Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is the replacement of deficient hormones with hormones that are identical to those that the body naturally produces. Hormone deficiencies can occur due to aging, illness, other medications, or environmental factors.
Beginning at approximately 40 years of age, a man’s hormone levels, particularly testosterone, slowly decline. Approximately 30% of men aged 60-70 years and 70% of men aged 70-80 have low levels of testosterone, a condition often called “andropause” because testosterone is in a class of hormones known as androgens.
Androgen deficiency is strongly associated with common medical conditions including osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. Emerging evidence indicates that testosterone replacement can relieve or partially reverse the progression of these problems in testosterone-deficient men.
Hypogonadism, which is the clinical term for low levels of serum testosterone, can occur regardless of age. Hypogonadism is associated with specific signs and symptoms, including:
- diminished sex drive and sense of vitality
- erectile dysfunction
- heart disease or worsening lipid profile
- reduced muscle mass and bone density
- increased fat mass
HRT for men primarily involves testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). However, it also may include other hormones such as DHEA and pregnenolone. Replacement of these hormones has improved the quality of life for millions of men who suffer from hormonal imbalance. The ideal process for achieving hormonal balance includes an assessment of hormone levels through saliva or blood tests, then assessment of signs and symptoms, followed by replacement of the deficient hormones. TRT is most often prescribed in injectable form; however, it may also be compounded into topical or sublingual dosage forms with or without other hormones.
Laboratory values and clinical responses should be monitored frequently so that any necessary adjustments can be made. Men with a history of prostate cancer, elevated PSA levels, or cardiovascular disease may not be candidates for TRT.
While men have benefited from hormone replacement, researchers and healthcare professionals realize that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to achieving hormonal balance. Thyroid and adrenal function, as well as nutritional status, should also be evaluated and treated when indicated.
Potter’s House Apothecary specializes in HRT. Our pharmacists have received post-graduate training and attend seminars regularly to stay current with the latest techniques in compounding HRT. We also offer private consultations and free educational seminars for patients wanting to learn more about BHRT and the benefits of having your medication compounded at Potter’s House Apothecary.