Vistnes Plastic Surgery of Palo Alto, Dean Vistnes 1515 El Camino Real, Suite B, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Hormone Information Palo Alto

DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This hormone is a precursor to other sex hormones. In addition to having its own hormone effect, it results in a shift to an anabolic or protein building state. It reduces cardiovascular risk by increasing lipolysis or breakdown of fat. It also stimulates the immune system, restores sexual vitality, improves mood, decreases cholesterol and body fat. Recent studies point to DHEA as an anti-stress hormone, reversing the effects of stress on the immune system.

Estrogen is secreted by the ovaries, which cease production at menopause. Estrogen protects against heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders. It protects against vaginal atrophy, urinary incontinence, and prevents symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Estrogen deficiency results in urogenital atrophy, incontinence, sagging skin in the breasts, increased skin wrinkles of the face, increased fatigue, depression, mood swings and decreased libido. It is of extreme importance that the estrogen prescribed be a natural estrogen and not a synthetic estrogen. The synthetic estrogens have been shown to be harmful. For optimal protection, natural estrogen supplementation should be balanced by natural progesterone supplementation. You do need estrogen! But it must be the right type of estrogen, maintained at optimal levels for maximum protection.

Thyroid hormone is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that regulates temperature, metabolism and cerebral function. It contributes to energy levels and temperature regulation and body warmth. It increases fat breakdown, resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. It protects against cardiovascular disease and improves cerebral metabolism. It helps to prevent cognitive and memory impairment. Thyroid hormone is probably the safest and most beneficial cholesterol- lowering agent, yet it is infrequently used for this. More than any other hormone, the thyroid hormone is most responsible for improvement in energy and reducing fatigue.

Testosterone is a hormone normally associated with men, but is also found in women. Testosterone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries. It contributes to muscle mass, strength and endurance, decreased fat, increased exercise tolerance, enhancement of well-being and psychological status. Testosterone protects against cardiovascular disease, hypertension, body fat and arthritis. It leads to improved lean muscle mass, increased bone density, decrease in cholesterol, improved skin tone, improved healing capacity, and increased libido and sexual performance. Testosterone is the best hormone to increase collagen and elastin in the skin. It prolongs the quality of life by decreasing the diseases of aging, as does estrogen in the female. Testosterone is also present and extremely important in the female as well as the male, making supplementation absolutely recommended for both men and women. Testosterone is the second most important hormone for energy and well-being.

Menopause in females is a widely discussed, well-studied phenomenon, yet its equivalent in males – andropause – is virtually ignored. They are very similar experiences. Both typically occur from age 40 on and are caused by a reduction in hormone levels. Both can be accompanied by fatigue, depression, irritability, aches and pains, reduced sexual interest, enjoyment and/or performance, general signs of aging and increased risk of chronic degenerative disease. Yet while women are very savvy about hormone replacement, men are left to suffer silently, even though the obvious therapy, testosterone replacement, has been available for over 50 years.

Typically when hormones in men are discussed it is usually in reference to the abuse among athletes, which has given rise to the perception that all testosterone is dangerous. Add to that the unfounded fear that testosterone causes prostate cancer and the misunderstanding escalates.

Testosterone replacement in men, done with bioidentical testosterone in physiologic doses, is not only safe, but also protective. This is well supported in the medical literature. Testosterone has been shown to increase muscle strength and lean body mass, improve sexual response, prevent osteoporosis, protect against cardiovascular disease, increase energy, fight impotence, and improve mood and sense of well-being. A recent published study showed that men with higher testosterone levels live longer. Multiple medical studies have proven that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. Interestingly, men typically get prostate cancer when they are older and testosterone levels are naturally at their lowest. In fact, low levels of testosterone are associated with more aggressive tumors. No study has shown that supplementing with testosterone increases your chances of getting prostate cancer. If one does develop prostate cancer, testosterone supplementation might accelerate the growth levels of the tumor. Therefore, there is a need to monitor the PSA on a regular basis when supplementing with testosterone. Men who receive testosterone replacement typically report they feel sexier, stronger, and healthier. They state that it makes them feel as they did when they were in their prime. After all, this is what replenishment of hormones is all about. It is about restoring hormones to youthful levels so you can feel as you did when you were at the peak of your physical and mental ability. Testosterone can slow down the physical decline that robs men of their energy, strength, and libido. Testosterone can restore muscle tone and improve stamina. Testosterone can improve mood and overall sense of well-being. Why would men not want this healthy hormone?

Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland. It is a circadian rhythm hormone – thereby affecting the patterns of sleep. Research has shown that the cells of the body rejuvenate and repair during the deeper stages of sleep. It is during the deeper stages of sleep that the body produces natural killer cells or CD4 cells. Melatonin increases the deep stage of sleep and stage IV sleep, thereby increasing and enhancing immunity. Improved sleep patterns serve to energize the body and improve mood. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant effects which accounts for disease prevention qualities. Melatonin has tremendous cancer prevention effects due to its enhancement of the immune system. Melatonin deficiency results in poor sleep, jet lag, irritability, hypersensitivity and premature aging.

Progesterone is secreted by the ovaries, but ceases production at menopause. Progesterone protects against uterine and breast cancers, osteoporosis, fibrocystic disease and ovarian cysts. It dramatically decreases pre and post-menopausal symptoms. Most U.S. physicians prescribe synthetic progestins which cause such side effects as bloating, headaches, fatigue and weight gain, and most recently associated with increasing the risk of cancer. The natural progesterone must be prescribed in place of the synthetic progestin to avoid the side effects and to protect against cancer. We emphasize the use of natural hormones and not synthetic hormones, which have been proven time and time again to cause significant side effects. Progesterone is very beneficial in treating premenstrual symptoms (PMS) such as mood swings and migraine headaches.

“Loss of testosterone causes loss of libido, energy, strength, sexual function, memory, cognition, muscle and bone. Testosterone replacement, as far as quality of life is concerned, is tremendous.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan; Vol.3 No.1:17-18

“Symptoms of low testosterone may occur due to decreased serum levels or reduced receptor site sensitivity. In spite of normal blood levels patients will still feel and function better when testosterone is prescribed.” Medical Crossfire 2001 Jan; Vol.3 No. 1:17-18.

“Testosterone replacement improves muscle mass and strength, libido, erectile function, bone density, memory, cognition, myocardial function. It is unconscionable for physicians not to treat men with testosterone.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan; Vol. 3 No.1:47-50.

“Low testosterone levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and carotid atherosclerosis.” Diabetes Care 2003 June; Vol. 36, No. 6: 20-30.

“Testosterone levels have nothing to do with causing prostate cancer.” Cancer 1999, July 15; 88(2):312-5.

“None of the 12 longitudinal population based studies, such as the “Physician’s Health Study,” found any increased risk of prostate cancer in men with higher levels compared to men with lower levels of testosterone.” New England Journal of Medicine 2004; 350:482-92.

“Low testosterone levels increase cardiovascular disease. High testosterone levels protect against cardiovascular disease.” Diabetes Metab 1995 Vol. 21:156-161.

“Testosterone replacement in women significantly decreases carotid atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.” American Journal of Epidemiology 2002; 155: 437-445

“Administration of testosterone to women eliminates hot flashes, lethargy, depression, incontinence, fibrocystic disease, migraine headaches, and poor libido. Testosterone also improves well-being, sexual desire, frequency and intensity of orgasm.” Consultant; 1999 August: 2006-07.

“Higher testosterone levels increase cognition and memory.” Neurology 2005 Mar. 8; 64-5:866-71.

“Testosterone decreases cholesterol and raises HDL.” Atherosclerosis 1996 Mar; 121(1): 35-43.

“Low testosterone levels are associated with higher cardiovascular risk. Testosterone supplementation reduces abdominal fat and improves insulin sensitivity. Testosterone lowers cholesterol also.” Diabetes Metab 2004 Feb; 30(1):29-34

“Hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women and testosterone replacement in men reduce the degree of central obesity.” Obesity Review 2004 Nov; 5(4): 197-216.

“High doses of synthetic, anabolic steroids cause side effects. No such side effects have been observed using low doses of natural testosterone. Avoidance of supra physiologic levels prevents any side effects.” Female Patient 2004 Nov; Vol.29: 40-45.

“Testosterone increases bone density in women. Testosterone protects against heart disease in women.” Journal of Reproductive Medicine 1999; 44(12):1012-20

“Low DHT (dihydrotestosterone) predicted a higher rate of cancer. Higher DHT levels were associated with a lower risk of cancer”. Brit.J.Urol 1990 Mar; 77(3)443-37.

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