“I think I know why you are so tired,” said the doctor.
I was dying to hear the answer to this one. Sometimes it felt like literally. My specific complaint in this case: no strength, no power, no energy. I did try to go to the gym- but the elliptical machine on level 2 for 20 minutes made me want to sleep for 2 days.
What was happening to me? How could I be so “sick”? I was an athlete in college- this didn’t feel right to me. I was 48, not 84…
This MD was a practitioner of a new field called “Age Management”. The philosophy combines nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to optimize a person’s wellness.
I already had the nutrition dialed in- I had done over a decade of study in trying to heal various physical ailments, and I might as well have had a PhD. with all of the knowledge I gathered. My diet was close to perfect. But I was still so tired… and I had weight gain, saggy skin, irritability, difficulty sleeping, exhaustion, inability to build or retain muscle mass, crankiness, brain fog/slow thinking, difficulty breathing, and inability to work out without heavy exhaustion.
I was not willing to accept my lack of body performance as “normal aging”. I am a problem solver. And I wanted an answer. So here I was, sitting in an exam room with this age management doctor, reviewing my blood work.
He had tested my hormones. All of them. He stated matter of factly: “I think I know why you are so tired. As a woman, your testosterone is supposed to be around 120. Yours is… 9.”
9? Not 90… 9. Umm, that didn’t sound right, even to me as a layman…
I had almost no testosterone. But so what? The doctor showed me the rest of my “too low” hormone results including progesterone, cortisol, DHEA, HGH, thyroid, and he began to explain to me what was happening to my body…
What are hormones and why should I put them back?
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They travel throughout the body and control most of our body’s major systems. Hormones regulate our heart rate, metabolism, appetite, mood, sexual function, reproduction, growth, sleep cycles, bowel function, skin condition, muscle tone, and more.
Dr. Carragher, an Age Management MD from The Body Well, explains it like this: “You will experience a drop in key hormones as you get older. This is called age-related hormonal decline. Either the cells that produce hormones are dying off, or the enzymes that convert less active forms of hormones to their more active forms, are working less efficiently.”
Primary care physicians and other more mainstream doctors, if they test the hormones at all, usually find that a person is “normal” for their age and that’s that. This solution seems to be partially or wholly ignored by mainstream doctors and specialists.
Age Management doctors, on the other hand, don’t view the loss of needed hormones as “normal aging”. Their philosophy is that since the body needs the correct amount of hormones to function properly, one should put the hormone levels back to a youthful level so that the body will feel and perform in a more youthful manner.
Putting all of my hormones back to the level I had in my late 20s? This sounded great to me. Better living through chemistry, please!
I went off with my prescriptions, and my body responded…
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy turned out to me the missing piece in my health equation. I had no idea this was a problem and I wish I had gone looking for this solution a decade ago. I was missing practically all of my thyroid and testosterone. I was also low on many other hormones, including progesterone and DHEA, and my adrenal glands which were shot and not producing enough cortisol. Cortisol is needed in minimum quantities to handle stress, without it I had trouble dealing with any physical or emotional stress without breaking down and hiding in my room. I needed to supplement this as well.
My body is now functioning well and even defying standard aging paradigms. Many of my weird health symptoms disappeared. I lost weight. I am able to exercise and I have energy. I can think clearly and I’m in a better mood. I heal faster. My skin looks better.
People ask me why and how I look so young…
Yes, I’m doing nutrition and I exercise. I would not feel and look great without these two. But it wasn’t enough. And it took me almost a decade to find this missing component, the hormones my body wasn’t producing, and to put them back into play. This solution was like magic. My life with the hormones has been completely renewed. It is an amazing difference.
There are many age management doctors out there now. My current doctor is Dr. Anju Mather with Angel Longevity Medical Center, right in my neighborhood. I selected her because she combines age management hormone therapy with other holistic medical practices to treat all of me. Simply Google “age management” or “hormone therapy” and you should be able to find someone near your location.
I wrote this post for all of my female friends out there who may not be aware of this therapy. It truly was a lifesaver for me, so I’m happy to share it with you. I hope you find it helpful.
To us, and to living vivaciously… Onwards and upwards!