to beat the environment. You ignore hormones, you ignore your health. The environment wins. You lose quality years.
So look at this article: "8 Lies About Testosterone That Need to Die". This is from the publication T Nation, the information is valid, and the author is right online. Read through this and look at some of the remarks.
The following are my comments:
- Lie #2-- hair loss. The article covers this pretty well. In my experience I will throw out two other things that may help with thinning hair. The first would be to use bamboo or Himalayan salt after shampooing and rinsing hair. Let that soak into the scalp for a few minutes as you finish the rest of your shower. This allows trace minerals to be exposed to the hair follicles. Not only does this help preserve hair growth, but it may also have something to do with reversing gray hair by providing minerals such as copper to the scalp. Those minerals are not in the water after it has been processed and filtered. My second comment concerns the increase as far as thickness and fullness of the hair that I have seen after prescribing progesterone to men for other reasons, such as prostate problems. Using progesterone cream near the scalp line for a receding hairline? That works. Better than Propecia!
- Lie #3-- So your heart will stop? Let it be known that the organ with the most testosterone receptors in the whole body is not that little guy between your legs but the heart. Getting older means the heart can have problems and maybe hormones help it do better. This heart health is much different than tales about problems from poorly monitored high dose usage in gyms.
- Lie #4-- I have many patients able to discontinue antidepressant medications when hormone levels are optimized. This includes both men and women. When men have an aggressive attitude after a testosterone injection, the important thing is to first look at the dose rather than the drug itself. The aggressive attitude may have been on the basis of too high a dose. There are many health benefits from hormone optimization. An important part is appropriate regular monitoring with bloodwork, which is something that is not done well when the current medical system deals with hormone optimization. The insurance company does not like drawing too much bloodwork. They are not worried about appropriate monitoring and your health.
- Lie #5-- I like this one because conventional medicine is tied into so-called “normal limits.” So at age 45 you have a testosterone that is in the normal range at 300 (I have actually seen several men in their 20s that have total testosterone levels lower than 300-- that is very low for that age). I ask what your testosterone level was when you were 25. No one knows. What if it was 2000? This is where it is important to develop optimal ranges rather than just looking at absolute numbers and some normal range that may or may not be accurate. I look at the positive metabolic effects of testosterone such as a drop in blood sugar numbers, lowering cholesterol levels, and elevation in hemoglobin from bone marrow stimulation. To guide a patient back to an optimal functional point, hormone levels need to be monitored at intervals until the patient is at a maintenance state. Most of the problems with hormones that I see are due to inappropriate monitoring.
- Lie #7-- There is truly great benefit for many women with testosterone replacement. Keep in mind that we all suffer premature drop in hormones because of environmental factors. Hormone optimization tries to stay ahead in the game. With women I have seen improvement in body composition, mood, and ability to come off antidepressant medications. The call I get most frequently from husbands is “What did you do? Her libido is through the ceiling.” As for men, do you need estrogen and progesterone? This is all about balance. Remember your hair!
All of these are things accompany the concept of “getting older.” So optimal hormones protect our health, improve our quality of life, and make us function as if we were younger. I make this comment in view of all of the invalid, negative information available about hormone optimization. This is not the same as pushing steroids in the gym. This is about optimizing the physiologic function of the human machine. The body is wearing out.
First Option: You take medication for cholesterol, another pill for blood sugar, something for blood pressure, a heart pill, and Viagra works pretty good for you. On your annual physical your numbers look good but your body is not optimal. You will continue to age prematurely.
Second Option: Look at appropriate hormone optimization. No medications will be needed as your physiology improves. This is anti-aging.
There is a lot of available health information and, in my grandfatherly opinion, it takes experience to utilize this information in a valid and sensible fashion. Think about this:
So when you turn 60 you can look upstairs and say “Thank you. I am only halfway through my life.”