June is National Men’s Health Month. You’ll be seeing a lot about prostates and low libidos, as if that’s all there is to us(!)….there are of course more complexities to men. We often hear about menopause for women as they age, as a natural and celebrated change. Men too go through this change, it’s called “andropause” (dictionary.com states “also called: male menopause the period, usually occurring between the ages of 45 and 55, during which a man’s testosterone levels may fall, leading to a reduction in vigor and sexual drive”). Hormone changes – mainly in testosterone (and slightly estrogen metabolism) – are effected by stress. And, I think we can all agree that once we reach middle age there have been a few stresses along the way! There is a simple test we run in the office as a screening, which will determine if you need to have a further, more comprehensive work up.
Symptoms of irritability, fatigue, joint aches, low libido, and erectile dysfunction all may be attributable to a decrease in testosterone. This and other hormone imbalances can create insomnia and sleep disturbances which could mean stress hormones, like cortisol, may become out of balance.
This month we are offering a hormone panel for men that will include testing for DHEA, Androstenedione, Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, Estrone, Estradiol, and Progesterone. To get a comprehensive evaluation you may want to add some blood work to check out heart health, thyroid function, and prostate health. We are able to comprehensively screen for many of these imbalances and correct the underlying imbalances to help restore your body back into balance.
I have heard from many men, for whom we have balanced their hormones, comment about less joint pain and irritability, more energy and vigor, and a healthier sexual response. We use bio-identical hormone replacement therapy when appropriate. When I started medical practice 12 years ago, I didn’t use bio-identical hormones…I thought, what are we doing, this is a natural change, why do we need to replace hormones? One of my mentors, Dr. Jonathon Wright, the father of bio-identical hormones, commented to me that death too is a natural process, do you promote that in your practice as well? There is definitely a continuum in hormone use and not the starting point, though when needed they can change your life! If you, or the men in your life are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it may mean there is a hormone imbalance happening. Now is the time to get it checked out! Call the clinic at 503-287-4970 and schedule your appointment today. (If you’d like to talk about your health concerns, please call and schedule a complimentary consult to discuss with a doctor at the clinic).