Male Hormone Replacement Therapy
Male hormone replacement therapy is often looked at by men over forty who are beginning to feel the effects of aging on their bodies. While men do not go through a menopause where there is a dramatic loss of estrogen, they do have a slow drip of testosterone loss after the age of thirty at the rate of about one percent each year. And while all men are losing testosterone, lower T levels are not necessarily the precursor to symptoms which are known as androgen deficiency. In fact only about five percent of men actually have T levels low enough to significantly affect their life. Androgen deficiency symptoms are so close to depression symptoms that they are often mistaken for depression. These symptoms include sleep disturbance, such as apnea or the inability to sleep, depression, lethargy and diminished physical performance as well as loss of sex drive. But what might set androgen deficiency apart from depression are the things not clearly identified without some testing such as bone loss.
Part of the aging process can include a loss of sexual desire or drive and this can certainly be attributed in part to testosterone loss. But a physician will probably not order male hormone replacement therapy just on that basis alone. In fact, unless T levels dip below 250, there will be other ways of addressing a man's aging issues such as sending a patient to be tested for sleep disorder, prescribing anti depressants and suggesting counseling for other problems, but it won't be male hormone replacement therapy. But this 250 number also presents its own set of problems because there has never been an established baseline number for the presence of testosterone in the body. 250 is kind of an accepted number in the medical community, but there are no studies to really back that unwritten law up.
Testosterone is extremely important in both men and women, although the levels in women are much lower than in men. Testosterone affects brain function, bone and muscle mass, fat distribution the vascular system and energy levels in both sexes. Some studies even suggest it may one day be a predictor of how long a man might actually live. Much of the problem however goes back to knowing what a baseline reading for testosterone really is. But male hormone replacement therapy is not the heretofore undiscovered fountain of youth. Seventy year old men are not suddenly going to look and feel forty when they begin receiving this therapy. And like any other drug regimen, there are side effects to male hormone replacement therapy.
When this therapy is applied as a means of male contraception, condition known as azoospermia takes place which refers to male infertility. Once the therapy has been ceased, the sperm count again rises within six to eighteen months. In addition, total cholesterol readings have been known to drop, especially affecting HDL readings which are looked upon as favorable. If male testosterone replacement therapy is undertaken, lipids will have to be followed closely by the man's physician. In some cases, sleep apnea, a disorder that can cause heart problems and high blood pressure can either be exacerbated or actually developed. There has also been enough evidence to suggest that blood make actually be thickened with the application of male hormone replacement therapy.
There are some natural supplements that can perhaps offer some of the same help that testosterone injection or creams or patches can provide. Keep in mind that there have not been FDA studies done of the effectiveness of natural supplements, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that in many cases, these supplements can provide some symptoms of low testosterone relief. For example, zinc has been shown in animal testing to keep testosterone from depleting during physical exertion. Carnitine has been shown to improve sexual desire while muira puama has been shown to help erectile dysfunction and increase libido. Broccoli and cauliflower have been shown to help support prostate health and saw palmetto has been proven to help free up bound testosterone in the body. Sometimes it's hard for older men to accept the aging process because it often creates a shadow of what a man used to be physically. But the Bible says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11)
The Fountain of Youth has been sought for centuries and every few years there is the announcement that science may have found the answer, but the answer always dies a quick death when all the studies are completed. With all of the available evidence now in regarding male hormone replacement therapy, it appears that the choice for a man will come down to perhaps living a fuller life with more vim and vigor in all parts of his life or living longer. The sides effects for male hormone replacement therapy seem right now to point to higher risks for heart disease and certain forms of cancer, so it appears to be a "pay me now or pay me later" kind of option with death. In many ways, it is the same kind of option facing women with the estrogen dilemma. The real issue may be that God wants us to live out our life as it comes to us, knowing that at the end there will be an unimaginable future life with Him for eternity. For those who are Christians, death really is only the beginning.
Natural Hormone ReplacementApparently, women can obtain natural hormone replacement from a plant. A cream derived from the Mexican Wild Yam contains progesterone. According to an online site, the cream is used to treat the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome without the adverse side effects often associated with estrogen therapies. Progesterone is also available in a transdermal patch. Menopause is the end of a woman's monthly menstrual periods and ovulation and generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. During menopause, the woman's body begins producing smaller quantities of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This causes unpleasant side effects in some women: hot flashes, mood swings, feminine dryness and urinary problems. Natural progesterone cream reportedly eases these symptoms. For years, doctors typically tried to ease menopause symptoms with hormone replacement therapy, which served to boost estrogen levels. This was believed to have significant health benefits and improved the woman's quality of life. However, recent research indicates that hormone therapy may actually have greater health risks than benefits. As a result, more women are trying hormone replacement therapy alternatives.
Keep in mind, all the evidence is not in on natural hormone replacement therapy. Although research indicates that HT may not be the panacea doctors and researchers once thought it to be, the method is still considered effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. And some research indicates that HT may be beneficial in the fight against heart disease, osteoporosis, and colorectal cancer. However, there is some confusion about the risks, benefits and to what degree HT can improve a woman's quality of life. Get the facts and consider all the options. Some studies have linked estrogen replacement to increased risk of breast cancer. Because of the confusion some women are turning to alternative therapies. The best course of action may be a combination of methods and procedures. Research suggests that women who supplement a healthy balanced diet with nutritional supplements and exercise may be able to reduce or eliminate the side effects of menopause. Another so called natural hormone replacement therapy being tried is call bioidentical hormones. But there is no solid proof that they are safer or more effective than standard replacement therapy. In fact, bioidentical hormones haven't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
For Christians, most of the information concerning the benefits of spiritual healing is not anything new or shocking. Spiritual healing isn't really even considered natural hormone replacement. Few people may have thought about using spirituality and God in conjunction with hormone therapy. But, if a woman picks up and reads through the Bible, she'll see many different ways spiritual healing and prayer can help. Menopause can be a difficult time for several reasons. First, cessation of monthly menstrual periods and ovulation is concrete evidence that the woman is aging. She is now moving beyond child-bearing age. Menopause signals the permanent end of fertility. Obviously, the woman is going through physical changes, but her mental and spiritual outlook can go a long way in alleviating or exacerbating some of the physical suffering. Perhaps she no longer feels young or sexually appealing to her mate. Basically, she may lack the all important peace of mind and security required to pull her through the changes. Seeking the Lord is the first step in the healing process.
God is so many things, but He provides stability and peace of mind in troubled times. John says that here on earth people will have many trials and sorrows, but there is peace in Jesus. The menopausal woman may be looking at the life she has led and not focusing on the many good years still in front of her. The Lord is peace and safety, which produces a glad heart and reason to rejoice. And the Lord provides inspiration and guidance. Be it emotional, mental, or physical healing; the Lord is central to any natural hormone replacement program. God is a woman's shepherd through difficult times. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. A foolish woman is clamourous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.." (Proverbs 9: 10-13)
Generally speaking, natural hormone replacement is only part of the solution. Holistic medicine and natural medicine can also help alleviate symptoms. Holistic medicine attempts to harmonize body, mind, and in some cases the spirit through mental interventions. Natural medicine attempts to use the body's own healing power or energy to cure ailments. People have used prayer and spirituality to channel the body's power for healing purposes for thousands of years. In fact, this subject has been written about extensively. Spiritual healers are continually creating new methods to channel the body's healing power and energy. New age enlightenment is a growing field. However, Christians need look no further than the Bible for instruction on how to pray and gain strength. Herbal remedies, diet, prayer, and exercise are all forms of natural medicine. All of them can have benefits as part of the natural hormone replacement treatment program. Herbal medicine has been practiced for centuries. Exercise is considered great therapy. Christians know the value of prayer. Women considering any of these options should do the research before utilizing any natural hormone replacement therapy. Although there are a great number of benefits, experimental methods can at the very least be a waste of time and money. At the very worst they can be dangerous.