3 Facts About Andropause All Men Should Know

As you age, maintaining your energy is like climbing a mountain.

At ground zero, you’re full of zest. But as you climb, your muscles become fatigued, your joints ache and your interest in reaching the peak wanes.

But when you look around, you see other men scaling the side of that mountain, almost effortlessly.

What do they have that you don’t?

Testosterone.

Okay, you have testosterone. But, you know that your testosterone levels decrease as you age.

That’s nothing new.

Young men usually have levels of testosterone exceeding 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). When they reach 40, those levels begin to drop about one percent a year.

The drop is imperceptible at first, but when men reach their 80s, the average level of testosterone is 200 ng/dl.

This gradual decline in testosterone levels is called andropause. So, yes, you can blame “male menopause” when you don’t have energy to mow the lawn.

But, andropause is different from menopause in that it’s a gradual decrease in hormones, while women experience a sudden decrease.

Some men experience symptoms and some don’t.

What you may not know is that andropause doesn’t just affect your energy and sex drive. Andropause symptoms range from depression and irritability to increased body fat and a general lack of motivation.

Here are a few more facts about andropause you may not know:

1. Testosterone can lower your risk of heart disease.

In a 2014 study, researchers found that men who increased their levels of testosterone through hormone replacement therapy had a 55 percent reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

This was also the case with men who had pre-existing heart disease.

But, that doesn’t mean you should head to your nearest testosterone shot clinic. Higher-than-normal testosterone levels can put men at risk for heart attack or stroke.

Instead, you should have your levels tested by a medical professional and discuss treatment options that evaluate your lifestyle as a whole, including your diet, exercise and sleep routine.

As our Dr. Richard Pearson says, “When you just take testosterone and don’t change anything else, it’s like buying a muscle car, then just keeping it in neutral so you can listen to the radio.”

2. Testosterone helps you lose weight and gain muscle.

Speaking of muscles, a simple and well-known fact is that testosterone helps men build muscle mass.

When there are low levels of testosterone, estrogen effects kick in and put fat in the least desirable locations, for example your chest and belly.

As your weight increases, you’re also more at risk for type 2 diabetes, and men with diabetes are twice as likely to have lower levels of testosterone than men without diabetes.

Testosterone plays a part in increasing insulin sensitivity. Or, in other words, improves the ability of insulin to get into your cells.

3. Once deficient in testosterone, always deficient.

Testosterone therapy is a lifetime commitment. When your testosterone levels drop, your body isn’t able to naturally replenish them.

Which is why it’s important for you to find a medical professional you trust with a treatment that fits you as a whole.

With hormone therapy, you have two options: synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones. Synthetic hormones are chemically modified hormones, which creates a greater risk of toxicity and side effects. And most men can’t handle the side effects long-term.

Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are natural. Your body recognizes the hormones and uses them as it would its own.

You can learn more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy here. Or you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation to discuss options that give your life more vigor and vitality.

Over 50? Here are 5 Vitamins Your Body Needs Today

How many fruits and vegetables did you eat this past month?

Most people would say not enough. In fact, a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in January 2015, found that 40 percent of adults are deficient in vitamins A, C, D and E, not to mention calcium and magnesium.

Sure, living in Memphis, makes it hard to turn down a plate of barbecue nachos for steamed broccoli.

So, unless you’re one of the few who eats a well-balanced, organic diet, your body may be depleted of the nutrients it needs to sustain a fulfilling life.

Take Vitamin D, for example. Studies show it’s a strong stimulator of calcium deposition in bones, which makes them stronger and healthier.

And, here you thought it was just the sunshine vitamin.

Below are a few more vitamins you should consider taking if you’re over 50.

Remember, it’s important to first discuss your intentions with a medical professional before changing your diet or adding supplements.

1. Calcium

Bone density declines after 50, especially for women. To keep your bones and teeth strong, add calcium to your daily routine. While you know calcium is found in milk, you may not know you can also get it from kale, broccoli, spinach and other leafy green vegetables.

Calcium is also needed for muscle contractions, which helps you get more out of your workout.

2. Magnesium

Sometimes overlooked, magnesium keeps your heart steady, your immune system healthy and your nerve function normal. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote normal blood pressure. Many tout its helpful properties in improving sleep as well.

You can find magnesium in spinach, almonds, cashews, quinoa and pumpkin seeds. Or, get it all at once with this summer spinach and quinoa recipe.

3. Fiber

Fiber regulates your digestive system, lowers your cholesterol and helps control blood sugar levels.

If you’re trying to lose weight, adding fiber to your diet keeps you fuller, longer. Try eating oats, peas, beans, apples, carrots, whole-wheat flour, wheat bran or other veggies to increase your fiber intake.

You can also talk to your doctor about taking a fiber supplement, like this one by Benefiber.

4. Fish Oil

Many diets are lacking in healthy fats, including fish oil, which aids in depression, Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, arthritis and heart health—just to name a few.

Most of the benefits are attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids found in oil extracted from the tissue of deep-sea oily fish, such as trout, tuna, sardines and salmon.

You can add fish oil to your diet by consuming a high amount of fatty fish, but keep in mind that many fish varieties contain higher levels of mercury.

If you’d prefer to stay on the safe side, fish oil capsules can meet your needs. Just consult with your doctor to determine the type and amount of fish oil you should take.

5. Whole Food Multivitamin

For best results, studies suggest you should change your diet and establish an exercise routine at the same time. But, if you need to start with just one, focus on exercising first.

In the meantime, you can fill in the nutritional gaps of your diet with a multivitamin.

Try a whole foods multivitamin, which is made from real food instead of synthetic ingredients. For women who are no longer menstruating, you should first discuss with your doctor whether or not you need a multivitamin that also has iron.

In addition to supplementing your diet with vitamins, hormone therapy can give you the vitality and energy you need to tackle your day. Schedule a free and private consultation today.

6 Ways to Boost Energy and Vitality to Get Your Summer Back

Are you ready for summer?

To spend your mornings swimming laps at the pool? Or to take afternoon walks through the Farmer’s market?

Sure, mentally, you’re geared up to make plans and get going.

But, physically, your body yearns for a few more weeks of hibernation.

And when your energy levels don’t match your desires, summer can go from fun to frustrating.

If you’re perimenopausal, menopausal (Top 7 Quotes from Women with Hormone Issues Before Menopause) or you’ve had your ovaries removed, you know your levels of estrogen are changing.

But there’s something you might not know, at least not for sure.

Testosterone could also be the culprit for your summer blues.

Yes, testosterone is often called a “male” hormone, but it’s also important for women’s mood and energy levels, sexual health and bone and heart function.

First, here are a few signs you might be experiencing low levels of testosterone (Low T):

  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Weight changes and decreased exercise stamina
  • Low interest in sex
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Difficulties with sleep

If you believe you might be experiencing a hormonal imbalance or Low T, consult with your doctor first.

But, in the meantime, here are a few ways you can boost your energy and vitality to get your summer back.

1. Eat good fats and more protein

There’s a reason eating a clean, balanced diet makes the top of any health list.

It works.

When you eat refined carbs or foods high in sugar, your blood sugar and insulin spikes. This makes the body’s ability to use fat for energy drop.

A diet high in good fat, protein and veggies can increase your testosterone levels. For example, try topping your salad with olive oil, slices of avocado and lean chicken breast.

Or try out a new veggie dish, like this grilled summer squash recipe.

2. Lift weights

Any type of exercise, such as running or cycling, is great for your overall health. But lifting weights can boost your T levels.

If you’ve never lifted weights before, consider joining a circuit training class or talking with a personal trainer.

You can also rotate lifting days with cardio workouts. As an added bonus, research shows couples who exercise together have a better sex life.

3. Soak up the sun

Vitamin D can help increase your hormones and sex drive, which might explain why you feel a little friskier during the summer months.

As an all around great vitamin for mood stability and energy, you don’t have to walk farther than your front porch to get it.

Spend some time each day absorbing the rays—with ample sunscreen, of course.

4. Get some cool sleep

Humidity, high temperatures and longer days can drain your energy. And when you’re also combating Low T, you could use a good night’s sleep.

Research shows keeping your head cool is conducive to sleep.

You might have to test out what temperature works best for you, but try setting it around 65 degrees before you go to bed.

5. Drink more water

Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. During the summer months, you need to increase the amount of water you drink to stay hydrated and energized.

If you’re feeling lethargic, try drinking a glass of water over a second cup of coffee.

6. Rebalance your hormones

Your body has two ways of communicating, electrical (nerves) and chemical (hormones).

When your hormones aren’t communicating, even if you make lifestyle changes, it’s difficult to live life to the fullest.

Bio-identical hormones are identical to the ones that occur naturally in your body. They’re made from soy and yams, and your body recognizes them as it’s own.

So, when you’re low on testosterone, a medical professional can safely restore it to your natural balance.

If you’re feeling symptoms of Low T, the best step is to consult with a medical professional.

Or you can book a free consultation with us to discuss your symptoms, specific needs and ways we can get you back to feeling your best.

Press: Father, Daughter Join Forces to Make Exceed Succeed

What an extraordinary privilege it is to have parents who are willing to invest sweat equity in my dream! As Exceed grows, I am ever-grateful for the unparalleled dedication of our staff and trust of our patients. We are working to build health care in the Mid-South that focuses on adding value to every interaction.

Read our recent write-up in Memphis Medical News here.

Discussing Bioidentical Hormone Therapy on WREG Memphis

Actress Angelina Jolie made a lot of headlines recently when she spoke publicly about dealing with early menopause as a result of preventative cancer surgery. Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT) is one of the ways Jolie has chosen to treat her symptoms. This has brought national attention to BHT as many women dealing with menopausal symptoms want to learn more about it.

Last week, I appeared on Channel 3 WREG in Memphis to talk about what bioidenticals are and how they’re used to treat menopausal symptoms. You can watch the segment in the player below.

Would you like to know more about Bioidentical Hormone Therapy and whether or not it’s a good fit for you? Give us a call at 901-312-7899 or email us at info@exceedhs.com to schedule a consultation. You can visit the Bioidentical Hormone Therapy section of our website for more information.

Heather Pearson Chauhan, MD

For That Important Man In Your Life

There’s a reason that women make 75% of the health care decisions for their families. Reaching and maintaining optimal health involves prior planning and a proactive stance. Women are accustomed to recommended exams for themselves and necessary checkups for their children. Men, however, tend to see health as a given – requiring no effort or attention unless something feels wrong. Men are reactive to health issues and subscribe to the pain theory of illness: if it doesn’t hurt, nothing is wrong.

There are generally only three things that cause men to seek medical care:

Severe pain that can’t be cured with over-the-counter meds or by “walking it off”
Bleeding – bright red and lots of it
Problems with their sex life – and then only after trying everything at the health food store and online. It’s also important to them to keep this a secret from their significant other and their friends.

If men were cars, they would ignore the oil changes, bald tires, cracked windshield, and smoking exhaust. But if the radio won’t play loudly and the transmission starts slipping, something’s got to be done!

Women know when their hormones have changed. Perimenopause and menopause lead to big changes in mood, energy, and outlook – there’s no denying hot flashes, night sweats, and dryness. Women, in effect, “fall off a cliff” at menopause and it hurts when they land!

Men, on the other hand, just slide down the hill very slowly. Starting at age thirty, testosterone drops by 1% every year, and by age 45, nearly 40% percent of men have low hormone levels. So, while the women in their lives are struggling with unwanted weight gain, loss of energy, irritability and poor self image, men are blissfully ignoring their own physical changes caused by low testosterone:

• fatigue and loss of energy
• weight gain
• flab and weakness from loss of skeletal muscle
• loss of motivation and drive

What finally gets their attention is when they “can’t get it up!” This is hitting rock bottom for men. Most men have been in trouble with low testosterone for years before it gets to this point.

Here’s the question for women: that man in your life – who falls asleep in the chair, doesn’t want to go anywhere, has lost interest and drive at work and at home – could the problem be not enough testosterone?

Here’s the solution: do it for him because he likely won’t do it for himself.  Encourage him, support him and have him come see us at Exceed Hormone Specialists. His problem will not get better by itself, and we offer a free 15-minute consultation. He can discuss his issues in complete privacy and learn about solutions.

He will be glad, and so will you!

Richard Pearson MD, FACS

Everyday Items Leading Women Into Early Menopause

Testosterone and estrogen are words you often see in the headlines. Sometimes it’s difficult to sort out the facts and identify the fiction. Even if you can figure out what is truth, it’s hard to know what to do with that information. Exceed Hormone Specialists is here to help you figure out what specifically applies (and doesn’t apply) to you.

A recent study reported a notable link between everyday chemicals and early menopause. Women who had higher levels of certain chemicals in their blood went through menopause two to four years earlier than women with lower levels. What does this mean for you and your family? Try eating local, organic fruits and vegetables. You can decrease the use of plastics in your home and keep them out of the microwave. Read more labels on cleaning products, cosmetics, and scented toiletries and keep a watchful eye in order to avoid phthalates. A friendly and informative resource is the Environmental Working Group website at ewg.org.

It’s important for you to evaluate where you are hormonally. Do you feel as good as you want to? Does your energy level sustain the demands of your daily life? First, look to the things you can change more easily to help your hormones. Give yourself enough hours to achieve restful sleep. Try to exercise more regularly than you have been. Decrease your daytime carbohydrate intake to even out your insulin/glucose balance. These modifications can make a real difference.

Maybe you have done all the things you know to do to achieve hormone balance. Perhaps you still don’t feel like the best version of yourself. No matter where you are in the spectrum of hormone imbalance (30 years old with no libido, 40 years old with no energy, 50 years old with hot flashes, 60 years old with clouded thinking, or 70 years old without stamina to exercise), we may be able to help you. Consider coming in to see us at Exceed Hormone Specialists. You can talk with me or Dr. Richard Pearson. We will do our best to work with you to come up with an individualized treatment plan – we want you to feel your absolute best.

Heather Pearson Chauhan, MD

A Free Consultation from Exceed

We’re all busy and can feel overwhelmed. Some of us even have the added stress of a life with hormonal issues. If this is you, we’d love to help.

Exceed Hormone Specialists offers free, 15-minute, one-on-one consultations at our Germantown office. We will review any lab work that is pertinent and you will have the opportunity to see if our practice is the kind of place you’re looking for.

We love introducing people to a new approach in hormone management that provides a real product with real, sustained benefits. So come and check out our office, visit with me or Dr. Richard Pearson, and see if Exceed is the right fit for you.

Call 901.312.7899 to schedule your free consultation.

Thank you,

Dr. Heather Chauhan

Official Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting – December 16th

We are so excited to invite everyone to join the Germantown Chamber of Commerce & Exceed for our official ribbon cutting celebration on Tuesday, December 16th at 4pm at our offices on Second Street. An open house will follow until 6pm. We will have coffee, hot chocolate and snacks for everyone! We hope you can make it and look forward to meeting you!

Greetings From Exceed – We’re Here & Ready

I could not be more excited to share with you the news that Exceed Hormone Specialists is now open for business!

Exceed is staffed by full time specialists in gynecology and urology. We care for women and men with gynecology and urology concerns with a strong focus on hormone imbalance, bio-identical hormone therapy, sexual issues and the related loss of vitality.

On a personal note, my father and I are embarking on this adventure together because we truly believe in the power of a doctor-patient relationship built on trust and understanding. We know the best way to build those relationships is by spending face-to-face time with our patients, getting to know them and working with them to determine the best course of treatment for their hormone-related conditions.

While we are officially opening our doors in the coming weeks, we are already hard at work and available for questions, seminars and appointment scheduling.

Our site is filled with information about all of the hormone therapy services we offer, as well as resources for those wanting to know more about hormone-related conditions and treatments.

Our office at 7512 Second Street in Germantown is ready to take your calls! You can reach us five days a week at 901-312-7899 and you can email us anytime at info@ExceedHS.com.

We will be offering informational seminars about Bioidentical Hormone Therapy throughout the rest of the year, but the next available dates are:

Monday 11/3/14 at 10am;
Thursday 11/6/14 at 5:30pm; and
Monday 11/10/14 at both 10am and 5:30pm

These small-group seminars are intended to provide an overview of hormone imbalance and how bioidentical hormone therapy is used to treat it. Our board-certified physicians will provide insight from their years of training and experience, as well as answer any questions you might have. Contact the office to reserve a spot and find out the location.

We have so much more to share with you, but for now we wanted to say hello and encourage you to reach out to us. We’d love to meet you and find out what Exceed can do for you!

Heather Pearson Chauhan MD, FACOG