As we age, our hormone levels gradually decline. Most people go along thinking this is how things are supposed to be and many of their physicians tell them the same thing. This just isn't the case.
If a younger person had the decreased hormone levels that are typically seen in our middle-aged and older folks, it would be quickly addressed and corrected. However, this same low level is considered to be “normal” for an older individual. It is important to remember that “normal” is a range derived from a healthy population of ages from 18 – 80 years (in most instances). An average is determined, and then two standard deviations from the mean identify the “normal” range.
Take testosterone for instance- in some labs the normal range is defined from 330 – 1197 ng/dL. A 35-year-old male with a testosterone level of 350 is considered normal and would likely be told this by his primary care physician that he is fine. I doubt the patient would agree. "Normal" is a relative term when it comes to hormone levels. We must consider the symptoms of the patient along with the lab value for a complete assessment. Symptom relief is what the patient wants when we treat their hormone deficiencies.
How to Address Hormone Deficiencies
So what about the example above? What would we do? First, we would need a list of all of his symptoms/complaints and how long he has been experiencing them. Second, we would need a little more medical history information, such as:
- Does he take other medications that may cause a decrease in testosterone?
- What are his other lab values like (LH, Estradiol, and SHBG)?
- Is he overweight/obese?
These are just a small sample of the possible questions that help us understand the bigger picture. This patient could easily start on testosterone therapy, or maybe another hormone therapy to help improve his signaling pathways. There are also other nutritional and lifestyle options to help bring his testosterone levels up. Every patient is different, and every treatment protocol is different.
Finding an Ideal Hormone Balance
Multiple studies now support that the hormonal deficiency associated with age should be corrected to that of a younger person and be on the upper side of the normal range. The decline in hormonal levels is gradual in most cases, and the symptoms can sneak up on a person. So, most people chalk their symptoms up to being busy, tired, overworked, stressed or just because they are older. Fortunately, life doesn’t have to be that way. For those that choose to optimize their hormones, they can see and feel the improvement in a very short period. Hormone optimization is simply achieving the ideal balance between our organs and our endocrine system.
Optimizing Hormones for Optimal Health
We often don’t realize just how bad we have felt until after we start feeling better. The good news is that not only do we get to feel better, but we also get to enjoy the health benefits of having our hormones balanced and optimized. Optimizing your hormones has been associated with a decreased risk of:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
Optimizing hormones can also increase lean muscle mass, decrease body fat, increase libido, and stabilize our moods.
If you aren’t feeling your best and know you could feel better- maybe hormone optimization is the answer. Take a comprehensive approach to your health and identify what your hormone imbalances may be. It’s as simple as getting a blood test and letting us explain the findings and then building a unique program just for you. Contact us to set up an appointment!