If you’re a man in his 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or beyond it is well worth looking into your Testosterone levels. In fact, getting a full hormone panel regularly which includes a series of vital tests such as Testosterone, Estrogen, DHEA, and Thyroid to name a few, is an important tool in your goal of remaining youthful, vibrant, and healthy.
Your doctor won’t normally suggest hormone tests since it is often over and above the usual requirements of an annual physical. Perhaps it’s time to take your health into your own hands and communicate with your physician about your desire to get them checked.
Many guys when presented with the idea of Testosterone replacement have visions of angry, overstuffed bodybuilders when in reality, those images are often due to a higher than normal level of Testosterone mixed with other steroids.
For the everyday man who wants to increase energy, burn fat, build lean muscle, lower the risk of disease, increase cognitive function, and experience a more stable and upbeat mood, Testosterone may be the answer.
I was one of those men. Just a few years ago I found out that my T levels were lower than expected. Despite doing all that I could with exercise, diet, and nutrition, they remained on the low side of normal. I was still fit and lean but I suffered from bouts of depression and often felt unrested in the mornings after a long night’s sleep. I didn’t make the connection until I did more research.
My doctor suggested that I try a low dose of bio-identical Testosterone replacement therapy. Within a very short period of time, I felt an increase in energy, a more restful sleep, and my mood seemed stable and positive. I also noticed that I didn’t need to work out as arduously in order to get the results I once did just years before. For me, Testosterone was a godsend. It was as if I had cleaned the spark plugs of my body increasing the effectiveness and energy of all aspects of my health.
After much research, I truly believe that Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is the answer for many men who are looking to not only increase their longevity but also to feel better along the way.
Testosterone can be taken via gel or cream, injection, patch, or from a pellet that is placed under the skin. Once you’ve done the initial blood work or saliva panel, an endocrinologist or hormone specialist can go over your best options and whether or not you’re a candidate. Keep in mind that many general practitioners will tell you that “you’re fine for your age” which may not always be the ideal for those looking to be at their optimal.
Some of the numerous benefits of increasing your Testosterone levels are:
- Increased Physical Energy
- Better Cognitive Function
- Deeper and More Restful Sleep
- Increased Libido
- Stabilization of Mood and Decreased Depression
- An Increase in Bone Mineral Density
- Less Body Fat
- Increased Lean Muscle
- Decreased Risk of Certain Diseases
Testosterone replacement is surprisingly affordable and not just for Hollywood’s elite. Men all over the world are beginning to understand that the fountain of youth involves more than just eating well, exercising, and keeping a positive attitude. Sometimes, we need help from outside sources. In this case, a Bio-Identical Hormone that mimics our bodies own production, giving us a more vital and youthful appearance with a renewed zest that we may have thought had long passed us by.
*Always consult with your physician before beginning any hormone-related treatments.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
As a health and wellness coach, the number one reason that people seek me out is for weight loss. They are looking for guidance and tips on how to battle that bulge and keep it off for good.
While Los Angeles may be an exception, the majority of Americans are overweight with over one third being considered obese. It’s a serious problem and it goes far beyond being solely a vanity issue. More and more people are suffering from the negative health consequences of being overweight including increased risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other illness.
Losing weight and getting in shape usually means approaching our health and lifestyle from a number of angles and not just our eating habits.
Here are the top areas to look at in order for you to lose weight, gain muscle, and increase your overall chances of living a longer life:
- Reduce Sugar & Processed Carbohydrates – The main cause of weight gain is the overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and processed foods especially white bread, pastry, and pasta. When eating these types of food our insulin and blood sugar spike which may wreak havoc on our system. With excess sugars in our blood our body eventually begins to store fat and it craves more and more sugar as time goes on. It is a vicious cycle. A diet high in sugar and processed foods also challenges our digestive system while lowering our immunity too. Work on bringing in monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar, and use whole grain products whenever possible. Better yet, eat more healthy fats like avocado, fish and nuts, and lower your carbohydrate intake altogether which will shift your body into fat-burning mode and create less sweet cravings.
- Exercise – Most of us dislike this one but the truth is, we can’t lose weight permanently unless we move our body. This doesn’t mean that we need to be gym rats but it does mean some type of movement each and every day even if that is a half hour walk with a neighbor or friend. Resistance training is also ideal because it builds lean muscle which in turn burns even more body fat. Make it fun and know that once you begin, it gets easier and easier to continue. The hardest part is making the commitment to start.
- Avoid GMO Foods – If you eat anything that is non-organic, there is a 75% chance that that particular food is genetically modified and also contains a chemical called Glyphosate. Glyphosate has been linked to the breakdown of our gut health and in turn may lead to extreme weight gain along with numerous other health challenges. It is always best to buy organic or look for labels that are certified as non-GMO.
- Reset Your Metabolism – Sometimes all we need is a kick-start! Re-booting our metabolism sets us off onto a healthy path of weight loss and detoxing which can motivate us to continue on the healthy lifestyle journey. My favorite is the Purium 10-day Transformation where people lose 5-20 lbs in 10 days and lose visceral fat, build lean muscle, sleep better, and increase their energy while decreasing cravings for junk food.
- Stop Eating in the Evenings – Intermittent fasting is all the rage now and for good reason. Intermittent fasting can be done in different ways but one effective method is to stop eating at 7pm in the evenings and not to begin again until 11am the next day. If this is done even just 3 days per week, it gives our body a rest from processing food while we sleep, kick-starts our metabolism and helps us to build more muscle while burning excess fat. There are plenty of other great benefits too! While 16 hours without food may seem extreme, remember that we are sleeping through half of it.
- Get your Hormones Checked – Hormones are the spark plugs for our body. As we age they can go a little haywire. In men, our testosterone may go down and our estrogen can increase causing weight gain around the middle and less muscle mass. For women, higher levels of estrogen and lower testosterone also has its effects along with the other key hormones that change with age. Low thyroid may also cause weight gain. Seek out an anti-aging specialist or endocrinologist in your area and have a full hormone panel to see if there is something they can do to help. Bio-identical hormone replacement may be an option for you.
- Drink More Water – Water is essential for good health, weight loss, and overall energy. Drinking more water increases the number of calories that we burn during the day so drink up. 8-12 glasses per day of clean, filtered water is best.
- Supplement – Certain supplements can assist weight loss. Garcinia Cambogia, Green Tea, and Green Coffee Extract are shown to assist fat burning and to decrease appetite. Chromium Polynicotinate helps to stabilize blood sugar and in turn, reduces sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Low Vitamin D levels are also linked to weight gain and obesity so get your blood tested and ensure that you get at least 20 minutes of sun each day at non-peak times without sunscreen and consider a Vitamin D3 supplement daily.
*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new vitamin, exercise, or hormone regimen.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifesytle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
I first learned about testosterone replacement when I visited an anti-aging doctor in Beverly Hills two years ago. Blood tests revealed that my “T” levels were on the low side of normal for my age. I hadn’t even thought about hormones before visiting his office and suddenly I was introduced to a whole new world of possibilities. For years, I felt lethargic, experienced moderate depression and was less vital than years earlier. The changes were something I figured I’d have to deal with. After all, I remember having depression as a kid so maybe it was a chemical thing.
If you’re like most people in North America over the age of 30, you are probably experiencing some signs of age-related hormonal imbalances. For men, the changes are usually gradual while for women, they can be more sudden and dramatic.
Many of my clients have just accepted that their aches, pains, foggy memory, and low libido are an inevitable part of aging. What they don’t realize is that many of these challenges can be due to lack of exercise, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and environmental toxins. The other missing piece of the puzzle for many is imbalanced hormones. Something can be done about it and bio-identical hormone replacement (BIHR) may be the answer for you.
Once I began testosterone replacement, I immediately felt better! It was as if somebody had given my wilted body some water. Suddenly I perked up. My workouts improved, I felt more rested in the mornings and the depression seemed to reside. I was already quite lean but whatever body fat I had around my tummy also dissipated and my muscles looked and felt stronger and leaner. Numerous people were telling me how great I looked.
If you are confused about the use of hormone replacement, you are certainly not alone! There are numerous conflicting views out there and it is so difficult to know which ones to believe. Some studies tout hormone replacement as the key to feeling and looking great for as long as possible while others suggest that adding hormones can lead to cancer and other diseases. Who do we believe?
Studies dating back to 1940 revealed that testosterone replacement had a direct connection to increased prostate cancer. Unfortunately, those beliefs have held strong in the medical community, even today. In his book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, he reveals how those early studies were inaccurate and discusses hundreds of newer, more up to date research that in fact, show there is NO connection between healthy testosterone levels and cancer. In fact, it is low “T” that is the perpetrator. Testosterone replacement in moderate doses, evaluated by your doctor also has no effect on heart disease, liver damage or high blood pressure.
In her book Ageless, Suzanne Somers speaks in great depth about her positive experience as a cancer survivor using BIHR and interviews numerous leading anti-aging doctors about the benefits of all hormones including estrogen, testosterone, HGH, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, melatonin and thyroid.
Hormones are like the spark plugs for your body and in order to experience vitality, it is imperative to fine tune and balance the KEY hormones. Here are the hormones which most anti-aging doctors test you for and a little bit about their role in your body. The goal of most anti-aging specialists is to bring our hormones back to the levels they were in our mid 20’s-early 30’s, a time when most of us felt our absolute best. The vital hormones to look at are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, thyroid, cortisol, and melatonin
Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man male. It works to create muscle, body hair, lower body fat and all other male characteristics. Testosterone is at its peak during our 20’s and begins to decrease in most men at the age of 30. Testosterone is released from the testes and is also responsible for sperm production.
Normal levels of testosterone in men range from approximately 348ng/DL to 1197ng/DL. A blood or saliva test will reveal what your levels are. I was surprised to find out that my levels were sitting at 440ng/DL. This is definitely considered the lower side of normal. Since doing bio-identical hormone replacement I have managed to get my levels between 800-1000ng/DL
A great reference on testosterone for men is the book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler.
Estrogen is the hormone that makes a woman female. It creates feminine characteristics. Like testosterone, bio-identical estrogen replacement has also brought up some controversy.
Suzanne Somers has written numerous books on the topic and has become an advocate for both male and female bio-identical hormone replacement. In her book called “Ageless; the naked truth about bio-identical hormones” she has researched this topic at great length along with numerous leading doctors in the field of anti-aging and wellness. Suzanne believes whole heartedly in estrogen replacement for those who struggle with imbalances. Having been a cancer survivor, she talks openly about why she feels estrogen replacement decreases cancer and other disease.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
HGH or Human Growth Hormone is getting a lot of press these days. It is a natural hormone in our bodies that we often overlook. As children, these hormones help our bodies and our internal organs to grow and become strong. As we age, the amount of HGH in our body decreases dramatically. At age 25, the average HGH level in our body is around 600ug and by age 60, the amount can gradually goes down to 15% or 90ug. When HGH decreases, our bodies begin to age more rapidly.
Numerous anti-aging experts are recommending that people with low levels of Human Growth Hormone begin HGH replacement as a tool to reverse the aging process.
Like testosterone, HGH can aid the body in building lean muscle, burning fat and increasing overall energy. It also works on reversing aging on a cellular level.
Human Growth Hormone should only be considered if there is a deficiency. It should never be used as a body building or fitness tool. Find out your levels and get a skilled professional to weigh your pros and cons. Keep in mind that HGH is expensive; anywhere from $500 to $800 US per month.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my HGH levels were quite good for somebody my age. I attribute this to the interval cardio training that I do called Sprint 8 and a healthy diet and lifestyle. I would certainly consider HGH replacement should my levels decrease in the future. It’s just one more tool that we can use to turn back the clock and live our life to the fullest!
Progesterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands and works to normalize blood sugar levels and facilitate proper thyroid function especially during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can also assist in countering depression and anxiety, cognitive function, regulating thyroid, and increasing libido. A healthy pregnancy and embryo depends on this vital hormone as well. It is important for men to have adequate amounts of progesterone too. Bio-identical, oral supplementation and cream is available and is relatively safe as long as you are monitored by a doctor regularly.
Pregnenolone is naturally produced in the adrenal glands, liver, skin, brain, testicles, ovaries, and retina of the eyes. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, increase energy, reduce the effects of stress, improve mood, and immunity. It is most commonly available as a supplement or cream.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and it produces the hormone thyroid. Our pituitary gland can also affect the production or thyroid. Our thyroid levels can be affected or even halted by stress, illness, anxiety, and even dieting.
Hypothyroidism or low thyroid can cause hair loss, weight gain, constipation, cold hands and feet, and foggy thinking. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite which means that the thyroid is overactive possibly leading to hyperactivity, muscle weakness, sudden weight loss or gain, increased appetite, and sensitivity to heat.
Finding the right treatment can be tricky which is why it’s important to find a knowledgeable doctor who will offer suggestions on how best to treat you for under or over-active thyroid.
Insulin is secreted by our pancreas and it works to regulate our blood sugar and assists our body in burning carbohydrates rather than storing them as fat. Some people have become insulin resistant which means that the body no longer accepts sugar and fat for energy but rather stores them which can produce even more insulin. Long term high insulin levels can lead to weight gain especially in the mid-section. Increased insulin can also lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, plaque in the arteries, and cancer.
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle along with exercise is very important in balancing your insulin. Ask your doctor how balancing all of your hormones will positively affect your insulin levels too.
Cortisol is known as the stress or the fight or flight hormone. Our adrenal glands send adrenalin into our system which can cause an energizing effect. But because of our modern day stresses, our cortisol is pumping way too much and far too often. Over time, too much cortisol can wreak havoc on our system causing insulin resistance, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Reducing stress levels through meditation and lifestyle changes will help a lot in conjunction with balancing all of your other hormones.
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It is secreted from the pineal gland that is located in the brain. It is also a very powerful antioxidant which assists the body in squelching free radicals in our system. Like other hormones, as we age, our body slows the production of Melatonin. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if we want to live longer, look younger, and feel better. Quality sleep is restorative to our entire system and with high levels of Melatonin our body has a better ability to fight off infection and remain strong.
Have you experienced sleeping through the night and still waking up tired? I know that I have. This could be a sign that your Melatonin levels are low.
Often supplementing with Melatonin helps people to get a better night’s sleep. It is gentle and effective and even at high doses it has not been shown to be toxic.
In the United States, you can purchase Melatonin supplements at a health food store. If you are having sleep issues, consider supplementing for a few weeks and see if your sleep improves. Sometimes even a tiny dose will make all the difference.
Melatonin is also great for those who travel often and deal with jet-lag due to time zone changes.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is secreted by our adrenal glands and is considered by many doctors to be an anti-aging hormone. It has positive effects on almost every part of our body including the brain, muscles, immune system, organs, and tissues. DHEA also helps the body’s production of collagen which promotes younger skin.
DHEA levels start to decline in most people after the age of thirty which is why it is vital to get tested regularly. Healthy levels for women range from 150 to 350ug/dL and 250 to 450ug/dL for men.
DHEA is available as a supplement and like Melatonin is relatively safe at moderate doses. Always consult your physician to find out what dose is best for you.
I recently found out that my levels were at 101ug/dL which is considered to be low. I just began to supplement with 50 mg of DHEA per day and will re-test in one month to check on my levels.
The key is to ensure that you find a qualified doctor who specializes in hormones. Initially, it may take a few appointments to get your levels balanced but once they are, only yearly blood work is advised as maintenance. The results will be well worth it!