The Affect of Hormone Imbalance as We Age

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00:02:44.0
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09/20/2013
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Interviewer: We've been told and I think we all understand that our hormones change as we age. Is it safe to say that everybody needs some sort of balancing or tweaking as they get older?

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: Yeah. You know, especially for guys. You know guys are going to go through the andropause.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: It's kind of like the female menopause. 

Interviewer: Sure.

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: And guys are going to go through that starting about age 40 up to age 50 to 60, whereas the women go through it at age 50. Boom. One year, they loose their hormone support, their hot flashing, they're cranky. They turn embarrassed. Guys slowly will go through that so if you look at a 40-year-old male, he look pretty good. He's got his muscle tone. And you look at you 50-year-old and your 60-year-old. So the differences happen pretty quickly. And a lot is lost of the growth hormone, it's the loss of testosterone. It's also the conversion of testosterone into estrogen in those guys. And it's not just, hey, I can look better, I can feel better, but we're finding too, guys that have lower testosterone levels also have more prostate problems. They have higher cancer rates. They will have higher cholesterol problems, more heart attacks, more strokes. They don't recover as well after a stroke or a heart attack so we're finding hormones are very protective. It's not just a, I want to feel good look good, it's actually I want to protect my health and reduce my risk of chronic disease too.

Interviewer: When you mention women and the tough drastic change that they face through menopause. If they start a balancing program earlier, can that transition be smoother for them?

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: Yeah. Women too, they don't always just go boom at 50. Most women at age 30. 35. They're going to start getting a, quote, imbalance in those hormone. They're still having their cycles. They can still get pregnant. Things are still happening but we can have a 35-year-old woman who comes in, she's gosh, I have these terrible headaches and I'm not motivated. I just don't have what I had before. 

We actually look at her hormone levels and what we'll do in a case like that is, we'll actually look at a whole month. Every other day we'll her progesterone, estrogen, testosterone levels. We can get a graph of exactly what's happening on that month. And for a woman like that, it's just a matter of kind of optimizing that cyclic rhythm of the progesterones and estrogens. And we do it in a very, what I would say bio-identical, or very physiologic way. I think a physiologic way is a very good way to put it because we're just following the physiology of the body and giving them exactly what the body would produce. It's not a synthetic hormone and there's a big kind of controversy here between a synthetic hormone, and women should be scared of that because things like Premarin and Progestin, there's an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer. A bio-identical hormone does not have the same effect as a synthetic. A bio-identical hormone is exactly what your body's used to every day. It's what is fine tuning that orchestra so giving a bio-identical hormone [??] does not have the same risks as a synthetic hormone.

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Hormone levels change for everyone as they age. What are some of the signs of this change and how drastic is it? It's different for men and women. Is it safe to say everyone could use some hormone therapy as they age? Dr. Joel Baumgartner discusses these issues here.

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