Examination Room — Are Your Hormones Up to Par?

Examination Room — Are Your Hormones Up to Par?

You can step out on the most sought after course in the world, with beautiful scenery, rolling hills and the greenest of grass, but if you’re not feeling well or your mind is not clear, the chances that you’ll step off that course happy after 18 holes are slim to none. The same is true in life. A great job, beautiful family, nice house and good friends are likely to be underappreciated if your hormones are out of balance.

Symptoms of a Hormone Deficiency or Imbalance

What changes your day from being a bogey to an eagle? Balanced hormone levels. It’s about having good mental concentration, positive energy and overall strength.

Symptoms may vary greatly when it comes to a deficiency or an imbalance, but here are some of the most recognized:

◾ Weight gain
◾ Fatigue or loss of energy
◾ Trouble concentrating or foggy brain
◾ Lack of lean muscle mass
◾ Loss of interest in hobbies or socialization
◾ Decreased interest in sex
◾ Impotence or sexual dysfunction
◾ Recurrent anger or frustration
◾ Loss of tolerance toward others
◾ Insomnia

Understanding Par

Much like in the game of golf, where the par depends on the complexity of the hole, optimal hormone levels may vary from person to person. Some men and women require higher optimized levels, while others remain symptom free at average normal ranges. That’s why a good patient/doctor relationship is key when determining the individual needs for the best balance. As a rule of thumb, the following levels are often used to determine low, normal, and optimal ranges. Keep in mind that laboratory reports for normal ranges may vary slightly.

Aim and Align

When the goal is to balance hormones, it’s important to understand the starting position. That means measuring your hormone levels to understand your baseline. If the baseline is lower than expected or lower than optimal, your physician can work with you to set a target level that is specific to your needs based on symptoms and health goals. If the hormones are imbalanced, such as an elevation in estrogen levels due to testosterone conversion to estrogen, supplements or medication can be added to help correct the imbalance.

Benefits of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Just as symptoms vary, so do the list of benefits from hormone replacement. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy offers the best benefits without the risks associated with synthetic versions because it mimics the body’s natural hormone production. The most common benefits are listed below:

◾ Increased concentration
◾ Loss of body fat
◾ Increase in lean muscle mass
◾ Improved sleep
◾ Improved sexual relations
◾ Fewer mood swings
◾ Increased productivity

There Are No Mulligans

Waiting to address hormones can backfire. Whether it was choking on the quarterly goals at work or the decline of a relationship that got your attention, now is the time to act. Hormone deficiencies can be corrected in many ways: compounded creams, injections or bio-identical hormone replacement pellets. More and more people seem to be moving to the pellet therapy since it’s bio-identical, convenient for travel, and there’s no mess or chance of accidental exposure to others, but all three options are still readily available.

J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM is a partner at Executive Medicine of Texas and an expert on hormone replacement and age prevention. He is the author of several books, including “Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health.” You can learn more about him and his practice by visiting www.emtexas.com