Does Testosterone Cause Blood Clots?

Smoky MuehlsteinAge Management, BHRT, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. Carragher, Testosterone, The Body WellLeave a Comment

There are so many benefits of supplementing with bio-identical testosterone, including improved cardiovascular health, better overall sense of well-being, higher energy, better sexual function, and increased strength. It’s a life-changer and even a life-saver for so many men. So why is it that since late 2014, testosterone products have been required to include an alarming warning? The warning comes from the FDA, and alerts patients and prescribing physicians of a potentially serious side effect of using testosterone: thromboembolism (basically, a blood clot). The two most common types of blood clots are deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg; and pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a blood clot in the lungs. Both can be deadly.  When patients see or hear this warning, it justifiably causes concern. Even if they don’t see it, they may hear from their primary care physician that they should not take testosterone because of the danger of blood clots. The information is meant to protect you, of course. But the fact is is that the vast majority of research shows that testosterone does not cause blood clots. So why is the FDA label on testosterone products in the first place? What, exactly, … Read More

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Will Taking Testosterone Make My Testicles Shrink?

Smoky MuehlsteinAge Management, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Dr. Carragher, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, Testosterone, The Body WellLeave a Comment

A common question from my male patients when I recommend testosterone therapy is, “Is this going to make my balls shrink?” Understandably, that’s not something that they want. Let me cut to the chase here. The short answer to the question is: yes, it can. The longer, more accurate answer is: not always, and there are ways to offset this side effect. First, let me explain why testicular shrinkage can happen when testosterone is administered. The way that testosterone is normally produced in the body is via a process initiated by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland utilizes a hormone (called luteinizing hormone or LH) which sends a signal to “turn on” testosterone production in your testicles, and, accordingly, your testicles start making testosterone, which goes into your bloodstream. When your body senses that there’s enough testosterone in your blood, it sends a signal back to the brain, which slows production. It’s a system that works remarkably well in healthy young guys. But as you age, your testosterone levels (as well as many other hormone levels) decrease. One of the ways I increase testosterone in men is by giving them a cream they rub on their body, … Read More

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It’s Not Just Testosterone: Men and Hormones

Mike CarragherDr. Carragher, Hormone Optimization, Testosterone, The Body WellLeave a Comment

When guys think of hormone replacement therapy, they immediately think of testosterone. Not only is testosterone the most commonly prescribed hormone for men, it’s also the one we most associate with men in general. We frequently see articles in pop health magazines about low testosterone and “man-o-pause.” Low-T clinics have popped up in strip malls across the country (there’s a multitude in Los Angeles alone). And let’s not forget the bro-science experts out there, pontificating about T levels at the gym. Overall, it’s created a simplistic picture of men and their hormones. The truth is, while optimized testosterone is an essential component of any man’s well-being, it’s only one of many hormones that need to be considered in healthy aging. When men reach their late 20s and early 30s, the hormones we like to be high – our fat-burning and energy-producing hormones – typically start to decline; and other hormones – the ones we like to keep lower — like cortisol and insulin — start to increase to the point where they’re overwhelming the body. Three hormones, other than testosterone, that are key: Thyroid, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and Human Growth Hormone (HGH). You want these hormones optimized! When they’re not, you’ll … Read More

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The Top 10 Testosterone Myths, Part 2: The Big 5

Mike CarragherAge Management, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Sex, Testosterone, The Body Well, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

The Top 10 Testosterone Myths  Part 2: The Big 5 When I tell patients at The Body Well, my Los Angeles clinic, I want them to be on testosterone, I get a lot of what I call “broscience” or “Dr. Carragher, but I heard…” responses. You know, the kind of pop science stuff that travels by word of mouth and is asserted in glossy magazines with lots of certainty but not much research. “You want me to take testosterone? But I heard…” Worse yet, many of these myths are propagated by physicians themselves! To dispel these prominent myths, I’ve collected the top ten in this counterpoint countdown. If you missed Myths 10 through 6, you can click here to check them out! And now, without further adieu, here are the Top 5 testosterone myths! 5 Myth: Taking testosterone causes heart disease. Fact: The overwhelming majority of studies show that supplementing with testosterone is beneficial for your heart. This is a myth that has received a lot of attention because for some reason, the general public hears of one study (usually the most recent) and tends to latch onto it as the credible source. It’s true that there have been some … Read More

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Top 10 Testosterone Myths – Busted!

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, low energy, low libido, Testosterone, The Body WellLeave a Comment

The Top 10 Testosterone Myths  Part 1 When I recommend testosterone to patients in my Los Angeles clinic, I get a lot of what I call “bro-science,” or, “But I heard” responses. You know, the kind of pop science stuff that travels by word of mouth and is asserted in glossy magazines with lots of certainty but not much research. “You want me to take testosterone? But I heard…” Worse yet, many of these myths are propagated by physicians themselves! To dispel these prominent myths, I’ve collected the top ten in this counterpoint countdown. Here are myths 10-6. Check out the blog next week for the Top 5! 10 Myth: Testosterone will make your sex drive out of control. Fact: Testosterone can help optimize your sex drive. It’s no surprise that men often seek testosterone therapy because they want their sex drives and sexual function improved. At the same time, they often express anxieties that taking testosterone will send their sex drives into crazy, uncontrollable places. The simple truth is that sex drive doesn’t work that way. A decrease in sex drive is usually multifactorial: lack of sleep, psychological causes, stress, poor diet, and more, all contribute. So while testosterone … Read More

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“It Feels Like There Are Knives In My Vagina!”: Women, Sex, and Hormones – A Guest Post by Dr. Jill Stocker

Mike CarragherAnti-Aging, Dr. Stocker, Dr.jill, Estrogen, Libido, low libido, low sex drive, Sex, stress, TestosteroneLeave a Comment

It’s not easy to talk about sex in a clear and open way. And it’s especially difficult if you’re a woman, who has been told her entire life not to freely engage in her sexuality, much less express it. Women who see me at The Body Well know my office is a safe space to discuss their bodies, but sex-related symptoms and issues are still challenging for so many women to disclose. Women experience a range of sexual challenges as they age, including not feeling sexy anymore, decreasing sex drive, pain during sex, and vaginal dryness. To make matters worse, women often experience these symptoms for a long time before telling anyone. It’s easy enough to understand why: in addition to cultural shaming, it’s difficult to talk with your partner about what’s getting in the way of pleasurable sex. Pointing out what you perceive to be your flaws to someone you want to be intimate with never feels good. It can lead to feelings of sexual inadequacy, both for the woman bringing it up, who may feel unsexy, and also for her partner who may feel it’s their fault for not being sexually stimulating. But not talking about it can create … Read More

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Inflammation and Your Hormones 101

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, chronic inflammation, cortisol, DHEA, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Stocker, Estrogen, HCG, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, inflammation, Progesterone, Testosterone, The Body Well, ThyroidLeave a Comment

When a patient comes into my office with multi-system complaints — for example, they have gastrointestinal distress and poor recovery from exercise, or they have headaches and joint pains — one of the prime suspects is chronic inflammation. “Inflammation” has become a buzzword recently, appearing in articles with trendy titles like “Eat These Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods” or “Take This Supplement for its Anti-Inflammatory Properties.”  But there’s still plenty of confusion about the term “inflammation.” Is it good? Is it bad? Why all this fuss over it? Let’s clear all of that up. Inflammation, simply defined, is a response your body has to any insult or injury. A perfect example: the processes that result from injuring your ankle when you’re jogging. It’s a great morning, you’re feeling good jogging around the block, and suddenly you trip over a bump on the sidewalk and twist your ankle. The area gets red, it heats up, it gets swollen, and it hurts. This is acute inflammation; the injury is followed immediately by your body’s response with special substances that act as chemical mediators to initiate the healing process.  This is a necessary response, and critical so that your body heals. So in this … Read More

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4 Pathways To Fat Loss (Including 2 You Might Have Overlooked!)

Mike CarragherAge Management, Anti-Aging, belly fat, cortisol, DHEA, diet, Dr. Carragher, Dr. Mike's Tips, Estrogen, HGH, Hormone Optimization, Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, The Body Well, Thyroid, Visceral Fat, weight gainLeave a Comment

One of the top reasons people schedule evaluations with me is because they’re having a hard time losing body fat. It’s a classic problem of aging: For men and women fat typically gathers around the midsection. Not only is it unsightly, but it increases risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. And the extra fat isn’t there for lack of trying to burn it off! Patients come in baffled, telling me they’re meeting with a trainer four or more days a week, doing everything “right,” or working harder than they’ve ever worked before to lose it. What they’re often forgetting is that as we get older we have a harder time keeping body fat off and lean muscle mass on. Different periods in our lives require different approaches to our health. To help, below are four fat loss strategies. The first two will be familiar (but the details may be different than the ones you’re used to). The second two are commonly overlooked. Diet & Exercise: The Two Obvious Solutions (That Are Usually Done Wrong) No surprises here: Diet and exercise are major factors in how much fat you’re putting on or taking off. When it comes to diet, … Read More

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