As we age (after 50) our bodies begin to make less of everything, including our hormones. For women, it’s mainly estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and one called dehydroepiandosterone (abbreviated DHEA). For men, it’s mainly testosterone and DHEA.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, hormones are like a tank of gas. When full, the car runs great—if the tank is empty, it doesn’t run very well, if at all. (Not a great analogy, but the best I could come up with). Anyway, replacing hormones can make you feel a lot better, relieve many menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, and have many benefits like helping your bones.
I am not going into all the details of benefits, etc. because they’re all over the Internet. What I would like to do is tell you how to replace hormones and what to use.
- You can go to your doctor and see if they will prescribe bio-identical hormones for you. (Bio-identical hormones mean the same thing your body normally produces.) The biggest problem here is that most regular doctors including OB-GYNs do not have experience with individualizing hormone therapy and probably can not help you. However, an Integrative Medical Doctor may know exactly what to do.
- You can buy bio-identical hormones including estriol, estradiol, and progesterone in a topical cream form without a prescription. You cannot get testosterone without a prescription, but you can get DHEA, which converts to testosterone in the body without a prescription. This is a great thing if you are wanting to increase testosterone levels to help with libido problems.
- You can always go the herbal route, which can help with symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, sleep, etc. The main one is black cohosh.
- For men you have to go to a doctor to get a prescription for testosterone. Keep in mind the stuff is expensive if you are buying testosterone from pharmaceutical companies (like $200-$300/month). It’s much cheaper to get the same thing made from a compounding pharmacy (maybe $50-$60/month).
S0, keep hormones in mind, especially if you just seem to be losing your gusto and enthusiasm or you’re just miserable from post-menopausal or post-andropausal life.
Remember. Easy does it and take it all just one day at a time.
Bill and Mike