It is not uncommon to think women are those in need hormone replacement therapy for anti-aging purposes. But that is not in any way true. Men can equally benefit from the same. In fact, it has been observed that an increasing number of men are considering this option. This may be as a result of greater awareness that signs of aging need not necessarily be accepted with resignation. Many more now realize they can actually do something to look and feel younger if they so wish. Anti-aging hormone therapies for men provide opportunity to achieve this goal. What options are available and what do you need to know about them? Continue reading to learn more.
Hormonal changes and aging
The changes in physical appearances and quality of health that are seen in older individuals are usually the results of decline in the levels of key hormones. Testosterone is one of such natural substances that are affected by aging. Experts say the production of these vital male hormones peaks in the twenties. It then starts to go on the downward slide from the 30s. Its production is known to fall more and more as men grow older, with serious implication on both appearance and health. This continues until you are left with just about 10% of the amount you had in mid-20s when in your 70s.
Another key substance that suffers decline with passing of the years is human growth hormone. Now, this is very essential to many processes in the body. It is similar to testosterone in terms of some of its benefits, including muscle mass building. But unlike the other hormone, it is not made up of a single molecule. It instead comprises 191 amino acid molecules, making its synthesis more complex and the price dearer. HGH decline, which also starts about the same time as that of testosterone, has been associated more to aging in the past couple of decades. As a result, many now see it as a potent anti-aging remedy.
Aside testosterone and growth hormone, there are other natural substances whose levels may drop as people get older. These include DHEA and melatonin.
Effects of decline in hormone levels
There is no consensus on the effects of the fall in hormone levels due to age. Some experts argue that it is perfectly normal for hormone levels to drop as people get older. There is nothing to worry about. These changes will not adversely impact your overall health, they argue. But some other medical professionals think otherwise. The lack of sufficiently long-term studies on hormonal replacement therapy has kept the debate alive for so long.
However, most medical experts agree that very low amount of certain hormones, especially growth hormone and testosterone, may actually contribute to age-related conditions or issues. These include:
Loss of lean muscle mass – Low levels of both testosterone and growth hormone are well known to contribute to loss of muscle mass in older people. The drop can cause your once head-turning physique to lose its appeal. This is made worse by the fact that you may experience weight gain as well.
Poor mental health – It is not uncommon to see older people who are no longer able to recall things as well as they once used to. Decline in cognitive function has been associated to drops in vital hormones. This can cause loss of motor skills and drop in mental alertness. It may also make you become peevish and cause issues with maintaining concentration and focus.
Prostate enlargement – Older men make up the group most affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition results from decline in hormone levels, specifically the amount of testosterone in the body. The prostate gland enlarges thereby hindering urine flow.
Decline in sexual function – Another thing a man may experience as a result of fall in the amount of important hormones is poor sexual function. You will no longer be sexually active as you were when younger. It may be hard to achieve sufficiently hard erections. This is an explanation for the reduction in interest in sexual activity that is commonly observed among older men.
Other symptoms that have been linked to changes in hormone balance include:
- Low energy levels
- Increased fatigue
- Loss in bone mineral density
- Rise in unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular disease
Hormone therapies for slowing aging
Hormone replacement therapies may help in dealing with some signs of aging that result from decline in levels of vital hormones. They aim at replenishing lost natural substances with bio-identical variants to restore balance and promote good health. We discuss below the most popular therapies that could be recommended for men interested in slowing aging.
Testosterone replacement therapy
Some may argue that testosterone is the most important hormone that needs to be replaced in men to deal with aging. This is because it is the substance that is mainly responsible for the qualities or characteristics that are associated with men. It interacts with other naturally occurring substances in the body. It also converts to other key hormones, including estrogen.
Testosterone replacement therapy is usually done through the use of injections. This offers the most effective means of replenishing levels. The substance is injected into the muscles of the buttocks. You are given these injections weekly or every 2-3 weeks.
Testosterone Replacement may also come in form of patches that are applied daily on the arms, back, abdomen or buttocks. You also have the option of applying a testosterone gel on specific parts of your body every day.
A key substance for growth and development, growth hormone appears to be known more for its anti-aging benefits these days. Wealthy individuals and celebrities are thought to have it as a part of their beauty regimen. Like testosterone, it helps to prevent accumulation of body fat and to promote increase in lean muscle mass. Professional bodybuilders love it in that it does more than increase size of muscle cells; it also increases the number of cells. You may have even seen it being described as the Fountain of Youth. Some studies have indicated its potential of being a great way of rolling back or slowing the aging clock.
When it comes to HGH replacement therapy, injections also offer the most potent means of achieving results, as in the case of testosterone. Bio-identical hormones, generally, are best for replenishing levels of naturally occurring substances. Synthetic HGH, or somatropin, shares similar molecular composition as the natural variant known as somatotropin. Their prescription is, ideally, for people with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Its use for anti-aging purposes is practically illegal. On top of that, the costs are usually prohibitive. You could be spending $10,000, or more, a year on these injections!
HGH releasers like Somatropinne, Dbol GH and HGF Max offer a safer and more affordable way of boosting growth hormone levels. These are typically not real hormone as somatropin. Instead, they contain natural ingredients that stimulate your pituitary gland to secrete greater quantity of the polypeptide. These HGH supplements are not as efficacious as injections. But they are better choices for anti-aging. These releasers remove concerns of being busted by law enforcement for having synthetic growth hormone without a prescription. And talking about prescription, doctors will usually only provide one if you are diagnosed with a medical condition linked to low HGH levels.
One of the natural substances whose decline is also associated to age-related disease is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The adrenal glands are responsible for its production. The hormone, considered the most abundant in the body, typically has its highest levels around the age of 20. Its production then starts to slow that by the age of 40 it could have dropped by 50 percent. Octogenarians typically have less than 5% of the ideal level.
There is no consensus on whether DHEA may help extend your lifespan. But available research, mostly done using animals, suggests that it could. Evidence shows that it can reverse or prevent some terrifying medical conditions associated with the elderly. It helped to increase lifespan by up to 50 percent in animals that received it in studies. A long-term study by Elizabeth Barrett-Connor suggested that DHEA may help lower the risk of death from all causes among men.
DHEA replacement therapy is very safe, so much so that some may describe it as risk-free. Your doctor will likely start your treatment with a daily dose of between 25 and 100 milligrams. This is for men, as dose differs based on gender. Your doctor may also suggest for you supplement with pregnenolone. This is a DHEA precursor and its use helps to improve levels further.
Professional supervision important
We should state here that hormone replacement therapies are better handled by medical professionals. Do not self-administer bio-identical hormones, unless you have been given necessary training. To enjoy great results, it is essential to ensure that restoration of hormone balance is done properly. The amount of whatever hormone that each man may need differs, so also is the body’s response. Just as too little amount of a natural substance is a problem, too much can also lead to unpleasant outcomes.
A qualified physician is better able to control all relevant variables for optimal and satisfactory results as well as safety. Ideally, the process starts with evaluation of your medical history. Information on the drugs you are currently taking may also be needed. Blood testing will then be carried out to ascertain hormone levels.
The appropriate dose will depend on the outcome of the various examinations. This may be adjusted from time to time by your doctor in accordance to further observations.
Side effects of hormone therapies
The need for hormone replacement therapies to be supervised by a qualified expert is partly because of likely side effects. The risk of adverse reactions is greater when you try to boost levels on your own, especially when using synthetics. These could be minor or severe side effects. Among them are:
- Frequent urination
- Fluid retention
- Joint pain
- Blurry vision
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Male breast enlargement
- Reduction in the size of testicles
- Low sperm count
- Increase in cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
There is also uncertainty over the safety of long-term use of bio-identical hormones to boost levels and slow aging. Most studies on the benefits of these substances only lasted six months or less. This makes it all the more important to seek guidance of a professional for hormonal therapy.
Hormonal imbalances can adversely impact on your health and accelerate the aging process. These natural substances are usually at their highest in your younger years before decline sets in. Hormone therapy can help to boost levels and possibly assist in maintaining a more youthful appearance. However, some medical experts argue that healthy men are unlikely to benefit much, if at all, from this. You may also seek the view of your doctor on the therapies.