Hormone Optimization Therapy

Hormone optimization therapy is something we think everyone should know about and understand. This week, we had the pleasure of having Dr. Doug Lucas back on our podcast to discuss hormone optimization with you.

Note: You can listen to the full episode on our podcast here.

What is Hormone Optimization Therapy?

Hormones are something a lot of people see as being controversial, and it’s sad because men and women will both experience a drop in their hormones. Discussing your issues with a physician is necessary, even if it’s something that feels uncomfortable.

Today’s hormone therapy is not risky as was thought in the past.

Doctors are helping with hormone optimization therapy daily, and healthcare providers can perform optimization in a safe and healthy manner.

Hormone optimization therapy helps restore your hormones, and it’s something that may benefit all older adults.

  • Men lose testosterone as they age
  • Women lose estrogen and progesterone

For men, testosterone declines slowly over time, but women experience a much more rapid decline in these key hormones, causing some uncomfortable symptoms in the process.

Signs That You May Need Hormone Optimization Therapy

Men’s testosterone slowly begins to decline over time, but women have a major drop off in hormones when they hit menopause. Hormone optimization is often not something men realize they need right away because their hormones do decline gradually.

Women, however, will experience significant symptoms and side effects.

Men’s Symptoms

Men can experience symptoms as early in their 20s and 30s, and the symptoms include:

  • Brain fog
  • Loss of vitality
  • Fatigue

Many men feel like they don’t have the drive or steam they had to get through the end of the day. Of course, some men do lose their libido to some extent, too.

Dr. Doug is noticing that there is a decline in the average age that these symptoms occur. Men are experiencing issues much earlier, and this means a longer life expectancy with these symptoms.

Women’s Symptoms

Women go through menopause at different ages, but they should start thinking about therapy even earlier. Women have a harder time with hormones because there are many involved.

If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms yet still have regular cycles, this is a good time to begin discussing your options with a doctor.

Women will often have plenty of estrogen but low testosterone and progesterone. As a result, they will need to treat the estrogen deficiency to experience results. Low estrogen can cause a variety of symptoms:

  • No or irregular periods
  • Dry skin
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats

Treating Hormone-related Issues

Traditional physicians will sometimes be uncomfortable with treating people with hormone therapy. For men who are experiencing an earlier decline in testosterone, issues are even worse.

For example, if a 29-year-old male goes to the doctor with the classic symptoms listed in the previous section, the doctor is unlikely to check his testosterone.

And even if they do test their testosterone, they’ll either:

  • Determine that levels are adequate
  • Not understand men are experiencing a faster decline in testosterone

Due to the declining testosterone earlier, many doctors are seeing people with severely low testosterone as “normal.”

When treating men specifically, multiple avenues may be available, such as:

  • Supplements
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes

Often, a mixture of all three treatment options will provide the best results. Medication can help bring levels back up, and in hormone replacement therapy, it will be necessary to continue with hormone replacement indefinitely.

Self-Diagnosing and the Supplement Route

If you have an unlimited budget, self-diagnosing and trying the hundreds of supplements is possible. However, when you have very low testosterone, you need to be realistic with your results.

For example:

  • A 10% boost for someone with an 800-testosterone level is amazing
  • A 10% boost for someone with a 200-testosterone level isn’t good

However, we have seen people that have made significant lifestyle changes and use supplements find great results.

Doug’s Process of Working With Clients

Dr. Doug works with clients who need hormone replacement therapy all the time, and he has processes in place to help clients. The main thing he notes is that you need a base to go off of. If someone isn’t testing your hormone to learn your base, run the other way because you won’t know what’s working or how well it’s working.

Doug handles this in two ways:

  1. Hormone replacement only program. This starts out with an extensive lab panel to see things that can change if you have hormone replacement, such as cholesterol, etc. He continues to test throughout the program to ensure your risks are falling and that the hormones aren’t causing adverse side effects.
  2. Hormone optimization program. The optimization program is more intense and in-depth. Dr. Doug will focus on optimizing your life, including sleep, nutrition, movement, exercise and even stress management. 

During hormone replacement therapy, the average results will vary, but typical results are:

  • Men will notice that a change in vitality returns. They start recovering better, regain their competitive nature and just have their pep restored. Some men will also mention improved libido and function, too.
  • Women will notice changes in body composition, hot flashes and other symptoms that fall off. Progesterone will help with sleep and testosterone is amazing for muscle mass, skin quality and texture. Energy and vitality also return, but not to the same extent as a man.

Hormone replacement therapy is a process, and it takes time to see results. Dr. Doug told us that it takes time to make changes, and you may need to make lifelong changes, too. Men will experience changes in one to two weeks in most cases.

Women will also notice changes, but skin and body composition changes will take more time. However, hot flashes and other symptoms will begin to decline.

Dr. Doug will look at the “whole” person, so he will consider your overall health, bad habits and other areas to help restore your hormones.

Anyone that likes what Dr. Doug is doing and has osteoporosis will also want to read through our article on how to reverse osteoporosis, where we discuss all of these things with him. You can also visit his website and send his team a message. He will discuss multiple avenues to help you feel your best.

If you need help with retirement planning, please schedule a call with us today.