Updated: Oct 25, 2022
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
Guys, hormone balance is not just a problem among women, which also means hormone therapy can help you. Men who pursue bio-identical hormone therapy to treat hormonal imbalance may experience significant benefits, including more energy, increased muscle mass and strength, weight loss and improved sexual function.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Men
It’s a fact of life: hormone levels decline as you age. Hormone imbalance in men can occur at any point in the life cycle, but it is most commonly experienced around middle-age when testosterone levels reach a peak point of decline. Though men can experience an imbalance of any number of hormones, low testosterone has the biggest impact on a man’s health and quality of life. Symptoms of hormone balance generally begin to occur with greater frequency and intensity when a man reaches middle age. This stage is often referred to as andropause, or more colloquially, “the male menopause.”
Symptoms of hormone imbalance in men or andropause may include:
Lower Sex Drive
Men who are experiencing one or more of these symptoms should consider advanced laboratory testing to assess their hormone levels. Many men dismiss the symptoms as side effects of stress, but in a majority of cases it is low testosterone. Low testosterone can affect a man’s quality of life and be a danger to his health. Seeking treatment is the best first step to begin feeling better and improving overall health. Plus, studies have found that adequate testosterone levels are linked to reduced risk of certain diseases.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy for Men?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has become the preferred treatment for men seeking to restore hormone levels to a balanced state and stop the symptoms of aging. Bioidentical hormones are one form of hormone therapy that has gained popularity in recent decades—though it dates back to the 1930s—because of its effectiveness in helping men and women achieve hormonal balance.
Bioidentical hormones are compounded hormones derived from naturally-occurring sources and designed to be structurally indistinguishable from endogenous human hormones. The term “bioidentical” refers to the exact-match replication that can be credited for the reduced number of side effects and risks patients experience, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment.
Bioidentical hormones are created in a lab and compounded into tailored prescriptions at a compounding pharmacy. Compounding pharmacies operate under specified guidelines established by the Health Canada to compound bioidentical hormones in the exact strength and dosage as prescribed by the attending practitioner. In most cases, bioidentical hormones cannot be patented and made into mass prescription forms by large pharmaceutical companies.
Doses are carefully determined by your practitioner. Your hormone therapy practitioner will meet with you to review and discuss your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle and lab results. This information ensures that your treatment plan and prescriptions perfectly suited to the needs of your body and the health goals you wish to achieve.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for men suffering from symptoms of hormone imbalance. Men have reported vast benefits from bioidentical testosterone therapy and fewer side effects than with synthetic hormones. There are a number of hormone replacement therapy options available to meet the medical needs, health goals and lifestyles of most men, including pellets, patches, creams, pills and injections. The delivery method selected is largely dependent on the design of the treatment plan and personal preferences.
Why Should Men Use Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
There are plenty of reasons men should consider choosing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to restore hormonal balance. Research has shown that bioidentical hormone therapy is both safe and effective, not to mention it has a very positive effect on the health of men.
For example, men who restore testosterone to natural levels using testosterone replacement therapy have been shown to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke1. Adequate levels of testosterone have also been linked to higher energy levels and healthy weight control. Other benefits of hormone therapy for men include enhanced sexual desire and performance, better bone density with aging and improved spatial performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Men who have been treated with bioidentical hormone therapy report benefits such as:
Reduced body fat
Increased muscular strength
Boosted sexual performance
Maintenance of lean body mass
Hormone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones is an effective and natural option for restoring and balancing hormone levels in men. Conventional methods used to restore male hormone levels, such as synthetic hormones produced by pharmaceutical companies do not provide the tailored treatment necessary for achieving and maintaining optimal health.
When Do Men Need Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?
Deciding when to begin hormone therapy is simple. Ask yourself, when do you want to start feeling your best again? The longer you wait, the further you are from achieving this goal.
It is not uncommon for men to dismiss the signs of hormonal imbalance as normal signs of aging, however men as young as age 30 can experience hormonal imbalance. The symptoms may begin to pile up quickly or accumulate slowly over years. If you notice one or more symptoms such as weight gain, depression, sexual dysfunction, irregular sleep patterns and fatigue, it’s time to take action.
Declines in testosterone are the most common gauge for determining hormonal imbalance in men, but that doesn’t mean men are not affected by thyroid disorders or low progesterone—as examples. Testosterone production in men decreases, on average, by approximately 2 percent per year and reaching peak declines around middle age. By the time the average man reaches his seventies, he has about one-third of the testosterone he had in his twenties. Worse yet, it has been reported that the levels of testosterone in an average 60-year-old man would yield a diagnosis of hypogonadism in a younger man. Low testosterone can quickly become an issue for aging men, making it vital for men to seek treatment when symptoms initially appear.