What Happens As We Age? | As we age, there are changes that we all too often accept as inevitable consequences of getting older. Most commonly these include:
- Decreased energy levels – we just don’t have the pep we had when we were younger
- Loss of mental acuity – poor memory, focus, concentration, drive or mental outlook
- Increased body fat and decreased muscle tone
- Loss of strength and/or endurance
- Not getting the results from our exercise that we should
- Longer recovery from exercise
- Decreased libido and sexual performance
- Poor sleep
These changes occur gradually, thus giving us time to get somewhat use to them, even if we don’t like them. However, some of these changes are due to declines in our metabolic and hormonal status, and can be corrected, resulting in improvements in our overall health as well as quality of life. Andropause is a term that is generally used to describe the decline in testosterone levels as men age. However testosterone is not the only hormone affected. Beginning around the age of 25, a variety of hormones (DHEA, testosterone, thyroid, growth hormone and others) begin to decline at various rates. Hormonal decline can be accelerated by various illnesses as well as other conditions such as head trauma/concussions . These hormonal declines are associated with an increase in heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few. While some say that hormones decline as a result of aging, many of the changes and diseases that we associate with the aging process are a direct result of hormonal loss.
What is Normal? | So-called “normal ranges” reported on standard lab reports are very wide. Ranges are usually just a statistic and designed to include 95% of the population. The fact that you are in the normal range doesn’t mean that everything is okay,especially if you are in the lower end of that range. As an example, the normal range for testosterone by Quest Labs is 250 – 1100. 300 is normal and 1050 is normal! Your body’s response to these different levels is, to say the least, very different. Since hormones decline with age, using “age adjusted” ranges simply lowers the bar making them of little use.
What is Optimal? | Optimal ranges are where our bodies generally function best and are the ranges that are associated with a reduced risk of various diseases. Most often these optimal ranges are in the upper 20% of the so-called “normal range.” However, the “normal range” for some hormones, especially if age adjusted ranges are used, are actually lower than values known to be associated with an increased risk of death. Fortunately, the medical literature provides us with some guidance. Many doctors, even some endocrinologists, do not believe that hormone therapy is useful. Some even feel it is unsafe, which is simply not the case. They rarely consider hormone therapy for male patients unless their hormone levels well below the so-called “normal range.” Instead, patients are advised to accept these changes as just part of getting older.
What can be Done? | With the Elite Health Evaluation, you learn where you stand. If needed, deficiencies of selected hormones can be corrected to more youthful levels resulting in:
- Reduced risk of certain age related conditions
- Increased muscle strength
- Decreased body fat
- Increased mental acuity
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved sex drive and performance
- Increased endurance and stamina
If hormone replacement is given, it is closely monitored by laboratory testing and clinical response.
A Special Note About Growth Hormone (hGH) | Most patients do not need hGH. Only a small percentage of Cenegenics patients are on hGH therapy. However, growth hormone can be very helpful if someone is truly deficient. hGH is very strictly regulated by the FDA and can only be prescribed for a documented deficiency. Currently, documenting a deficiency requires performing a stimulation test, which is offered by Cenegenics. Your Cenegenics Arizona physician can discuss with you if this testing is indicated for you.