June 22, 2024
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June 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Revitalize Yourself

It is always a great time to improve your energy and vitality. One of the harbingers of aging for both men and women is a decline of hormones. With aging, there is a decline in energy and a general slowing down. The decline in energy is linked to the decline in hormones. My clinical experience is that by replacing one’s hormones, energy levels are restored while overall health is greatly improved. It is rewarding to see someone transition from a feeling of decline to a feeling of renewed vitality.

For men, the principal hormone that drives energy, strength and motivation is testosterone. Unfortunately, men’s testosterone levels decline by about 1.5% per year after age 30. Most men will notice this decline by their late 40s. They may notice weight gain, a decrease in vigor, more difficult workouts or just feeling more tired by the end of the day. This is called andropause and it tends to occur gradually over several years.

For women, the decline in hormones tends to occur more abruptly with the onset of menopause. Some women experience this more gradually with an extended perimenopause. With the decline in estrogen and progesterone, women gain an average of 10 to 15 pounds. Among the myriad of symptoms associated with menopause, women experience fatigue, muscle and joint pain, insomnia and decreased memory.

The good news for men and women is that by replacing these hormones, the symptoms can be reversed, with improvement of overall health. As noted, there is greatly improved energy with hormone replacement, with improved mood and even improved libido for both men and women. If the price for such improved energy were increased risk of heart disease, one would be very hesitant to start hormone replacement. However, it is just the opposite.

Among men, the lower the testosterone level, the higher the risk for heart disease. In one study, they divided the subjects into five groups from highest to lowest testosterone. The group with the lowest testosterone levels had the highest risk of heart disease while the group with the highest testosterone levels had the lowest risk of heart disease. In addition to feeling great while building muscle, men who take testosterone significantly reduce their risk of heart disease. That seems like a win-win.

Women who choose to gain the benefit of hormone replacement also significantly reduce their risk of heart disease. Compared to women who do not take hormone replacement, the relative risk for heart disease for women who take hormone replacement is 0.4. That is, taking hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease by 2.5 times. Considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 60, hormone replacement is an invaluable way to maintain one’s health.

A key reason that heart disease is reduced with hormone replacement for men and women is weight loss, and in particular, reduced visceral fat. The weight gain that occurs with andropause and menopause is primarily a buildup of fat. Visceral fat is the fat that builds up around organs. This fat is a key driver of generalized inflammation, which leads to clots and even cancer. The clots can lead to heart attacks and strokes. By reducing visceral fat with hormone replacement, men and women can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of clots.

The next two leading causes of death in older women are osteoporosis leading to hip fractures, and Alzheimer’s disease. Bone density tends to decline precipitously with menopause due to the loss of estrogen. There are medications used for osteoporosis but they have significant side effects. Also, they do not help bone growth but tend to slow the rate of bone loss. On the other hand, estradiol actually helps grow bone, which helps improve osteoporosis and significantly reduces the risk of hip fractures. Also, when starting hormone replacement soon after menopause, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is significantly reduced. Many of my patients report improved memory after starting hormone replacement.

When testosterone levels decline, there is often decreased motivation. What I observe with testosterone replacement is that energy and motivation improve. Along with this, men become more motivated to eat well and more motivated to exercise. So not only do men get the benefit of testosterone and the associated improved cardiac function and increased muscle mass, but they also benefit from this increased motivation that helps them improve their lifestyle.

Before I wrap up, I want to address the most common concerns I hear about when I describe the benefits of hormone replacement. Women express concern about breast cancer, and if hormone replacement increased the risk of breast cancer, I would certainly understand this concern. However, with bioidentical hormone replacement there is no increased risk of breast cancer. There was a slight increased risk with synthetic pharmaceutical hormones but not with bioidentical hormones. So women can get all the benefits of hormone replacement without a risk of increased breast cancer. Men express concern about prostate cancer. Multiple studies have shown that there is no increased risk of prostate cancer with testosterone replacement. So men can get all the benefits of testosterone replacement without an increased risk of prostate cancer.

To summarize, men and women can become revitalized with hormone replacement. With hormone replacement men and women can expect to lose weight with improved energy, improved mood, increased muscle mass and improved feeling of well-being. At the same time, they will be reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. It is a great way to take control of your health in a positive direction to improve your quality of life.


Dr. Slaten is a wellness physician specializing in regenerative pain treatments and lifestyle counseling. He is certified in advanced bioidentical hormone replacement. To learn more, you can check out his website, www.njhormones.com.

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