Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides: The Benefits of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) at a Fraction of the Cost

Corrie MieszczakDr. Carragher, Human Growth HormoneLeave a Comment

growth hormone releasing peptides

Peptides are a hot topic these days. Why? Because many peptides are great for burning fat, building muscle, and improving athletic performance. There are thousands of different peptides in the human body, but the one my patients have traditionally been most interested in is human growth hormone, or HGH.

HGH is the most over-arching of all the peptide hormones in terms of its benefits. As its name suggests, human growth hormone helps babies and kids grow in height. Low HGH in children can cause dwarfism or short stature syndrome. Giving kids with short stature syndrome HGH during the right stages of growth can help them grow to normal or near-normal height.

HGH levels are high until a person is around 18 to 23 years old, which is about the time the body stops growing in height. After that age, HGH does not increase height, but it does several other jobs in the body, so many adults seek out HGH injections. Injections of HGH provide many benefits, including:

  • Cellular rejuvenation
  • Increase in lean body mass (muscle)
  • Decrease in body fat
  • Increased collagen production and skin thickness
  • Improved wound healing
  • Improved joint healing and connective tissue health
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduction in carotid artery plaque (associated with atherosclerotic heart disease)
  • Improved memory
  • Enhanced well-being
  • Decreased hospitalizations
  • Improved cardiovascular output, meaning your heart pumps blood more efficiently

The big problem is that HGH treatment is expensive, and this high cost is a barrier to treatment for many people. Fortunately, there are newer peptides that provide a safe, effective alternative to HGH – at a fraction of the cost.

GHRP benefits

HGH treatment is expensive. Fortunately, there are newer peptides that provide a safe, effective, and affordable alternative.

Peptide Treatment in the Spotlight

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They string together in chains, which can be short or long. Generally speaking, peptides are short chains of amino acids, and proteins are longer chains of amino acids.

Peptides are signaling molecules, which means they tell cells what to do. One of the advantages of peptides is that they can provide highly specific, targeted therapy. In other words, different peptides act on specific types of cells, so peptides can actually send specific messages to specific cells, resulting specific benefits.

There are about 7,000 peptides occurring in the human body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved more than 60 peptides for use as treatments in humans. These targeted peptide therapies are safe and well tolerated, so patients can use these treatments without worries about major side effects.

Compounding pharmacies are now able to manufacture peptides, which opens up new treatment possibilities. Compounding a medication means tailoring its manufacture specifically for a patient.  These peptides can often be made for significantly less than the same drug being commercially manufactured. Egrifta (generic name tesamorelin) is an FDA-approved name brand drug, developed to help reduce excess belly fat that HIV patients can develop (a condition called lipodystrophy). While very effective, it is also very expensive–costing about $6,000 per month. However, compounded tesamorelin is now available. Compounding the medicine has brought down the cost considerably–to about ⅙ the cost of brand-name Egrifta.

Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRPs)

Some peptides are Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP), a chemical class of drugs known as growth hormone secretagogues. These drugs tell the pituitary gland to secrete, or release, more human growth hormone.

There are many HGH secretagogues. Each affects the body in a different way. Some stimulate release of a lot of HGH at once, for example, while others stimulate a slow, steady release over several hours. Many affect fat loss, muscle tone and even the quality of a person’s sleep. Others affect hunger and increase gastric motility, which is how quickly food is emptied from the stomach–helping with weight gain. The choice of peptide, or peptides, to use depends upon the needs of each patient. Depending upon each patient’s situation and goals, GHRPs are used either alone or in combination for an additive effect.

Here are a few of the most widely used GHRPs:

CJC 1295 – remains in the body longer than many other GHRPs and releases HGH for a longer period of time; so it has a strong effect over time on fat loss and protein synthesis. Works excellently in combination with Ipamorelin.

Ipamorelin – does not cause hunger like many other GHRPs can; this peptide is extremely well tolerated and has the added benefit of increasing deep-wave sleep. Deep-wave sleep is your body’s most restorative sleep stage, when lots of your own body’s HGH is released. Works excellently in combination with CJC 1295.

Tesamorelin – extremely effective in burning midsection visceral fat.  Midsection visceral fat is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other health problems.

GHRP-6 – is a true HGH secretagogue that tells the pituitary to produce more HGH and IGF-1 (the protein that does much of the work of HGH in the body). It also causes hunger and promotes gastric motility and therefore is great for patients who want to gain weight.

GHRP-2 – has a more intense HGH release than GHRP-6 without promoting gastric motility; causes less hunger than GHRP-6.

Sermorelin – one of the first GHRPs used; stimulates HGH release but is less targeted than some of the newer GHRPs so is used for generalized increase in HGH production.

Some Other Popular Peptides That Aren’t GHRPs

Ghrelin – stimulates hunger and promotes weight gain in underweight people.

Bremelanotide PT-141 – works on the sexual center in the brain and increases sex drive in men and women; also used for erectile dysfunction in men and female sexual dysfunction (e.g. low sexual desire, arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder).  Excellent alternative to Viagra or Cialis.

Melanotan – stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin so promotes tanning of the skin. Used cosmetically for those who want to be tan and may play a role in preventing skin cancer.

For more information on growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRPs) and how they can be an affordable alternative to HGH, make an appointment with one of the physicians practicing The Carragher Method of Age Management.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Testosterone is Important to Male Health – But (Surprise!) So is Estrogen

Corrie MieszczakDr. Carragher, Estrogen, Hormone Optimization, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

male testosterone estrogen

Everyone knows that estrogen is important to women’s health, but did you know that estrogen plays a key role in men’s health?

As men reach middle age, the inevitable starts to occur – symptoms of aging set in. These symptoms include changes in sexual function, such as reduced sexual desire and erectile dysfunction, weight gain,  and other physical changes. In general, older guys have a hard time keeping up with the younger bucks.

Many doctors think that low testosterone is the culprit when it comes to signs of aging in men – and that’s true – but estrogen is actually key to halting these signs of aging as well.

The Truth About Estrogen In Men

Estrogen is a hormone, which means it works as a chemical messenger to control and coordinate various functions throughout the body. Hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, control the function of organs to affect growth and development, reproduction, and sexual characteristics. Some hormones affect one or two organs, while other hormones influence several organs throughout the body. Even small amounts of hormones can cause big effects.

As teenagers, men have high levels of testosterone and high levels of estrogen. Women have high levels of estrogen and moderate levels of testosterone. These sex hormones help men and women develop sex organs and reproduce. The hormones also give men “manly” and women “womanly” body shapes and other physical characteristics.

As men and women age, though, the levels of some hormones tend to drop while the levels of others rise. Aging men often have lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen, for example. In fact, high levels of estrogen in aging men usually correspond with low levels of testosterone. This is because they are making estrogen in their fat cells, so this is especially true of overweight and obese men.

Hormones also influence the level of other hormones to change hormonal balance in the body. In some cases, the body actually uses one hormone to make another. More about that later. First, let’s talk about the symptoms of aging and the role hormones play in those symptoms.

The Hormonal Balancing Act of Male Aging

The male body makes testosterone in the testes. Testosterone circulates to affect every cell of the male body, improving muscle mass and bone density, and has a positive effect on the brain, heart, and blood vessels. While men need testosterone, they also need estrogen for good health.

Estrogen is actually a “family” of hormones that include estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Each does different jobs in the body, and the body contains different levels of the various estrogens. Estradiol is the most predominant estrogen in the body.

testosterone estrogen male health

Research shows that while both estradiol and testosterone tend to decline with age in all men, the levels of these hormones vary substantially between men.

In men, estradiol is important to libido and plays a role in erectile dysfunction and the production of sperm. Research shows that while both estradiol and testosterone tend to decline with age in all men, the levels of these hormones vary substantially between men.

Low estradiol is associated with health problems in men. However, men with diabetes tend to have higher estrogen levels, and higher estrogen levels may correlate with heart attacks. While these facts seem to oppose each other, it’s because the estrogen in obese men comes from a different place than the estrogen in healthy, fit men.

Women make estrogen in their ovaries, but men don’t have ovaries, so they have to make estrogen another way. Believe it or not, men make estrogen from testosterone! The use an enzyme called aromatase to convert testosterone to estrogen. Using testosterone to produce estrogen is the “healthy” way to make estrogen, or more specifically, estradiol.  

The body also makes estrogen in the liver, muscles, brain, and fat cells. The production of estrogen in fat cells is of special concern because obesity rates are rising dramatically. Men are at greater risk of becoming obese, and this excess weight puts them at greater risk for high estrogen made in fat cells. When estrogen comes from fat, it’s not healthy.  It is associated with low testosterone levels, and sets up an unhealthy scenario for men.

In Short…

Overweight and obese men typically have low testosterone and high estrogen (from fat cells) – an unhealthy scenario. Healthy men typically have healthy testosterone levels and higher estradiol levels (from conversion from testosterone) – a healthy scenario.

Some practitioners try to correct hormonal imbalances by simply blocking estrogen. Not the right approach! If we are supplementing men with testosterone, we should let estradiol levels rise along with their testosterone, since in basically every study where men are given estradiol, their health outcomes are better.

In men of healthy weight, estrogen protects the body against coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, prostate problems, and other health issues. This is not true in obese men, though, when their estrogen is coming from fat cells. In obese men, estrogen contributes to symptoms, such as gynecomastia (enlarged breasts or “man boobs”). High estrogen levels in obese men is associated with prostate cancer and heart disease.

Low estrogen levels cause problems. It is a well-known fact that low estrogen levels can cause osteoporosis in women, for example. Estrogen deficiency, particularly low estradiol levels, may be a cause of osteoporosis in men, too. In fact, research shows that men with osteoporosis are more likely to have low testosterone and estradiol levels.

How Your Doctor Can Help

Doctors can help their male patients preserve estradiol with testosterone injections. Testosterone supplementation naturally increases estrogen levels, due to the enzyme aromatase. This gives the male body enough testosterone to convert to estradiol without causing testosterone deficiency. It also helps keep hormones at proper levels and in balance with each other.

Prescribing the right levels of hormone supplementation can keep hormones in balance. Monitoring hormone levels is essential, as these levels can change with age.

The good news is that The Carragher Method can help you overcome the natural consequences of decreased hormones that lead to symptoms of male aging. This scientifically-based approach to aging focuses on making every effort to slow the process of degeneration of the male body that comes with aging.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Changing the Way We View Menopause

Corrie MieszczakDr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Menopause, PerimenopauseLeave a Comment

changing view menopause

I remember growing up with the term “The Change,” and I didn’t quite understand this far-away concept. I’ve heard many stories of women saying things ranging from “Mine lasted ten years, and my family went through hell!” to “I got through mine…no problem!”

The elusiveness of this “Change” has now come to smack me right in the face. While I have treated hundreds of women, and heard thousands of stories, I didn’t quite “get” it until “The Change” was right there knocking at my door. Right then and there I had a choice…a choice of how I was going to view this and go through this.

While I had been trained about “No man’s land” with regard to the crazy, unpredictable hormonal fluctuations happening in a woman during perimenopause while her body fights to produce the last bits of the reproductive hormones she needs to function, I was now IN “No man’s land” myself! A patient so eloquently stated the next day as I was sharing about my personal experience versus my expertise and training in “No man’s land”….”I like to think of it as The Next Level of Badass!” YES! YES! YES! (In a “When Harry Met Sally” kind of way!)

Rather than feeling like the best years of my life were over, I felt such excitement about how since starting my hormonal journey several years back, I had been awakened to the best years of my life! And this was just the beginning. The best IS now and continues to get better and better. I am more fully present in everything I do (family, career, and self). I am far more physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually alive. I am constantly pushing myself outside my comfort zone to find new levels of excitement and contentment, and I want others to have this same amazing experience!

My mission is to help one million women change their perspective on “The Change” and aging, and to wake up to their truly “juicy” life, and move from surviving to thriving! Welcome to the Next Level of Badass ladies!

To learn more about Hormonal Health and how to optimize YOUR hormones, contact Dr. Jill Stocker at The Body Well today: email drjill@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355 for your FREE phone consultation.

Dr. Jill Stocker completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona and proceeded to medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri. She then completed her training and residency in Michigan, becoming Board Certified in Family Medicine, with advanced certification in Age Management Medicine.
 
To schedule an evaluation or consultation with Dr. Stocker, email her directly at drjill@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355.

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What Do Hormones Have to Do With Weight Loss Anyway?

Corrie Mieszczakbelly fat, Dr. Carragher, Hormone Optimization, weight gain, Weight LossLeave a Comment

Hormones weight loss

Many people come to our clinic because they’re frustrated with their weight loss efforts. Our patients often tell us that they sweat and starve for weeks or months with success at first, but that the weight just comes back. Almost everyone is surprised to learn that natural age-related fluctuations in hormones can affect the way their body gains weight and burns fat.

About Those Hormones

Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Hormones play a significant role in nearly every bodily function, from controlling reproduction to regulating sleep. Many of these hormones also help control hunger and thirst, and affect the way your body absorbs and uses sugar.

Insulin, for example, is directly involved with the way your body cells use sugar. It facilitates the transport of blood sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream into your body’s cells, where it can be used for energy.

Here’s how it works: The cells in your body can only absorb glucose from blood with the help of a special hormone, insulin. Working like a key to “unlock” the cells, insulin allows your body to  absorb the glucose it needs for fuel.

The good news is that insulin is your friend, because it helps your body burn glucose rather than storing it as fat. The bad news is that high insulin levels can cause your glucose levels to fall rapidly; your body takes this as a sign that you’re starving and sends a message to your brain telling you that you should eat as quickly as possible.

Hormones and Your Metabolism

Insulin and other hormones can affect your metabolic rate, sometimes known simply as your metabolism. Your metabolic rate is the pace at which your body burns calories throughout the course of a normal day.

You might be surprised to find out that you burn 60 percent to 75 percent of your daily calorie intake just sitting there at rest. Health professionals refer to this as your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or basal metabolic rate (BMR). People with a high resting metabolic rate will burn more calories while at rest than will those with a low basal metabolic rate.

Your resting metabolic rate can actually change, and for several different reasons. Diet, exercise, smoking, stress, sleep and many other factors can rev up or slow down your metabolism. The changing size of your body as you gain or lose weight can even affect your metabolic rate, as it takes more calories to run a larger body than it takes to run a smaller one.

In many cases, diets can change your metabolism. In other words, your body might say, “Oh, I’m living on 1,600 calories instead of 2,200 – if I consume anything over 1,600 calories, I will store it as fat.”

So the extreme calorie cuts needed to create rapid weight loss can actually work against you by teaching your body to store fat even on a low calorie diet. How frustrating!

Sleep, Hormones and Weight Loss

Getting too little sleep can actually cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation changes your glucose metabolism, causing your body to hoard the calories you consume instead of burning them. Inadequate sleep increases cortisol, which is the body’s “fight or flight” hormone. Cortisol increases insulin levels, which causes your blood sugar levels to drop quickly and trigger cravings for sugary foods.

My #1 recommendation if you are trying to lose weight is to get enough quality sleep each night.

Sleep weight loss

My #1 recommendation if you are trying to lose weight is to get enough quality sleep each night.

So what is good quality sleep? The National Sleep Foundation says that the key elements of good quality sleep include:

  • Falling asleep within 30 minutes
  • Sleeping at least 85 percent of the time that you are in bed
  • Waking up no more than one time in the middle of the night
  • Being awake for 20 minutes or less after you have fallen asleep the first time

While insulin has the most notable influence on metabolism and weight loss, other hormones can affect your metabolic rate as well. These hormones include testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), estrogen, DHEA and thyroid hormones.

Testosterone is important for good health in both men and women. Men produce testosterone mainly in their testicles and women produce testosterone mainly in their ovaries. Men, of course, produce more testosterone than do women.

Testosterone performs many jobs in the male and female bodies, including keeping bones strong and increasing libido. Some of the hormone’s most important jobs, though, are to promote the growth of muscle tissue and maintain muscle mass. Since testosterone helps build bigger muscles, and because bigger muscles burn more calories than do smaller muscles, adequate testosterone levels can help you burn calories and lose weight.

Unfortunately, the levels of testosterone and other hormones tend to drop with age. Low testosterone levels causes you to lose muscle mass, so your body burns fewer calories while in motion. The loss of other hormones can also lower your resting metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories while at rest too.

 

The good news is that we can help you overcome many of the natural consequences of aging that lead to weight gain. The Carragher Method is a scientifically-based approach to aging focused on preservation of optimum human function and quality of life, making every effort to slow the process of degeneration of the body that comes with aging. We take a proactive approach to losing weight and preserving the highest quality of life for you for the longest time possible.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Depression….The Silent Killer

Mike CarragherDr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Hormone OptimizationLeave a Comment

Depression Silent Killer

I saw a recent study in The Journal of Affective Disorders that showed the participants had been on an average of 14 (yes, 14!) psychiatric medications (anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, bipolar meds, and/or mood stabilizers) prior to having their thyroid levels checked and treated. Once their thyroid was optimized, their symptoms improved in 84% of them, with 33% having complete resolution of their symptoms.

This was an astounding study, and made me reflect on my own struggle with depression. And in light of recent celebrity suicides, I felt compelled to share and speak about the silent killer of depression. The more awareness that’s out there the better, and the more we begin to share our own personal stories and struggles, the less alone people feel.

My Personal Journey

My struggle with depression began in medical school, and worsened as I aged, including severe post-partum depression with my last child (and yes…suicidal thoughts were involved). However, I never really spoke about it, because I felt ashamed and thought that people would find me less credible as a physician if I did. So I suffered, mostly in silence, but also experienced fits of rage at my partner. When I heard about this study, I counted the number of medications I had been on in the past, to manage the depression and rage….six. And I certainly didn’t feel great on them. They just numbed me. I even looked into electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This was not the way I wanted to live.

Why am I sharing this? I’m telling you for a few reasons. First, depression doesn’t “look” any particular way. In fact, there are many masks people can wear to disguise it.  It doesn’t have to look like someone crying all day in bed. It can look like rage, or apathy (not really caring to do anything you used to enjoy doing), or feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. It can also be a high functioning executive of a multi-million dollar company, or a doctor, or a beautiful, successful fashion icon or model, or a multi-tasking soccer mom that always says she’s “fine.”  

Second, there is still such shame around the very word ‘depression’ that people are afraid to talk about it, to take off the mask. The more we perpetuate the silence, the more we perpetuate the problem, handing it down to our children, and so on, and so on.

The third reason I’m sharing this so openly is because I felt so alone and broken during those times. I didn’t know there was another solution other than just living with it and hoping it would pass. I don’t want you to suffer in silence, I want you – men and women both – to know there is hope, that you’re not alone, it’s not “all in your head,” or just a part of getting older.

Hormones May Be Your Solution

I certainly know that anti-depressants/mood stabilizers/anti-anxiety medications have their place. AND, I’m happy to say I have not taken any of them since having my hormones balanced. I feel more alive, present, and AWAKE than I ever have. I truly believe my hormonal “awakening” has allowed me to have my emotional, spiritual, and sexual awakenings as well. It is my mission to share this passionately and vulnerably with you so that you may have the same AMAZING experience and truly start LIVING your life, instead of just existing.

If you are having some of the same feelings, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There IS a solution. It is not weak to say you don’t feel “right,” or you feel “off,” or feel like you’re a shell of who you once were. Know that there is a better way of living your life, out loud and AWAKE!

To learn more about Hormonal Health and how to optimize YOUR hormones, contact Dr. Jill Stocker at The Body Well today: email drjill@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355 for your FREE phone consultation.

Dr. Jill Stocker completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona and proceeded to medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri. She then completed her training and residency in Michigan, becoming Board Certified in Family Medicine, with advanced certification in Age Management Medicine.
 
To schedule an evaluation or consultation with Dr. Stocker, email her directly at drjill@thebodywellusa.com or call (323) 874-9355.

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At What Age Should I Start Thinking About Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Corrie MieszczakAge Management, Dr. Carragher, Estrogen, FAQs, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Perimenopause, Progesterone, Sex, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

Am I Too Young For HRT

Many men and women associate hormonal changes and Hormone Replacement Therapy with being in their 50s or even older. However, hormonal changes often begin much earlier. For this reason, it is important for both men and women to pay close attention to their bodies and begin considering Hormone Replacement Therapy at a younger age if symptoms occur.

What Age Should Women Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?

On average, women in the United States go through menopause around the age of 51, but hormones typically begin to change many years before menopause is complete. In fact, many women begin to experience symptoms related to hormonal changes as early as their 30s or 40s. Because these changes are commonly associated with older women, younger women experiencing symptoms often feel strange or worry that something is wrong with them. However, these early symptoms are actually common.

Perimenopause

“Perimenopause” is the term used to describe the period of hormonal changes that occurs before actual menopause. During this time, the amount of estrogen in your body rises and falls unpredictably. Because estrogen is the primary female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries, this fluctuation can lead to a variety of changes and uncomfortable symptoms.

what age women HRT

Many women begin to experience symptoms related to hormonal changes as early as their 30s or 40s.

The hormonal changes occurring during perimenopause may cause the following symptoms:

  • Changes to cholesterol levels
  • Bone loss
  • Changes in sexual desire or pleasure
  • Lower fertility
  • Trouble with bladder control
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

When a woman begins noticing some or all of these symptoms, it is likely that the hormonal changes leading up to menopause have already begun and will continue to get worse. However, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms with the appropriate hormone replacement therapy.

Hormonal Changes Even Before Perimenopause

Years before perimenopause, women may experience changes in  key hormones other than estrogen. Beginning as young as a women’s late 20s and early 30s, the hormones that they typically want high (testosterone, progesterone, thyroid, DHEA, etc.) begin to fall and the hormones they want low (insulin, cortisol, etc.) begin to rise. This is when women can begin to see and feel the effects of aging: skin changes, weight gain (especially around the hips and thighs), fatigue, loss of sex drive and sense of sexual pleasure, loss of muscle tone. If you are a woman experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be due to hormonal imbalance.

What Age Should Men Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy?

The primary sex hormone for men is testosterone. This hormone is produced in the adrenal glands and the testes, and it is responsible for a wide variety of important biological functions. Some of the functions of testosterone for men include regulating sex drive, managing fertility, contributing to muscle mass, improved cardiovascular health, and more.

Unfortunately, as a man ages, his testosterone levels typically decline. Studies have shown that this decline is beginning earlier and earlier for men, with testosterone levels falling by about 15% for each of the past two generations. Although low testosterone was once considered a problem that was reserved for men in their late 30s or 40s, men in their late 20s are now exhibiting the symptoms.

What age men HRT

Men in their late 20s are now exhibiting the symptoms of low testosterone.

Some of the symptoms of low testosterone may include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in mood
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Increase in body fat
  • Low energy levels
  • Hair loss
  • Decreased semen volume
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive

 

If you are noticing any of these symptoms, it may be time to have your testosterone levels checked. Replacing falling testosterone can help restore your health.

Hormonal Changes in Men Other Than Testosterone

Men may experience changes in other key hormones other than testosterone.  Like women, beginning as young as a man’s late 20s and early 30s, the hormones that they typically want high (testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, etc.) begin to fall and the hormones they want low (insulin, cortisol, etc.) begin to rise. This is when men can begin to see and feel the effects of aging: skin changes, weight gain (especially around the midsection), fatigue, loss of sex drive and sense of sexual pleasure, loss of muscle tone.  If you are a man experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be due to hormonal imbalance.

When Should I Make an Appointment?

Hormone replacement is not reserved for the over-50 crowd and can be beneficial to younger people as well. Although you may feel like changes in hormone levels shouldn’t be noticeable until you are at least 40 or 50, symptoms begin much earlier for both men and women. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, you should start thinking about hormone replacement therapy, even if you are in your late 20s or early 30s.

Pay attention to your body. If you believe your hormone levels may be off balance, make an appointment with who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Replacement Therapy specialist to discuss these issues and have your levels tested.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Human Growth Hormone: Not Just Living Longer, But Living Better

Mike CarragherAnti-Aging, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone that has many critical physiologic functions in the human body. It has been the hormone associated with being the “fountain of youth” and sought out to provide “anti-aging” effects. While it does reduce the physical signs and symptoms of aging, it also reduces the risk of developing the most common diseases associated with aging.

As we age, many of your key hormone levels decline, and you start seeing and feeling the effects of this. This can happen as early as your late twenties or early thirties. Lack of adequate Growth Hormone in adults can result in a whole slew of symptoms, not just physical, but mental and emotional as well.

Many of the common complaints are:

  • Fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Declining results at the gym (despite eating “clean” and exercising regularly
  • Decreased stamina, strength, or exercise tolerance
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Emotional symptoms (moodiness, grumpiness, anxiety, depression)
  • Thin/crepey/dry/sagging skin
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased vitality
  • Decreased sense of well being
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory issues

What Exactly is Human Growth Hormone and What Does It Do?

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain that stimulates cell reproduction and cell regeneration and has been seriously studied since the 1950s.

In children, it is necessary for normal growth and development. In adults, HGH is necessary to maintain many important physiologic functions, including cardiovascular function, the proper amounts of body fat, muscle, and bone, as well as maintain cognitive function.

Human Growth Hormone deficiency in children results in short stature and delayed physical development as well as other metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.

In adults, inadequate HGH production is called Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). AGHD is recognized as a metabolic syndrome. Some of its resulting problems are an unhealthy body composition and cholesterol profile, as well as decreased exercise capacity.

This results in an increase in the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease. Low bone density and decreased muscle strength are also seen in AGHD. This can result in osteoporosis and frailty. The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism notes that when combined with lifestyle modifications, Growth Hormone replacement reduces weight and fat mass while preserving lean body mass.

There are several studies that have shown Human Growth Hormone plays a crucial role in a person’s mental and emotional well being. Adults with AGHD have higher rates of depression and treatment of this deficiency results in an improved energy level, sense of well being, vitality, and quality of life.

How Do I Know If I Have a Deficiency in Human Growth Hormone?

Human Growth Hormone can’t be measured directly, but when secreted, HGH travels through the blood to the liver where it is converted to its active form, a protein called IGF-1. IGF-1 can be measured and is a reliable marker of how much HGH our body is secreting. HGH deficiency can also be recognized as a subset of symptoms like those mentioned earlier.

Your numbers may be considered “normal” according to your local lab, but they may not be “optimal.” Optimal is when you feel and function the best. It’s important to see an Age Management and Hormonal Optimization physician to look at both of these markers (numbers and symptoms) together to see if replacement would be beneficial for you.

How Do I Raise My Human Growth Hormone Levels?

SLEEP. Nearly fifty percent of HGH secretion occurs during the third and fourth REM sleep stages. Sleep deprivation and not reaching these deeper levels of sleep suppresses HGH release.

GET MOVING. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT training) is a natural physiological stimulator of HGH release. Incorporating this into your exercise routine will help boost your levels naturally.

NUTRITION. Proper nutrition not only enhances your natural HGH production, but it also promotes a healthier metabolic profile. Protein (especially animal-derived protein) provides important essential amino acids known to increase natural Growth Hormone secretion. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, sugary cereal, cookies, soda, potato chips), as these spike insulin levels, which results in decreasing your body’s ability to use HGH.

Proper TIMING of eating plays a key role in optimizing HGH levels. Avoid eating two hours before going to bed, as this will cause an untimely insulin spike during the time HGH should be maximally secreted. Instead of the traditional three meals a day, eat smaller meals throughout the day (approximately every three hours) to avoid insulin spikes. Avoid high sugar foods and drinks after exercise because it will interfere with the natural release on HGH that exercise causes.

SUPPLEMENTATION. Nutritional supplements such as Glycine (500 mg nightly), L-Arginine (2 grams three times a day), Glutamine (2,000 mg a day), Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU a day), Niacin (1,500-3,000 mg a day) have all shown to raise Human Growth Hormone levels. However, you cannot achieve optimal levels with these alone.

MEDICATIONS. The surest way to increase the amount of HGH in your body is by having a physician prescribe HGH and monitor your progress. There are a couple of different classes of medications that do this:

  1. HGH can be administered directly, with a nightly injection just under the skin using a tiny needle.
  2. Secretagogues/Growth Hormone Analogs are medications that stimulate your body’s own production of HGH and are also administered with a nightly injection or with a small tab that dissolves under the tongue.

If you think you would benefit from HGH or suspect a deficiency, get an evaluation with a physician who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Optimization. It can make a profound difference in your quality of life and help you regain your vitality and retain your youthfulness.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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Is It A Mid-life Crisis? Or Is It Male Hormonal Decline?

Mike CarragherHormone Replacement Therapy, Libido, loss of energy, low energy, low libido, low sex drive, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

When we talk about middle age as a society, it’s generally accepted that women hit menopause and that men might have a mid-life crisis. But what if men are not just having some kind of breakdown where they question their past choices and their future? What if these men are having their own form of menopause?

It’s time to talk more about male “menopause” and the symptoms men could experience from it, including difficult emotional symptoms. Men are often expected to bottle their emotions, so emotional changes could be particularly hard for them to navigate.

Plus, women are used to dealing with hormonal changes throughout their lives, but men may not be as equipped to do so. Let’s address male “menopause” – what it is, what the symptoms are and how to navigate it.

What Is Male “Menopause”?

Male “menopause” – or Andropause as it is more accurately called – is not quite the same as it is for women, aside from the obvious differences. That’s because all women with normal functioning go through a sudden and significant reduction of sex hormones, whereas not all men experience symptoms of andropause.

Also, women’s reproductive function ends with menopause, whereas men can continue to produce sperm. Some refer to andropause as testosterone deficiency syndrome, but this is not completely accurate since testosterone is not the only hormone that is deficient. It is often thyroid hormone, human growth hormone, DHEA, and other key hormones that contribute to the symptoms of andropause.

Nonetheless, andropause is similar to female menopause because they both affect sex hormones. In men, andropause can happen at any age, but generally beginning as early as a man’s early 30s, when the levels of testosterone, growth hormone, thyroid hormone or others decrease. Men have a more gradual reduction in hormone levels compared to women’s quick decline during menopause.

Andropause can begin in some men in their early 30s. Often called testosterone deficiency syndrome, the symptoms of Andropause include brain fog, fatigue, inability to lose weight, and difficulty getting or keeping an erection.

Mental Health Symptoms of Andropause

If you’ve heard of this problem, you’ve probably heard of the physical and sexual symptoms like reduced energy levels, increased body fat and reduced muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction. Of course, these are serious and difficult aspects of andropause. Yet there are other symptoms that men don’t generally want to talk about. These are the emotional symptoms of andropause.

First of all, it would be normal for a man to react emotionally to the physical and sexual changes he goes through. For instance, it can be difficult to have trouble getting and staying hard and to have a reduction in the quality and amount of ejaculate.

Yet at the same time, he could experience sadness, depression, and trouble concentrating. He might lose his mental edge, finding it hard to remember names and information. It might become harder for him to keep up with the younger men at work. On top of having trouble performing sexually, he might have less interest in sex, to begin with. He could feel less motivated and have less self-confidence.

How Can Andropause Be Treated?

Men are not usually encouraged to talk about their feelings and emotions they’re experiencing. Yet it doesn’t help to ignore them. When a man’s testosterone goes down, he can have trouble handling changing emotions. It’s worth addressing the problem when it’s getting in the way of your health, happiness, and productivity.

And doctors are used to hearing about it. While you might not want to say anything, it’s likely that some of your friends and colleagues are going through the same thing. After all, statistics show that it happens in 2-5% of men from 40 to 49, 6-30% from 50 to 59, and 20-45% from 60 to 69. After that it becomes extremely common, affecting as many as 70% from age 70 to 79 and up to 90% of men in their 80s.

And while andropause might not be quite the same as female menopause, there are still plenty of available ways to manage and treat it. Lifestyle changes like creating healthier sleep, exercise and diet help manage the symptoms of andropause. Finding ways to reduce stress can also have a positive impact. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an excellent treatment option and should be overseen by a physician who specializes in Age Management & Hormone Optimization.

Andropause comes with many changes that can affect your virility, your health, and your productivity, which means it can impact your personal relationships, your work and how you feel. It’s worth talking to a specialist so you can minimize the negative emotional impact that these changes can bring. Optimizing your hormones can help you to continue to live life to the fullest with the highest quality of life possible for you.

Free Quiz: Are You At Risk For Hormone Decline?

Want to find out if you’re at risk for hormone decline? First, take our scientifically based hormone decline risk assessment – completely free (takes no more than 5 minutes).

After completing it, you will find out your risk level for hormone decline and, most importantly, how to proceed with beating your symptoms. Click here to take the male version, and click here to take the female version.

Then, if you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive Age Management & Hormone Optimization program, contact us through this form to schedule your free consultation, or call us at 323-874-9355.

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