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Do Men Need Sex Hormone Replacement Too? (It's not all about the erections)

Posted By Frank O. McGehee, Jr, MD, CCN, Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2015
“The St. Louis Adam Questionnaire” YES NO
1. Decrease in sex drive ______ ______
2. Erections less strong ______ ______
3. Lack of energy ______ ______
4. Decrease in strength and Endurance ______ ______
5. Lost Height ______ ______
6. Decreased “enjoyment of life” ______ ______
7. Sad and/or grumpy ______ ______
8. Deterioration in sports ability ______ ______
9. Falling asleep right after dinner ______ ______
10. Decreased work performance ______ ______
Answering yes to 1, 2, or any four total is considered suspect for hormone deficiency”1.

Men experience hormonal drop-off, just as women do; it is just not as in-your-face as the female experience. Andropause is male menopause- as hormones decline, men may exhibit the symptoms listed above. The positive benefits of replacing testosterone are many. “Testosterone also lowers cholesterol thereby protecting the heart and arteries, and reducing the risk of heart disease. As a benefit, patients feel much better than they would have on a conventional cholesterol medication (statin). Statins have debilitating effects such as nausea, gallbladder disease, diminished libido, liver problems, abdominal pain, muscle wasting, kidney failure, and total transient ammesia”2. Other diseases positively affected by hormone replacement are hypertension, diabetes, and regulation of inflammatory cytokines.

Now that you are aware of the benefits of hormone replacement, one should understand that men have more hormones than just testosterone. DHEA and Progesterone are also important sex hormones to test and balance along with testosterone.

Today, because of growth hormones being added to dairy and meats, men often “aromatize” testosterone incorrectly into Estradiol or Estrogen. A responsible practitioner will always test dihydrotestosterone (or DHT) on any male being tested for hormone replacement. High DHT is a marker for prostate cancer. Today, it is uncommon for a male to get more than a simple blood test for “low testosterone”, or low T. The problem with blood testing for hormone replacement is that the practitioner cannot get an accurate value for each hormone. The hormones in blood are bound to Albumin and Globulin. Free hormone status is the only accurate way to determine need, and that is by using saliva collection.

For this reason, we recommend saliva testing for both adrenal and sex hormone status. The testing is a small kit that is preformed at home, and the ZRT laboratory from Beaverton, Oregon evaluates the test. In addition, a saliva dihydrotestosterone test is performed, also at home, by Diagnos-Tecs Labs. If the dihydrotestosterone level is high, balance of testosterone, DHEA, Progesterone, four adrenal levels over the day and night, and thyroid hormone if needed should optimize levels. In addition, all hormone patients are given a plant lignan called DIM. DIM allows hormone receptors to remain open to help the body conjugate and process hormones thorough the body.

Each hormone formulation is individually designed. The hormones we use are all natural; from yam or soy sources. Therefore, they are 100% bioavailable to the body. When the test results have been received, a compounding pharmacist is then faxed the protocol to be individually compounded for the patient. The protocol is valid for one year, and there is no charge for phone calls during this time. Many mainstream practitioners today are constrained by the time limit insurance driven medicine places upon them. For this reason, most men with “low T” are given synthetic testosterone called Testosterone Cypionate. Men inject themselves once weekly to increase erections. Actually, it works quite well for this purpose. It also, however, aromatizes testosterone to Estradiol which as we have elucidated earlier in this article is very dangerous. In addition, if this is not enough damage to the system, Cypionate also compromises production of DHEA, which is an androgen hormone like testosterone. “DHEA is always chronically low in these diseases: malaria, posttraumatic stress, lupus, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, coronary artery wall thickening, Parkinson’s, and cancer”3. While we are not proposing low DHEA can cause these diseases, it makes one wonder how much benefit people might receive from proper Bio-identical hormone replacement!

For more information about us and our protocol visit us at:
Dr. Frank McGehee, M.D., C.C.N.
Vivienne McGehee, B.A., C.N. Office
Call 936-291-3351 or e-mail:
1909 22nd Street, Huntsville, Texas 77340

1. Lichten, Edward. Textbook of Bio-identical Hormones. S.l.: Foundation for Anti-Aging Research, LLC, 2007. Print. Page 211.
2. Somers, Suzanne. Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness; Life-altering Secrets from Today's Cutting-edge Doctors. New York: Crown, 2008. Print. Page 157.
3. Lichten, Edward. Textbook of Bio-identical Hormones. S.l.: Foundation for Anti-Aging Research, LLC, 2007. Print. Page 84.

Tags:  hormone replacement  men's health  sex 

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Ask the Expert: Is Hormone Replacement Safe?

Posted By Amber Passini, MD, Thursday, March 5, 2015

Q: My physician says hormone replacement is not safe.  Why does he not feel they are safe? I heard bioidentical hormones are safer than pharmaceutical hormones. What’s the difference?

A:  First of all the human body makes many hormones and we depend on them for virtually every system in the body.  Our sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone help us to feel young, vibrant, energetic, and sexual, among other things, and when they start to fall people generally just don't feel well.  Symptoms can range from poor sleep, foggy thinking, low energy, and irritability, to low sex drive, depression, anxiety or weight gain.  Balancing our hormones can be a challenge and it is important to have a physician who is knowledgeable and experienced with bio-identical hormones.  Bio-identical hormones are just what it sounds like, they are exactly identical to the hormones your body makes, or used to make.   Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone, are the three main sex hormones that most people are talking about these days although there are different forms of each.   Hormones that are patented by drug companies for hormone replacement therapy are not bio-identical and can be harmful. Pharmaceutical, genetically altered or horse derived, hormones are foreign to human bodies and are often more potent and more toxic to the human body.  This is especially true if they are metabolized a certain way.  In fact, the breakdown products of synthetic hormones can be several times more toxic than the original hormone.  They can help alleviate symptoms of hormone deficiency and menopause, but it comes with a price.

The Women’s Health Initiative a large clinical trial, which studied patented pharmaceutical hormone replacement (NOT bioidentical hormones replacement) found increased risks of breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, and heart disease. I do NOT recommend replacing hormones with synthetic estrogen and progesterone.   It is not safe!  Due to the Women’s Health Initiative many physicians do not feel any form of hormone replacement therapy is safe, but what they fail to realize is that the study used a horse estrogen and fake progesterone.  Sadly, most physicians are not educated on bioidentical hormone replacement and do not understand the difference between bioidentical hormone replacement and non-bioidentical hormone replacement.  It is something we are not trained on in medical school and those of us who are well versed in it have had to seek extensive additional training after medical school and residency.  

Human bodies have been making hormones for hundreds of thousands of years. Our bodies are at their best in our youth when our hormone levels are optimal, so having healthy hormone levels in and of itself is not the problem.  When our hormones fall we feel bad, (tired, irritable, depressed, achy, can't sleep, no energy or motivation, etc.).  In order to alleviate the symptoms of hormone deficiency we should be replacing hormones with bioidentical estrogen and progesterone in doses NO higher than what naturally occurs in the human body.  If bio-identical hormones are administered correctly they are as safe as the hormones that exist naturally in our body. Careful monitoring should be done to assure the hormone levels are balanced and are at appropriate levels for each person.  If you suffer from symptoms of hormone deficiency find a physician well versed in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to help you get back on the track to feeling healthy and vibrant again.  

Tags:  bioidentical hormones  hormone replacement 

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