How to Bounce Back from the Holidays in Just 1 Day

December. The month of indulging before a new year of drudging.

Do you skip a few days at the gym and overindulge in sweets? Or turn off your electronics and swear off Facebook for a while?

Whatever tonic you pick, it only takes a few eggnogs and that extra helping of figgy pudding to get your mind and body begging for your old routine.

However, if you have a track record of giving up on resolutions before you can say New Year’s Resolution (and who doesn’t?), then setting goals this early may seem futile.

But don’t give up just yet.

While Rome wasn’t built in a day, some resolutions can be. Before you power down your thinking cap for the holidays, check out these quick-to-implement ideas for bringing balance back to your life in the New Year.

Boost Your Morning with Intention

Before you jump back into the grind, schedule a morning meditation session to set the tone for the day and stay focused, organized, and optimistic.

Jot down your intentions. What do you want to accomplish? How would you like your day to go? How would you like to feel? Make a list and set deadlines for the day, week, and month so you avoid procrastination.

Drink Up! (Water, Of Course)

While in relaxation mode, you probably deprived your body of hydration—yeah, those eggnogs we talked about.

Keep bottled water by your side today. And check out the app called Waterlogged for tracking your consumption levels.

The extra hydration will cleanse toxins from your body, boost your energy, and ease any lasting headaches.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

If you feel bloated and behind deadline, it’s easy to regret letting loose during the holidays.

But your body, mind, and spirit needed that rest and camaraderie. And now you can attack the year with renewed zest.

When the guilt starts to sink in, write thank you notes for reminding yourself why you chose to slack in the first place—also gratitude boosts positivity.

Then schedule a few fun activities for January. Go on a date night to a Memphis Grizzlies game or check out one of Memphis’ newest restaurants like Char on Highland Avenue.

Just because you had extra relaxation in December, doesn’t mean you don’t need it again in January.

De-bloat by Eating…Right

Speaking of bloat, skip the greasy lunch and dessert today. Opt instead for foods that fight off a puffed out belly from over-eating. Here are a few options:

  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Bananas
  • Grainy breads
  • Avocado
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Probiotic Yogurt
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Wind Down with a Detox Bath

    You’ve treated yourself to mindfulness, recharged your energy levels, and reset your diet.

    Before heading to bed for a good night’s sleep, treat yourself to a detox bath.

    What You Need:
    ½ cup of baking soda
    4 T of ground ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance)
    1 cup of Epsom Salt
    5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

    Fill the bathtub with hot water—as hot as you can tolerate. Mix in the ingredients and give it a few stirs. Soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.

    All right, one day down and only 364 to go. By starting January 1st off on the right foot with easy goals, you can be more intentional and purposeful about your resolutions for the rest of the year.

    So, if you’d like to learn more about bringing even more balance and vitality back to your life, contact us for a free consultation on hormone replacement therapy.

    A Quick Guide to How Your Hormone Levels Are Tested

    Ah, menopause.

    Whether we like it or not, all women go through it.

    As you age, your levels of hormones fluctuate, which causes uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating symptoms, like hot flashes and weight gain.

    Sure, you can eat right, exercise more, and reduce stress to help minimize symptoms (which we highly recommend). But without proper hormone balance, it’s difficult to eliminate them.

    That’s where bio-identical hormones come in. They replace the hormones you’ve lost, restore balance and bring zest back to your life.

    But how do you know if hormone therapy is right for you? Or if it is, what dosage you need to feel healthy again?

    In this article, we’ll explain how we test your hormone levels and create a custom therapy plan.

    First, We Get to Know You

    During our consultation, we talk about the symptoms you’re experiencing, your current lifestyle, and what lab work we need to create a therapy plan.

    We check the baseline level of some important hormones, including levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Estradiol (E2-a particular type of estrogen), Testosterone (T), and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

    The FSH level and estradiol level tell us how much, if any, your ovaries are functioning. Or, in other words, they help us understand if you’re in early, mid, or late menopause.

    While TSH doesn’t affect your hormone therapy plan, it can cause some symptoms that are similar to menopause. This helps us eliminate the possibility of thyroid complications.

    And did you know women also produce testosterone? While men produce about 10 times more, a woman’s adequate testosterone levels are essential for daily life stamina, the ability to create muscle mass through exercise and sex drive.

    Of course, since we customize your therapy, we may request additional tests to address your specific needs.

    Then, We Schedule Lab Work

    For most people, insurance will cover lab work. But, if you don’t have health insurance or coverage for laboratory services, we can help you find a lab that’s budget-friendly.

    Once we’ve determined the tests you need, we fax the order to your lab. At most labs, you can just drop in at your convenience to have your blood drawn, and at a few you can schedule an appointment online. The lab sends the results directly to us—this means you can visit any lab in your network, anywhere in the country.

    This initial set of lab work helps us understand where you are now, so as we move forward we can track your progress.

    For example, there is a range of normal hormone levels. What a normal level is depends upon the person’s age, body mass, genetic factors, current medications, dietary and exercise patterns, and many other factors.

    But, while your best gal pal may feel great on the lower end of normal, you may need to reach the higher end to feel the benefits of hormone therapy.

    Lab work helps us fine tune that therapy, so we can help you function at your best.

    Finally, We Create Your Therapy Plan

    As soon as the lab work is delivered and evaluated, we start your therapy.

    For new patients, we may start with a moderate dose. This dosage comes in the form of a pellet, so your hormone levels are consistent throughout the day. Unlike a pill, patch, or cream where your levels may fluctuate.

    In 4 to 6 weeks, we’ll test your levels again to see if you need a higher dosage or lower dosage. But once your levels look right, we won’t need lab work until your next dose.

    For women, this is every 3 to 4 months. And for men, it’s usually 5 to 6 months.

    But, why do we need lab work before each new dose? The reason is simple. Accuracy. We want to know where you are before giving you more bio-identical hormones.

    For patients who have taken therapy for a long time, this might not be necessary. But in the beginning, we want to understand exactly how your body interacts with therapy.

    Hormone therapy is the best way to get the vitality, energy, and life you used to have. And while we provide comprehensive, specialized services, our process is simple and easy to understand.

    If you want to learn more about this process, schedule your own free, 15-minute consultation here.

    3 Key Benefits of Direct Pay Concierge Care

    You make an appointment with your doctor, ready for some relief.

    You arrive on time, but sit in the waiting room for 30-minutes—the doctor is behind schedule. When you climb onto the table in your private room, you wait for another 20-minutes—she’ll be right with you.

    Finally, the doctor walks in. You pull out your list of ailments, but she spends another 5-minutes typing on her tablet. After she runs through a list of generalized questions, she snaps the tablet closed. Your 15-minute session is complete.

    The nurse ushers you out and says she’ll call if the insurance approves the treatment—it could take 2-3 weeks. While you’re eventually approved, you repeat this process every few months, just to get a small dose of a generic-brand solution for your not-so-generic ailments.

    Sound familiar?

    Quick, insurance-driven driven health care is has become the norm.

    But physicians are now changing the patient experience with a direct pay care model. Direct pay primary care isn’t a new service. Before the rise of employer-based insurance in the 1940’s, people paid cash to their family doctor for health care.

    The concept of my doctor knows me, has time for me and has a relationship with me is on the rise. And one-size-fits-all health care is on a descent.

    Yearly insurance upheavals, huge deductibles and copays, prior approval for medications and surgery and “big business” care in doctors’ offices are driving patients to seek something different.

    Direct pay care offers flat, reasonable rates to all patients. It puts important, health care decisions back into the hands of the doctor and the patient.

    According to The Physicians’ Foundation 2014 survey, 7% of physicians now practice some form of direct pay medicine, while 13% are planning to transition to this type of practice.

    You can learn more about direct pay specialty care here and here. But, we’ve created a quick overview of the key benefits of choosing a direct pay specialty physician below.

    You get more, one-on-one time with your doctor

    Eighty-one percent of physicians say they are over-extended or at full capacity. And 20% of their day is spent on non-clinical work, like completing insurance claim forms and negotiating payment rates.

    With a direct pay model, physicians can spend less time at the desk and more time getting to know you.

    Direct pay specialists also see fewer patients, so they can spend more time with each one, while still providing all the resources needed to run a high-quality clinic. Patients spend less time in the reception area. And the physicians are more available for appointments convenient to you.

    You get care that’s customized to you

    With direct pay, your physician can select the treatment that’s best for you, not the one that’s covered by your insurance.

    For example, at Exceed Hormone Specialists, our approach to hormone therapy, uses the highest quality, bioidentical hormone pellets. Your dose is unique to you, based on your treatment goals, medical history, weight, height, lab results and level of activity.

    You get a lifelong solution

    Because your hormone therapy plan is customized, you get access to a life-long solution without experiencing the negative side effects that come with synthetic hormones. Bioidentical hormones are safe and effective for years.

    On the other hand, insurance companies who work with pharmacy benefit managers, choose medications for you based on cost, not quality.

    To get the best treatment, or bioidentical hormones, you go through an obstacle course of higher prices, prior approvals and restricted quantity.

    With direct pay specialty care, you develop a close, personal relationship with your physician. We maintain that relationship far into the future and give you personal care every day. In addition, you have easy access to your physician for on-going advice.

    Want to learn more about our pricing structure or see if you’re a good fit for our personalized care? Give us a call to schedule your visit.

    3 Energy-Boosters You’re Doing Wrong (and what really works)

    Energy—a word that’s more elusive than your teenage grandkids. It’s also an essential component to living strong and living long, but as you age it’s difficult to find and even harder to keep.

    While menopause and andropause can deplete your energy, they aren’t the only cause of your lack of oomph and zest.

    Do you exercise? Eat right? Sleep through the night? Of course you do! Your doctor and every over-50 magazine at the cash register reminds you that it’s important for healthy aging.

    But did you know those energy-boosters could also be energy-zappers? We found 3 of the most common energy-boosting tips seniors use but are doing wrong. While there’s no magic recipe for regaining the energy you had in your 20’s, these changes will leave you refreshed and ready to seize the day, all day.

    Exercise, but not too much

    Fitness–most people don’t push hard enough, but others push too hard. It’s no secret that exercising helps you lose weight, combat health conditions, improve your mood, and boost your energy.

    But if you don’t let your body recover, you can feel exhausted yet unable to sleep. Studies also show it weakens your immune system, which makes recovering from winter colds more difficult.

    As your age increases, your strength and energy decrease. So you might not be able to work out as hard as you once did. Listen to your body. If you feel moody, tired, or sick after working out, cut back and give yourself a break.

    Eat high protein foods, but watch your cholesterol

    Protein aids digestion, balances hormones, gives you an upbeat mood, and helps you maintain muscle and bone health. The Institute of Medicine recommends men over 50 eat at least 56 grams of protein, and women over 50 should eat at least 46 grams of protein every day.

    But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for women over 65 is heart disease and cholesterol is a significant factor in that.

    Often people eat meats to get their extra protein, but these also contain saturated fats which can elevate cholesterol levels (LDL).

    Stick to lean meats, like chicken, turkey without skin, and healthy fish. You can also substitute nuts, soy, and legumes. If you insist on having a fatty steak, skip the fried egg for breakfast and eat an extra serving of vegetables.

    Sleep well, but don’t sleep in

    You understand the dangers of too little sleep, but sleeping too much can have a negative effect on your life too.

    Oversleeping can cause depression, cognitive impairment, and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

    The National Sleep Foundation states that between 7 to 9 hours is normal and healthy for most adults between 18 and 64 years of age. But to find your sweet spot, set your alarm clock to wake you in 7.5 hours. After a few days, you can increase or decrease that time depending on if you wake up before your alarm or if you find it difficult to get out of bed.

    Increasing your energy won’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, a willingness to change, and a drive to gain knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. Want to learn more? Check out our other post on boosting energy.

    5 Worth-It Reasons to Embrace Being Over 50

    At 16, you could earn your driver’s license, and at 18, you could graduate high school.

    When you turned 21, you could upgrade from a virgin strawberry daiquiri to a sophisticated whiskey on the rocks—although you probably went for the cheap beer instead.

    Other than going over the hill, it may seem there are few age-related milestones left in life. But, after years of helping men and women age with vitality, we’ve learned that’s not the case.

    There are several reasons you could embrace 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and all the years in between. Here are just a few we love the most.

    1. You have mental strength and control of emotions

    As you mature, you have a clearer understanding of what’s important or not important in life. You find confidence, happiness, and motivation from within yourself instead of those around you. Mental strength gives you freedom from social pressure and the ability to act without caring what others may think. From control of emotions to self-worth, mental strength takes time and dedication, two things you’ve refined over the years.

    2. You’re more passionate and focused at work

    Whether you worked since you were 15 or 22, you’ve shown what you’re capable of doing. You’ve taken risks, proved naysayers wrong, and made your mark in your industry. You know your strengths and weaknesses, and you no longer set boundaries or sell yourself short. This mindset increases your job satisfaction and decreases stress at home and in the office (trust me, we’re all jealous of this).

    3. Your sex life is adventurous

    As testosterone or estrogen levels drop, you may experience a lower sex drive. But that doesn’t mean your sex life isn’t up to snuff. One survey showed men and women reported sex was better after 60 than it was in their 40s. Because you have mental strength, your inhibitions lower, and you have more confidence to explore new sexual experiences or refine the ones you’ve always loved. So, go crazy, and shake it up a bit!

    4. Your sleep cycle is peaceful and consistent

    A recent study found people in their 80s had the fewest complaints about sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue. While there is still debate on why this is the case, many say it could be related to retirement and less exposure to technology. Whatever the reason, you’ve got your sleep down to a science and experience more rest than younger generations.

    5. You learn new things from unexpected people

    Did you know National Grandparents Day is September 11th? While your grandchildren are celebrating you, you could also celebrate them. You may think you’ve learned it all at this point, but our world is rapidly changing (especially when it comes to technology). And to fill in the gaps, we could look to our grandchildren to teach us how to navigate this new version of our lives.

    Contrary to old beliefs, our brain continues to grow neurons as we age, which means as long as you exercise your mind, you can learn a new hobby, grow your vocabulary, or figure out how to annoy your grandkids on Snapchat.

    We may not be able to control all the physical changes to our body, but we could embrace getting older and value the benefits that come along with it. If you’re ready to get some zest back in your life, so you can fully appreciate aging, give us a call.

    What is Andropause? Know the Facts and What to Do About It

    If you’re a male over 40, you’re probably aware that your body is changing.

    Wrinkles are forming around your eyes and on your forehead—all those years of glaring at your rebellious teenagers are taking their toll.

    But, of course, you know wrinkles aren’t the only change you’re experiencing.

    Maybe your belly is a little bigger, or you have a lower sex drive in bed. These symptoms could be a sign that you’re experiencing male menopause or andropause.

    Andropause is androgen deficiency or lower levels of sex hormones in men. As you age, your testosterone levels in your body and the production of sperm gradually become lower, and the levels of another hormone called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) increases.

    SHBG binds with some of the available testosterone in the blood and the testosterone that isn’t bound are available for use by your body. As a result of low testosterone and lower availability, you may experience physical and psychological symptoms.

    This decrease in testosterone is a natural aging process, and it’s estimated that testosterone levels drop about 10 percent every decade after the age of 30. But not all men experience the same levels of reduction as others.

    Your father who’s 80 years old can have a testosterone level of 600 g/dl, while your son, who’s 30 years old, can have a level of 150 g/dl. There is also no clear-cut sign of andropause like there’s the cessation of menstruation for women.

    To add more variables to the mix, many of the symptoms associated with andropause are simply a normal part of aging and may not be reversible with treatment.

    So, what do you do?

    If you’re experiencing andropause, it can be treated safely and effectively. Your doctor should ask questions about how you’re feeling, your current lifestyle, and perform a blood test to check testosterone levels.

    For those who qualify for treatment, you’ll be given a hormone replacement therapy plan and lifestyle plan to start getting your vitality, libido, and strong brute back.

    Here’s some information about the symptoms of andropause and what you can do about it.

    Symptoms of Andropause

    Are you experiencing any of the symptoms below? If so, you may have andropause. Always consult with a doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms.

  • increased body fat
  • gynecomastia, or development of breasts
  • lowered self-confidence
  • depression or sadness
  • reduced muscle mass and feelings of physical weakness
  • decreased bone density
  • insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • infertility
  • reduced libido
  • erectile dysfunction
  • low energy
  • decreased motivation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Treatment of Andropause

    Doctors treat andropause by replacing the testosterone in the blood. But, as mentioned above, you’ll also need to make adjustments to your overall lifestyle to ensure the best results.

    We’ve discussed numerous times here on our blog about the two types of hormone replacement therapy (it’s that important). One is a synthetic replacement, and the other is a bioidentical replacement. You can learn more about both here.

    But, the bottom line is bioidentical hormone replacement replaces missing sex hormones with formulations that are identical to the ones in your body. They increase your energy levels and libido and decrease your body fat and physical weakness.

    For the best results, you need a customized plan that addresses your individual needs. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of andropause, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation, and we’ll show you what your customized plan might be.

    6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Hormone Therapy Physician

    People often spend hours researching their symptoms to find out what’s wrong with their health.

    But they’re quicker to the punch when it comes to finding a physician to treat those symptoms.

    Knowing who to seek help from is just as important as knowing why you need treatment in the first place.

    So, if you’re ready to start your hormone replacement therapy plan, here are a few questions you should ask to before choosing a physician.

    1. What are your qualifications?

    Like dentists and general practitioners, you have options when it comes to deciding where you go (or who you go to) for hormone replacement therapy.

    To narrow down that list, invest time and energy in learning more about the skills and training of each doctor.

  • Does he specialize in hormone replacement therapy?
  • How long has she been practicing hormone replacement therapy?
  • What degrees or certifications do they have?
  • Are the physicians licensed and board-certified? If so, are they the ones who will be treating you?
  • You can ask these questions directly or find the answer on the clinic’s website.

    2. Do you keep up-to-date with the latest medical advancements?

    Hormone replacement therapy is a steadily evolving science. Your doctor should stay up-to-date on news, alternatives and recent research studies so that she can provide you with the right treatment.

    You can find out by asking if he attends conferences, seminars or pursues further education in her field.

    3. Do I need hormone replacement therapy? If so, why?

    You may not need hormone replacement therapy, and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is if your physician or clinic can’t explain the specific details of why you qualify or don’t qualify for it.

    Your doctor should take the time to get to know your medical history, eating habits and lifestyle.

    If the physician or clinic seems to give everyone a stamp of approval, you may need to get a second opinion.

    4. How will you find the right dose of hormones for me?

    There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to hormone therapy.

    A knowledgeable physician will show you the steps they take to decide what dose is right for your body. And this goes back to the question above—that dosage will depend on your overall health and medical history.

    If the doctor skips the getting-to-know-you session and goes straight to lab work and trials, you may not be getting a custom therapy plan.

    5. What do you expect from me as your patient?

    As you may have noticed, we can’t stress enough that hormone therapy is most effective when you evaluate your life as a whole.

    A good physician will give you suggestions on how much you should exercise, what you should eat, and any other factors that may be contributing to your low testosterone or estrogen levels.

    They should expect you to take an active role in this therapy, so, be ready.

    6. What type of hormones do you use in your practice?

    The right answer to this question is simple—bio-identical hormones.

    You can learn more about bio-identical hormones here, but, in short, they’re hormones that are identical to the ones naturally existing in your body, which means your body recognizes and uses them just as it would your real hormones.

    Synthetics hormones offer only partial, temporary fixes to your problem. And you experience more side effects with the potential for serious health issues.

    It’s also important to consider how well you connect with a physician. If a doctor hits all the right marks, but you don’t feel comfortable being honest and open about your health, then he might not be right for you.

    Many reputable clinics, like our own, offer a free initial consultation, so you have an opportunity to ask these questions. If you’re ready to learn more, you can contact us here.

    6 At-Home Exercises for Menopause Relief

    Did you know women, on average, gain ten pounds during menopause?

    Because mood swings, fatigue and hot flashes aren’t enough to worry about, right?

    When your estrogen levels dip, you experience an accumulation of belly fat, bone loss and muscle atrophy. And, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’re at more risk for weight gain than women who are active.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two or more days of strength training each week.

    That may sound overwhelming, but in the same amount of time it takes for you to watch two romantic comedies, you can relieve stress, enhance your quality of life, and stave off weight gain and bone and muscle loss.

    While any general activity is helpful, here are 6 exercises you can do at home that will build strength and burn fat at the same time.

    Before you begin: First, you should always seek your doctor’s advice before starting an exercise routine or diet. Second, warming up loosens the body, prepares the mind for action and prevents injury. So, before you start exercising, spend five to ten minutes stretching your muscles and getting your heart pumping. You can do this by moving your arms in circles, jump roping or running in place. Or, you can relieve some stress and stretch out by having a short yoga session, like the one in this video here.

    1. Alternating Dumbbell Lunges

    Hold dumbbells in each hand at your sides, and stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Take one long stride forward with your right leg. Inhale while lowering your rear left knee to the floor.

    Return to starting position by straightening your rear leg, and then exhale as you push up from the heel of your front foot. Repeat with the left leg.

    Suggestion: Perform 10-15 reps, three times, with a break in between sets.

    2. Squat to Overhead Press

    Hold the dumbbells in each hand at your shoulders with your elbows bent. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

    Sit back and down (as if you’re sitting in an imaginary chair), then bend your knees and lower your thighs until they reach parallel with the floor. Press your weight back into your heels.

    As you stand, press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are straight. Return to start and repeat.

    Suggestion: Perform 10-15 reps, three times, with a break in between sets.

    3. Triceps Dips

    Sit on a secure bench. Place one hand on each side of your hip and grip the edge.

    Use your arms to push your butt up and off the bench. Walk your legs out until your knees are no longer bent and your butt is in front of the bench. This is your starting position.

    Slowly lower your body by bending the elbows and stop once your arms are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position.

    Suggestion: Perform 10-15 reps, three times, with a break in between sets.

    4. Step Up with Dumbbells

    Stand in front of a secure box or bench. With a dumbbell in each hand, place your right foot onto the bench and push up through your heel to lift your whole body up. Step down with your left foot and repeat on the opposite side.

    Suggestion: Perform 10-15 reps, three times, with a break in between sets.

    5. Plank

    Get into a push up position, but rest your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Keep your back straight and tighten your abs and glutes. Hold the position without letting your hips sag.

    Suggestion: Hold for 30 seconds, three times, with a break in between sets.

    6. Farmer’s Walk

    With a dumbbell in each hand, stand up tall with your shoulders back. Walk forward as quickly as you can with short steps. You can do this around your neighborhood as an alternative to brisk walking.

    Suggestion: Walk for as long as you can, but aim for 15-30 minutes.

    Alleviating the symptoms of menopause requires treating the whole body—not just the hormones. That’s why having a regular exercise routine is important. The exercises above are just a few ways you can accomplish this.

    And, if you’re interested in learning more about combining hormone therapy with an exercise routine, give us a call.

    3 Benefits of a Hormone Therapy Plan Designed for You

    So, you’re experiencing perimenopause, menopause or andropause. Now what? You know this is simply par for the course. The effects of aging include mood swings, low libido, night sweats, daily fatigue and weight fluctuations.

    But, the question is, where do you go from here? How do you ensure you don’t lose quality of life as your body begins to undergo those changes?

    In this article, I’m going to answer those questions and more. If you are willing to invest in a customized hormone therapy plan and consult with an experienced, board-certified physician, you’ll have the chance to feel energized, happy and hopeful again.

    1. A custom plan is a life-long solution.

    Like any medical treatment, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” solution. But many testosterone and other hormone clinics use that approach.

    Your symptoms, lab work and lifestyle aren’t the same as those of an Ultimate Fighting Championship contender. And taking “standard” doses of testosterone on its own, without a clear understanding of your medical history, weight, height, blood work and level of activity can wreak havoc on your body.

    Many men and women give up on hormone therapies because of the highs and lows that come with synthetic treatments.

    But, if your therapy plan is designed to work with your unique physiology and is evaluated often, your natural (bioidentical) hormones will be restored, with minimal side effects.

    2. A custom plan treats the whole body, not just the chemical.

    Hormone therapy is just one piece of the aging puzzle. To reap the full benefits, you also need to invest in yourself through diet and exercise.

    Custom plans address these issues. Your doctor discusses what other changes in your life can help boost your testosterone or estrogen. Do you need to significantly reduce your sugar intake? Lose 10 pounds or 100? Is your vitamin D too low or your blood pressure too high?

    Aging affects your whole body, not just your hormones, and these factors should be considered to ensure your quality of life is at optimum level – in all areas.

    3. A custom plan uses hormones that return your body’s natural functions.

    As mentioned above, many hormone clinics use synthetic hormones. The molecular structure of those hormones is different from what naturally occurs in humans, and the dosages are a predetermined few. Those hormones are manufactured and imitate estrogen and testosterone, which can lead to undesirable side effects.

    Bio-identical hormones are chemically identical to those your own body has made during your lifetime and function the same way. One of the best ways to administer these hormones is in tiny pellets placed under the skin. As blood flows around the pellets, the correct amount of hormone is released, so your body gets what it needs, at the time it needs it.

    When properly administered, these pellets give you sustained, steady relief. The dosages can be customized and safely changed as your body and lifestyle change.

    Don’t let aging stop you from enjoying life. Hormone therapy can help manage the problematic effects of perimenopause, menopause and andropause, not just temporarily, but for the long haul. To learn more about creating a custom hormone therapy plan, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with us here.

    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.