THE TESTOSTERONE TEST – It’s Encyclopedic

testosterone

Denver, test this: what’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Testosterone”?

  • Sex
  • Masculinity
  • Aggressive
  • Brave
  • Adultery
  • Selfishness
  • Unromantic
  • All of the above

If you’re a woman who’s ever been burned by what you think is an over-testosterone-loaded guy, ALL OF THE ABOVE would be the best answer. So, let’s really talk “testosterone”. Produced mainly in the testicles, testosterone has a crucial role in a number of body functions, including: development of male sex organs, the growth of body hair, deepening of the voice in puberty, sperm production (swim, little guys, swim…) It also improves muscle mass and bone density and will also have a positive effect on the heart, brain and blood vessels. Fact is, it affects nearly every cell in the male body.

But Surprise…

Here’s a few facts that might raise an eyebrow or two:

  • Men newly in love, have lower testosterone levels than men flying solo or with a long-term partner
  • Testosterone can shrink your belly fat
  • Making money affects your testosterone level–young men who are futures traders get a testosterone spike on days when they make an above-average profit, British researchers found
  • Too much can shrivel testicles–in men, taking steroid hormones such as testosterone as performance boosters can cause testicles to shrink and breasts to grow
  • Sports fans get a winner’s boost–after a big sports game, the winner’s testosterone will increase substantially. And fans’ hormone levels seem to mirror those of their athletic idols. (Enough to get you off the couch, couch potatoes?)
  • It’s not the fountain of youth
  • Low levels are linked to sleep apnea
  • Too much may kill brain cells (Duh…)
  • Amazing hormone, this testosterone.

Estrogen? Not Me. No way. No how.

A male begins to produce testosterone as early as seven weeks after conception. Testosterone levels rise during puberty, peak during the late teen years, and then level off. After age 30 or so, it’s normal for a man’s testosterone levels to decrease slightly every year. As testosterone levels in men decrease, their estrogen levels increase. Oh yeah, sorry guys. You’ve got estrogen. (But then women have testosterone) Messed up as it may seem, it’s fact. But not to worry, the normal increase in testosterone is not going to make you want to go all Caitlin Jenner. So, here’s the million-dollar question tearing through your minds; why is estrogen important for men? It’s not the kind of question men discuss in gym locker rooms, the 9th hole or around a poker table. But estrogen plays an important role in men’s overall health. Too little estrogen can predispose men to osteoporosis and lead to bone fractures. Slightly elevated levels double a man’s risk of stroke and even higher incidence of coronary artery disease. Men with higher blood estrogen levels may be at higher risk for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

It’s All in The Balance

Like all the hormones coursing through our bodies sending signals to the organs to work or not, testosterone is no different. It’s sort of like Goldilocks and the Three Hormone Levels. This one is too low, this one is too high, this one is just right. Low testosterone (low T) can be caused by everything from kidney or liver disease to certain types of cancer. High estrogen can be caused by everything from too much alcohol to too many carbs. Balance, comes from an expert in hormone therapy, and you’re fortunate to have one of the best here in the Denver area— Stephen A. Goldstein M.D., F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health.  He understands, he’s easy to talk to about such a delicate subject with, and more importantly, he knows what to do to help. With simple tests, he can target your problem, then create a treatment plan exclusively for your issues.

Call for an appointment now.

More than any other specialist, he passes the test.

WHAT IS ANDROPAUSE – Getting Older All the Time

Andropause

What is Andropause? In men, the symptoms of aging are often the result of a growth hormone and testosterone decline. After age 20, a man’s growth hormone falls about 14 percent every 10 years. By the time he reaches 40, he’s lost almost half the growth hormones he had at 20 years old and by the time he reaches 80, men are left with just 5 percent of their original growth hormones. These imbalances can happen at any age. Advancing age is associated with an increase in aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. Yes, you heard right, “estrogen”. Older men actually have higher estrogen levels than postmenopausal women. (Doesn’t exactly sound manly…)

Man Oh Man Oh Menopause…Andropause?

When you hear the word menopause, your thoughts most likely go to women.  However, the reality is that men can be affected by their own type of menopause, or andropause, as it’s often referred to. Male menopause doesn’t cause the same symptoms as it does in women. Andropause may happen so gradually or subtly that some might not even notice the transition taking place at all.  However, for other men, especially those with poor diets and low activity levels, they may be hit harder with the variety of male-specific symptoms.

The Estrogen/Testosterone Train Wreck

As we’ve mentioned, andropause can come on subtly. But when they do become apparent, these symptoms of male hormone imbalance are some of the most common:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hair loss
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Night sweats or hot flashes (your wife will have a riot at that one, once she discovers you with your face in front of the open fridge.)
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle loss or weakness
  • Sleep apnea or insomnia
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Constipation or increased bowel movements
  • Increased body fat
  • Gynecomastia (development of breasts in men. (Man boobs, they call them. Not to be confused with Man Cave.)

Man Up

Yes, it’s true that some men suffer from one or a combination of what have become known as the classic symptoms of aging (there’s that foul word again) as mentioned above. But male menopause doesn’t have to be so miserable. If certain symptoms have begun to affect your quality of life, hormone loss and imbalance is easily correctible. Sexual functions, thinning hair and restored muscle mass, among a few, can be restored. How? Tell me how. Tell me now. The answer is to consult with one of the most extensively trained, trusted and respected physicians in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy: Stephen A. Goldstein MD, F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health. Unlike some others, he never takes a one-size-fits-all approach to your healthcare. After performing simple tests, he creates a custom-compounded treatment plan based on each patient’s individual diagnostic results. Part of that plan figures in everything from your lifestyle, diet, exercise and even level of stress.

Call for an appointment now.

It’s what any smart guy would do.

MENOPAUSE HORMONES – Caution: Falling Hormones

Menopause Hormones

Your ovaries begin to age and as your years go up, your hormones go down. These inevitable changes in your hormones and natural decline of estrogen levels during menopause can significantly affect your health for years to come.

If You Could Change the Change

Estrogen depletion can bring on a combination of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations that can lead to changes in your brain and nervous system. You may experience mood swings, memory loss, problems focusing, irritability, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, stress, anxiety and depression. (Some researchers believe that estrogen depletion can affect your memory in a way that can impact your risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.)  Due to estrogen depletion, women are also put at an increased risk for cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks, strokes, or other heart-related problems. After the age of 30, the creation of new bone cannot keep up with the rate of bone loss in your body. The estrogen depletion that comes with menopause results in an increased risk for low bone mineral density, osteopenia and osteoporosis. For 5-10 years after menopause, this bone density loss accelerates into a gradual weakening of your bones and can lead to an increase in the risk for fractures and other injuries. (Gimme a break.)

Hit or Myth

Myth #1:  Menopause begins at 50

Menopause begins at 50…or at 42…or 36…or 61. The average woman begins menopause at 52, but you may start your transition anywhere from your 30’s to your 60’s.

Myth #2:  Weight gain is inevitable in menopause

Weight gain is an absolute in menopause but you don’t have to allow it.

Myth #3: There’s no difference between natural menopause and “surgical” menopause

It’s critical for women to know that natural menopause and surgical menopause are indeed very different. When a woman undergoes a total surgical hysterectomy, she experiences an immediate and significant change in hormonal balance, literally overnight, instead of the slower transition of natural menopause.

Myth #4: The first sign of menopause is hot flashes

Despite the fact that menopause and hot flashes are almost synonymous in peoples’ minds, (and are also the topic of endless, tasteless jokes,) your first sign of menopause could be any of these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular periods
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Cravings
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Low libido
  • Forgetfulness
  • Heavy menses

Myth #5:  After menopause, your body doesn’t produce hormones

No cold turkey, empty bucket, here…

Myth #6:  The older you are when you get your period, the older you’ll be when you go through menopause

For many women, just the opposite is true.

Myth #7:  Menopause only causes physical symptoms

Could you describe yourself as a “raving maniac” at times? Are you more irritable and anxious? You’re not alone. Many women experience unnerving changes in their emotions, memory, and concentration during perimenopause and menopause due to sudden shifts in estrogen levels.

Some Hot Flashes About Sex.

Send up the balloons…your vagina is NOT going to shrivel up like a prune. Your libido isn’t going on permanent leave. You can still get hot and we’re not referring to flashes. Your desire isn’t headed to the dumps. The vagina is a “use it or lose it” place, the act of intercourse stimulating blood flow to keep it healthy. Media makes it sound gross to have sex after 50. It’s beyond Millennial imagination. (Hint: they’ll get there before they know it.) So, ok, you might not feel as sexy as before. Tip: up the intimacy. Go for as many orgasms as you can get. Why not? You just might have to work a little harder for it. Yes, you might be a little drier, but bring on the lubes. There are tons of them. And consider this; no tampon, pads, IUD’s. No kids doing anything interruptus. Enjoy. Probably even more.

Pause to Hear This

When it comes to menopause, there are many types of estrogen replacement you might hear of: pills, patches, creams, suppositories and more. None work as well as bioidentical hormones. It’s important to know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones. Natural or bioidentical hormones are hormones made from a natural substance and are bio-chemically identical to human hormones. Synthetic hormones are not derived from a natural substance and not biochemically identical. Synthetic hormones were created by pharmaceutical companies in an attempt to mimic the effects of natural female hormones. Which creates huge differences in both efficacy and side effects. The most important thing to know is who to go to, to get the professional help you really need. Write this name down, right now: Stephen A. Goldstein MD, F.A.C.S. at Denver Hormone Health. With years of expertise and experience treating hundreds of perimenopausal and menopausal women, he is among one of few extensively educated and knowledgeable in BHRT specialists in the Denver area. You’ll begin to feel relief the moment you meet with him. He takes the time to listen and to talk about your individual symptoms and issues. Next, he does simple tests that tell him your estrogen levels. At which point he creates an integrated plan of hormones, healthy eating and exercise that will restore not just your estrogen, but what you need to feel as energetic and alive as you used to.

Call for an appointment now.

And be sure to keep the conversation going throughout your menopausal years.