We’ve all heard about bodybuilders using steroids and testosterone supplements to build muscle mass–often with unwanted side effects. That’s because too much of something is not always a good thing. But for natural testosterone and other hormones, not having enough, or not having all the hormones balanced properly, can also lead to unwanted results.
Numerous studies support that proper testosterone levels are necessary to have adequate muscle mass development and muscle strength. Testosterone also affects the proportion of fat distribution in your body. So it’s not surprising then, as you age and your testosterone levels decrease – starting as early as in your 20’s – that you can experience reduced muscle mass and strength, and start feeling “soft” around the middle as body fat percentage goes up.
That is why re-balancing your hormones to their optimal levels is so important at every age. And even more so as you grow older, in order to keep your body healthy and performing at its optimal function. Declining muscle strength is one of the reasons that older adults are more susceptible to falling. And men also need estrogen to help maintain bone density and other functions, so you can see why it’s very important to make sure that all of your hormones remain at the proper levels to protect you as your body ages.
Many people think only of testosterone and estrogen as the hormones controlling sexual function, with testosterone widely thought of as aa “male” hormone and estrogen as a “female” hormone. But the truth is that, in both men and women, the endocrine glands– pituitary, adrenal, pineal, thymus, thyroid, pancreas, and testes/ovaries–comprise the body’s hormone factory that produces, stores, and releases hormones into your bloodstream, controlling many of your vital organs. In addition to testosterone, estrogen (estradiol) also plays an important role in men’s health, not only for sexual function, but also for anti-aging benefits and disease prevention. In fact, low levels of estrogen in men can lead to:
- Sexual health disorders (ED, as well as low desire, libido and satisfaction)
- Prostate issues
- Altered cholesterol levels in both “good” and “bad” cholesterol
- Cardiovascular problems
- Poor insulin resistance, leading to increased belly fat, decline in lean muscle mass, and higher risk of diabetes
- Decreased bone density (osteoporosis) and higher risk of fracture
- Decline in brain health
Hormones affect so much more than most people think and provide critical signals for all of these body functions:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
While age is what most of us primarily think of as affecting our hormone levels, many other factors can create hormonal imbalances in both men and women, including these, to name just a few:
- Environmental toxins
- Physical activity
You can see why these chemical messengers have a huge effect on your overall system and sense of well-being. If any of your endocrine glands are not functioning at optimal levels, even men suffer from hormonal imbalances that can result in many unwanted side effects, in addition to the of muscle mass and muscle strength.
But the GOOD NEWS is that BIO-IDENTICAL hormones–in use since 1938 and with dozens, if not hundreds, of studies performed showing nothing but good effects when properly optimized–can balance your hormones, AND help build or maintain your muscle mass and strength. Not only that, but bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can also provide protective benefits to help lower the risk of developing cancer, coronary artery disease, and dementia.
Hormones Affect Us at All Ages
Hormones affect us at all ages, and it’s never too early to consider how their levels might be impacting your daily life to help you avoid any lasting or serious health issues. While many men believe that male hormone imbalance starts in their 40’s, research has shown that changes in hormone levels can actually occur decades earlier, beginning in the late 20’s. Male andropause can begin as early as your 30’s, and the hormonal imbalances in thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen levels can occur several years before the obvious symptoms appear. So with the hectic lifestyles we all live today, it’s important to be aware of how your hormone levels may be affecting your health and well-being at every age.
How to Correct Hormone Imbalance
If at any age you are feeling like you are losing muscle strength or muscle mass, take the time to call Advanced Image Med Spa & Elite Wellness Center and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jennessa Iannitelli (Dr. I). Dr. I will carefully discuss your symptoms with you and order bloodwork to check your hormone levels. It could be worth starting at what is the most likely cause, rather than wasting time and money on trying vitamins, supplements, or even prescription drugs that may or may not help. Why try to put a band-aid on the problem if you can actually identify the root cause and correct it? Not to mention the fact that long term optimized hormone levels can actually protect against Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer, and heart disease!
If your blood test does show imbalances in your hormone levels, Dr. Iannitelli can inset subdermal bio-identical hormone replacement pellets just under your skin, and at the precise levels you need to bring your hormones back into balance for optimal biological and physiological function. Instead of synthetic creams, patches, and pills, the pellets offer a natural, bioidentical alternative—hormones that are plant-based and structurally identical to those that occur naturally in your body. These hormones are released as needed based on your cardiac activity level. This keeps your hormones functioning at their optimal levels throughout your day, to meet your body’s individual needs.
Additionally, by using pellets you get long-term effective levels—men typically only need pellets every 5-6 months, versus the continuous fluctuation in levels that can be experienced in other delivery methods like creams, pills, and injections.
Integrated Approach to BHRT
Because there are many things that can affect your hormones and the endocrine glands that produce them—stress, lifestyle, diet and nutrition, sleep quality, allergies, and more —Dr. I offers an integrated approach to identify what exactly is affecting your hormone levels and to create a plan for what can help keep your hormones in balance moving forward.