Men’s Health- An Integrative Approach to Optimizing Health
DO YOU SUFFER FROM:
✓ Low Energy
✓ Low Sex Drive
✓ Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
✓ Loss of Motivation, Drive, and Competitive Edge
✓ Decreased Effectiveness of Workouts
✓ Stiffness and Pain in Muscles and Joints
✓ Increase in Abdominal Fat
✓ Foggy Thinking/Poor Memory
✓ Feel Cold
✓ Diffuse Hair Loss
✓ Difficulty Falling or Staying Asleep
✓ Night Sweats
✓ Crave Sugar or Salty Foods
✓ Feel Overwhelmed
THEN YOU ARE NOT ALONE, AND WE CAN HELP!
Listen to Dr. Scott Shapiro:
Yes, we are finding men in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s presenting with these symptoms, but it is not unusual for us to see men in their 30’s presenting to our office asking for help. It has been particularly common with men in the military, the police, firemen, and men in high stress jobs.
Yes, it may be testosterone. But that might not be the whole picture. It’s about getting to the “why”, and sometimes there is more than one “why”. I know because I’ve been there. At the age of 51, while pursuing a residency in Preventive Medicine at the University of Kentucky, I began to experience most of the symptoms mentioned above. I asked for help, and I was told “you’re getting older”. That didn’t sit well, because prior to this, I had been running half marathons, playing competitive soccer, and riding my dirt bike- I was active and I had a lot of energy. This was new and this was different and I was NOT getting the attention I needed, wanted, or felt like I deserved.
It’s about getting to the “why”, and sometimes there is more than one “why”.
So, I did my own labs. I had low testosterone and I was hypothyroid. I went to see another doctor. He said he didn’t think my levels were low enough to cause me the problems I was having. My response was that I didn’t want to wait until I felt worse. He said he could put me on Synthroid. I had heard of natural desiccated thyroid, so I asked about it, but he was hesitant. I didn’t understand the hesitation. What I realized was that doctors are dogmatic. They have done things a “certain way” for a while, and since people weren’t complaining because they didn’t know they could feel better, that’s the way it was. He finally admitted that “it’s more complicated managing hypothyroidism with a medication that contains T4 and T3”. The whole time I was thinking, “but I’m worth it… I want to feel the best I can… this is NOT me”. Initially, he put me on Synthroid. I never felt right. I was put on Nature-throid and my life changed. It had T4 AND T3, in addition to T2, T1, calcitonin, and all of the other things that natural desiccated thyroid gland has. That started me on my journey into restorative health.
I found the answers in the American Academy of Antiaging Medicine or A4M. I went all in. I became board certified in antiaging and regenerative medicine and ultimately did a fellowship in metabolic medicine. Frankly, at 59, I feel better than I have in 30 years. But it took me over a year to feel right. That’s because I learned how complicated all of this is. I learned that stress causes cortisol rises, and that excess cortisol decreases the production of free and bioavailable hormones- that means testosterone and thyroid hormone. I also learned that excess cortisol causes “leaky gut”, and “leaky gut” causes inflammation, and inflammation inhibits these hormones from getting into the cells and working. So, even though I got my total testosterone up and my TSH was normal, I still didn’t feel right. It was because my FREE testosterone was still low and so was my FREE T4 and T3. The doctors weren’t checking any of this.
When your cortisol is off you gain weight around your abdomen, you become irritable, depressed, have trouble sleeping, have night sweats, your sex drive goes down, you experience ED, your hair starts falling out, you feel cold. Sound familiar? Look at the list above. I learned that there is a tremendous amount of overlap between high cortisol, low testosterone, and hypothyroidism. That’s why some people who have symptoms of low testosterone or hypothyroidism actually don’t have either of these issues- their problem lies with their abnormal levels of cortisol, resulting from stress.
Initially, my cortisol was high. I knew the lifestyle changes I should have made, but I am a “grinder” (like most of the people reading this) and I pushed through. I also had no idea that there were natural herbal solutions with specific properties, that used in combination, can make a huge difference. The problem is that your body can only take so much. Eventually, you’ll crash… and I did. I experienced Adrenal Fatigue. Trust me… it gets worse. I had trouble waking up in the mornings.
Hopefully, you are starting to see the picture:
- It’s complicated, but you’re worth it!
- It’s important to take an integrative approach to achieve optimal health.
What about improving your growth hormone levels? Well, you need to optimize your testosterone levels first. What about the P-shot or shockwave therapy to improve ED? Again, you need to also be sure you are optimizing your testosterone level too.
OK… so, let’s talk about testosterone:
Testosterone does more than improve a man’s sex drive and ED. It improves body composition by increasing muscle mass, bone density, and lowering body fat. Testosterone improves mood and gives a sense of emotional well-being, self-confidence, and motivation. It increases energy levels, improves memory, and prevents Alzheimer’s disease. Testosterone is anti-inflammatory and improves insulin sensitivity. It improves lipids, prevents atherosclerosis, and dilates coronary vessels.
Did you know that low testosterone is associated with 3x the risk of developing coronary artery disease, or that testosterone lowers mortality from CVD, cancer, and deaths from all causes?
How we supplement testosterone:
- Injections are usually given every 7 days, though some men prefer giving the injections twice weekly. These injections can be given intramuscularly, or with smaller needles, just beneath the skin (subcutaneously).
- Creams offer the greatest flexibility for dosing, though it often requires twice-daily applications. It can take longer to achieve optimal dosing and if you have children you need to be careful not to transmit the cream through careful handwashing.
- Pellet therapy combines a low dosage of testosterone with a delivery system that functions similarly to the human body. Small dissolvable pellets (about the size of a grain of rice) are inserted underneath the skin, into the fatty tissue. This is usually done in the hip in men. This is an in-office procedure, usually taking less than ten minutes and requires no stitches. It releases hormones directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the GI tract and liver. When properly administered, pellet implants provide the hormone release needed for proper blood levels 24/7, over a period of 4-5 months.
What about improving growth hormone levels?
I prefer Sermorelin over using growth hormones. Sermorelin is not a hormone, but rather a peptide, similar to Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone. IT IS NOT HGH; Sermorelin works by promoting the secretion of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) from the pituitary gland. It stimulates the pituitary to increase growth hormone production and secretion naturally. This not only allows growth hormone to be released in a normal pulsatile fashion, but it also means the pituitary gland retains regulation of growth hormone production. All of this increases safety and minimizes side effects.
Who is a Candidate for Sermorelin?
Human growth hormone is released in pulses and so a single HGH blood test is not considered reliable. HGH is rapidly converted to IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor), and this is considered a better indicator of Growth Hormone production.
The ideal range of IGF-1 is 200-300.
People with levels lower than the ideal range, who are suffering from fatigue, poor exercise capacity, weakness, decreased cognitive function, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance, may benefit from Sermorelin injections.