What is the difference between Natural/Bio-Identical and Synthetic Hormones? Natural hormone replacement refers to the use of hormone supplements that are bio-identical to those that are naturally produced by our own endocrine glands. Synthetic hormones are the results of pharmaceutical "tampering" with the molecular structure of the natural hormones. These synthetic derivatives are patentable by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, while naturally occurring hormones are not. These patentable synthetic hormones are then marketed to the medical profession as somehow better than their naturally occurring parent hormone. An example of this is ProveraŽ ,a synthetic derivative of progesterone. This drug is widely used by Gynecologists and Family Doctors for treatment of menstrual and menopausal bleeding disorders and combined with synthetic estrogens for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. There is actually no reason for this drug existing. It offers absolutely no advantage over natural progesterone in any treatment situation. In fact, it is poorly tolerated by many women in hormone replacement therapy due to it many side effects. Why do so many doctors use it? Because it has been heavily marketed by its manufacturer and its widely available Back to Top
Is there a male menopause? What is it? What can help me? There definitely is a male menopause and it isn't all in your head. It used to be felt that male "menopause" was a psychiatric condition. Now we know that it is a hormonal condition. It even has a name "Andropause". It is all related to the hormonal decline that occurs with age, specifically the decline in the androgenic hormone testosterone. It appears that as the testosterone level declines it reaches a critical level that causes mood changes. These mood changes are of course aggravated by the changes that the male typically had already noted for the past few years such as declining libido, decreased stamina physically and mentally, increasing weight gain, as well as sleep disturbance (which can cause depression all by itself). These are also due to the declining levels of testosterone Back to Top
What's the difference between injectable and cream based Testosterone? These synthetic derivatives are patentable by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, while naturally occurring hormones are not. These patentable synthetic hormones are then marketed to the medical profession as somehow better than their naturally occurring parent hormone. An example of this is Provera ,a synthetic derivative of progesterone. This drug is widely used by Gynecologists and Family Doctors for treatment of menstrual and menopausal bleeding disorders and combined with synthetic estrogens for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. There is actually no reason for this drug existing. testosterone is a steroid hormone with anabolic properties as is estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are known as fat soluble (as opposed to water soluble). Fat soluble hormones will penetrate the skin, water soluble generally will not, which means that they are particularly suited to transdermal administration. Virtually any drug or supplement that is taken by mouth must first pass through the liver to gain access to the rest of the body. This "first pass" as it is known in pharmacology is responsible for a large amount of the substance being metabolized (degraded or altered). Virtually any hormone that can be absorbed through the skin (fat soluble) is preferably administered transdermal (through the skin), allowing use of smaller doses and minimizing the production of undesirable metabolic by-products that result from the "first pass" phenomenon. In addition, it is very easy to adjust the dosage by varying the amount of the cream to apply. No need for cutting pills in half, etc.
The greatest advantage of creams over injections, however is that it reproduces the natural daily cycle that exists in young healthy individuals. Testosterone levels are highest in the morning and decline through the day. This natural cycle exists because of the burst of Leutenizing Hormone from the pituitary gland that occurs during sleep. This LH stimulates the testicles to increase their production of testosterone. Testosterone injections, on the other hand, maintain a constant level of testosterone throughout the day and night, which cause constant feedback suppression of the nighttime LH burst. This is why testosterone injections cause such severe testicular atrophy (shrinkage). This atrophy of the testicles can be very dramatic, as is found in many body builders and other athletes that have a history of anabolic steriod use.
Another very important advantage is that daily cream administration results in consistent day to day blood levels, while the injections have very high blood levels for the first few days after the injection and very low levels for the last few days before the next injection. The blood levels are only "normal" for the few days in the middle. This is also explains why injectable steroid users get gynecomastia, which is overgrowth of the breast tissue. During the first days after injection, when testosterone levels are way above normal, some of it is converted into estrogen which then causes the breast tissue (usually dormant in males) to develop. Back to Top
I have a harder time working out with very little results. Is there help that's safe? The answer to this is similar to the previous question with the additional comment that many of the hormones that decrease with age are hormones that have generally anabolic action in our bodies. I hesitate to use that word because of the association with "anabolic steriods" and athletics. However it is not a "dirty" word. Long before the popularity of anabolic steroids the words anabolic and catabolic were coined by biochemists to describe two general types of cellular biochemical reactions. Anabolic referred to those chemical processes that built up the structural portions of the organism, those processes that synthesized proteins for the functions that the cell was required to perform. In the case of a muscle cell that would be the synthesis of new myosin molecules to replace the older damaged ones. In the case of a skin cell that would be synthesis of collagen and elastin that makes the skin thicker and more elastic. Catabolic functions on the other hand are those that have to do with cellular breakdown, usually to produce energy. When we are young the relative amounts of these anabolic hormones are much greater than the catabolic ones. We have an overall much greater anabolic influence in our general cellular metabolism. Biochemists and physiologists refer to the "anabolic/catabolic ratio" that decreases with aging, which results from the decrease in the anabolic hormones that accompany getting older. For this reason, exercise produces profoundly greater changes in our bodies when we are younger and we have this general anabolic influence present. We can feel it, or rather, we can definitely feel the loss of it as we get older. The ability to exercise hard and feel good afterwards is lost Also lost is the rapid gains that one could get from exercise. Restoring hormone levels to those that were present at a younger age goes a long way to restoring the lost responsiveness to exercise. The key to safety is monitoring these levels to achieve a optimum physiologic level. The word physiologic here means not exceeding those levels that are normally found in our bodies when we were in our physical peak years Back to Top
Does testosterone replacement stop a man's own production of testosterone? What is HCG? Some forms of testosterone replacement such as injections of long acting synthetic testosterone derivatives will virtually stop an individual's own testosterone production at the same time causing severe testicular atrophy that, after as short a time as six months, is only partially reversible. However, daily cream administration of testosterone will cause only partial suppression of the testicular production, which is reversible on cessation of treatment. Even this minimal suppression of testosterone production can be eliminated by co-administration of hCG.
hCG is a hormone that is virtually identical to LH, the hormone that controls testosterone production by the testicles. This co-administration of hCG then increases your own natural production of testosterone. Back to Top
What is Growth Hormone? Is it safe? What are the side effects? Is it FDA approved? Growth hormone is one of the most important hormones influencing the aging process. Up until recently, it was thought that the only function of growth hormone was to stimulate the development that occurred during the growth years. Most scientists felt the that declining levels that occurred after that age were merely remnants of the growth years and had no function in the body. However, research now shows that this substance is responsible for maintaining the reparative and restorative functions of many, if not all, of our tissues. It was found that adults who lack growth hormone, or GH as it is called, age prematurely; and that restoring the GH levels to normal reverse the premature aging process seen in Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency. Furthermore, it has been noted for years that the production of GH gradually decreases with age in a manner that closely correlates with the development of the signs of physical aging. Those signs of aging most clearly affected by the decreasing level of GH are those signs associated with the structural components of the body: the connective tissues. The connective tissues include the bones, the muscles and the fascia that enclose them, the tendons and ligaments that hold the joints together, as well as the skin and perhaps most importantly the vascular structures. In deficient individuals restoring the growth hormone levels to the level of a healthy individual improves all of these tissues, increasing the thickness and elasticity of your skin, reducing wrinkles and sagging, increasing the strength and volume of your muscles and increasing the lean body mass. It also increases the strength of the ligaments and fascia, reducing your susceptibility to injuries such as sprains and strains. Growth hormone is also is a powerful stimulant to bone deposition, reversing osteoporosis and further reducing your potential for injury. It also appears to affect the lining of the arteries, the endothelium, reducing the development of atherosclerosis. Adults with Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency statistically more likely to die of ischemic heart disease at a younger age than normal adults.
hGH, the form available for administration, is indicated for treatment of Adult Growth Hormone deficiency and Osteoporosis. The diagnosis is initially suspected by a low morning fasting IGF-1 level. This screening test should be followed up with a stim test to more definitively establish the deficiency. Growth hormone is remarkably free of serious side effects when used in a monitored and controlled program. Proper dosage is critical and blood levels must be monitored to determine the proper dose. Some people may experience some fluid retention during the early phases of the program. This is easily remedied with dose reduction, or brief cessation of treatment. There is some mythology that growth hormone is associated with cancer. This misconception is due to the fact that, when growth hormone was first available, it's only use was in the treatment of forms of genetic dwarfism, conditions that were already known to be associated with forms of cancer. Growth hormone has not been shown to be associated with any type of cancer. Growth hormone requires some caution in the presence of insulin resistance or early Diabetes Mellitus Type II. Back to Top
Why don't OB/GYN physicians and Family Physicians prescribe natural Hormones? Ob/Gyn specialists and primary care providers have been propagandized by the pharmaceutical industry to believe that synthetic is better than the natural hormones that you were born with. The pharmaceutical companies cannot make any money off these natural hormones because they cannot be patented. The first thing a pharmaceutical researcher will do when confronted with a new natural substance that has medical benefits is to try to make a variation of the molecular structure that can then qualify for a patent. They will then claim that this synthetic derivative of the natural substance is somehow better than the parent substance. Then they spend millions promoting it to the medical profession, providing individual instruction in it's use, free samples, video and audio tapes, and more. Some really hot drugs are promoted by all expense paid trips to seminars in their use, usually held in places like Hawaii. Conversely, the natural hormone is frequently not even available, except perhaps at specialty pharmacies. In the case of the natural hormone, there is frequently no readily available information or instructions on usage. This part is vitally important because doctors do not have the time to dig out this kind of information, particularly when an attractive alternative is being spoon-fed to them. This is not a condemnation of the pharmaceutical industry, merely an attempt to help understand the phenomenon of why natural drugs, hormones and supplements are not popular at your doctors office. We would be in sad shape without the miracles of modern pharmacology Back to Top
I have migraines associated with my menstrual cycle, will hormones help? I have many female patients that have been to numerous doctors, specialists for treatment of their migraines. These women have been subjected to treatment with beta-blockers, antidepressants and various other drugs for a headache that ultimately responded to progesterone cream, simple! The answer should have been obvious when the patient tells you that the headaches were in some way associated with a hormonal event i.e.: menstrual periods, menopause, or pregnancy. I believe the majority of migraines in women can be eliminated with hormonal therapy Back to Top
Can women take testosterone and what will it do? Yes, and they will like the effects, too. This is an element of HRT for women that was missing until recently. Not that the knowledge of the benefits of testosterone for women is new. The fact that the loss of their testosterone production with menopause contributed to many post-menopausal health conditions has been known for years. Testosterone production drops to virtually zero after menopause (or surgical removal of the ovaries). This is one of the causes for weight gain, loss of strength and agility, loss of muscle mass, obesity, fatigue, decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) and last but definitely not least, loss of libido. The loss of sexual desire can be virtually complete and is very troubling to many women, not just because of the marital difficulties that result. Supplementation with less than a twentieth of the dose used in men results in dramatic return of a healthy libido, as well as improving calcium deposition in bones, muscle strength and fatigue resistance. When the dose and blood level is carefully monitored and controlled and it is included with progesterone and estradiol, unwanted hair growth and other masculinizing effects are not a problem. Back to Top
Can I find growth hormone cheaper in Mexico. Yes, but I strongly recommend against it. There is a large business of selling fake or pirate drugs to Americans who flock to the borders to buy cheap pharmaceutical products. You have to know who you are buying from. The pirates are very skilled at producing an authentic appearing package with near perfect appearing labels, seals, shrink wrap, even lot numbers and expiration date stamps. Then there's the question of biologic (HIV, hepatitis) or chemical contamination. I don't recommend it. There's not just the risk of losing your money, there's the risk of losing your life. Back to Top
How soon will I experience positive results? Most people notice results within days, especially with mood symptoms. The greatest gains however take time. I usually tell people to count on giving the program six months to see gains in areas such as redistribution of body mass from fat to muscle. At the end of that time hardly anyone quits Back to Top
Does this help with Weight Loss? How? Restoration of the anabolic hormonal balance of youth will gradually restore a more youthful body shape. Most of us were more slender when we were young. The gradual accumulation of fat around the midsection is a result of the loss of the anabolic metabolism of youth. Other hormonal imbalances may be contribute such as thyroid deficiency. The reversal of this accumulation requires the reversal of the imbalance. When this is achieved the body will gradually begin to remodel itself, with increased muscle mass in the arms, legs and chest, back and shoulders. This increased highly metabolically active muscle tissue will result in decreased fatty tissue deposition in the storage areas of the abdomen and gluteal areas. Those that exercise regularly will see the most rapid and dramatic gain. Following a modest calorie restricted diet, with the proper carbohydrate, protein and fat ratio will further accelerate the fat loss. With serious obesity, other adjuncts to weight loss may be needed to assist the patient in attaining a healthy body weight Back to Top
I have low energy and feel fatigued all the time. Is there help? Loss of the natural hormone balance of youth is primarily responsible for the loss of the natural vigor that went with it. The symptom that seems so prevalent is the profound fatigue that one feels at the end of the day. Most patients state that, at the end of the day, they feel that they don't have the energy to do much more than eat dinner and go to bed. When we were younger, the end of the workday marked the beginning of the rest of the day. The rest of the day might have included a workout, social and recreational activities or "burning the midnight oil". As we progress through the forties and fifties, that "midnight oil" is, for many of us, exhausted by mid-afternoon! Restoring the hormonal balance will improve resistance to fatigue, allowing you to work a long day and still have energy to exercise which will further improve your fatigue resistance Back to Top
Will Hormone Replacement help mood swings and depression? In many cases, yes. A great number of people suffer from undiagnosed hormone imbalances that cause depression. Like migraine headaches, it is obvious that mood problems and depression frequently accompany hormonal changes like pregnancy, menstrual periods and menopause (or even menarche). Thousands of women will relate that they had either onset, or relief, of certain conditions like depression or migraine headaches simultaneous with hormonal events such as pregnancy or menopause. This clearly reveals that the hormonal changes that are associated with these events has a causative role. As proof, many of these conditions are completely relieved with restoration of the hormone levels to normal healthy values. Back to Top
Do growth Hormone sprays and stimulators work? No. At least, not to the degree that their promoters claim. You may get some increase in hGH secretion, but not enough to notice any significant changes.. Due to the fact that hGH therapy is presently expensive and beyond the reach of many, a market for cheap hGH stimulators has sprung up like a weed and is growing just as fast. The sad truth is that real hGH from one of the four major pharmaceutical companies licensed to produce it is the only way to gain the benefits of growth hormone. A number of these same pharmaceutical companies are engaged in major projects to produce a genuinely effective hGH stimulator that will not require injection, but none is on the horizon yet. There is expectation, however, that the price of genuine hGH will continue to drop as it has done in the past ten years. In this period the price has dropped drastically (ten-fold). Stories about patients that took hGH in the early to mid nineties who spent thousands of dollars for their treatment are true. Now that there are thousands of patients taking hGH and hundreds more starting every day, competition has begun to lower the price. The truth is that hGH is manufactured the same way that insulin is made and, theoretically, as the market size increases, the price should approach the same as insulin which is very cheap compared to the present price of hGH Back to Top
Does Hormone Replacement cause cancer in women? The longest running controversy in women's health perhaps even in medicine is the issue of estrogen replacement and cancer of the breast and endometrium. As mentioned earlier the issue of endometrial cancer has been pretty widely accepted as resolved with the addition of progesterone. The issue of breast cancer and estradiol is not so clear. Estrogens clearly do promote the rapid growth of cancers that exist but do not clearly cause the cancer in the first place. However, the addition of estriol seems to eliminate the stimulatory effect of estradiol on breast tissue that tends to lead to development of cancer. Still, the risk is limited primarily to women have had breast cancer or a mother with breast cancer. These women may still be treated as long as active cancer is ruled out with mammography and blood screening tests, the benefits are worth the effort. Some doctors, in the past, have refused these women the benefits of hormone replacement out of hand, resulting in significant loss of personal health and quality of life. I believe this is a terrible mistake.
This is similar to the testosterone and prostate cancer issue in men. Again, no study proves that prostate cancer is caused by testosterone, but some prostate cancers are promoted by testosterone. Interestingly the worst of the prostate cancers occur in men with a longstanding low level of testosterone. All men are screened with PSA tests before starting testosterone, any questionable result is studied with prostate ultrasound studies. Routine PSA exams are required for men as are mammograms and breast exams for women. These screening exams should be part of any wellness and longevity program anyway, and should include coloscreen for colon cancer and PAP smears at the intervals appropriate for the patients age. There are a number of other more sensitive studies available for those with higher risk due to genetics or exposure. Back to Top
Does this really work? Yes, it really works! It is based on sound physiological and biochemical principles, proven in clinical trials published in the most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. Moreover it has been proven in clinical practice by doctors that have specialized in this field. I have hundreds of patients who will attest that their lives are changed by this treatment. Back to Top
At what age do our Hormone levels decrease? Our hormonal or endocrinological peak coincides with our physical peak. It is widely known that males peak athletically at around 18-25 years of age. This is especially true in endurance and strength events. Modern training and increased skill enable athletes to remain competitive into the thirties, but, in outright tests of running, jumping, lifting, etc., the number of serious competitors drops off rapidly after age thirty. Women tend to peak two to three years later. After this age, the onset of the slow steady hormonal decline begins. It is so slow at first and our hormone levels are so high at this age that we don't begin to notice it for about 10 years. However, somewhere around the late thirties and early forties it becomes subtly apparent. There is also significant statistical variation in this progression. Most people are familiar with someone who appears to have aged very prematurely, or on the other hand, very gracefully. Back to Top