Hormone therapies help older adults find new life

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on December 8th, 2017
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By Erinn Hutkin, Special to U-T San Diego 6 a.m.Jan. 7, 2014

Dr. Brenda Marshall, who has an integrated medicine practice in Solana Beach, said she knows one person in particular who has benefited greatly from hormone replacement therapy.

He was reluctant at first to try the treatment to make up for low testosterone and other hormones in the body that decrease with age, but at more than 80 years old, he was getting heavier and moving slower.

After just three weeks of hormone therapy, she said, he was sleeping better and had more energy.

Its like a new life for him, she said of the patient, who just happened to be her father. Balancing hormones can allow older people to be more functional.

Although there may be resistance by some people to try treatments to create hormone balance, physicians like Marshall are strong believers that using therapy to make up for lost hormones in both men in women mainly estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can bring new life to many patients.

Treatments for balancing hormones can vary from changing ones diet to learning to manage stress to supplementing hormones that are depleted. The key, she said, is to make sure to be tested properly for hormone imbalance and choose treatment from a physician who does a lot work in the area and has a good understanding of hormone therapy.

Theres a lot of fear of prescribing hormones, she said. But if you practice this medicine (you) watch these people blossom back into life and they get back to their normal vigor.

As both men and women age, certain hormones in the body begin to decline. In women, Marshall said, this typically begins when they are in their 30s, while men often dont experience imbalance until in their 50s.

When this happens, imbalance in women manifests itself in many forms said Dr. Florence Comite, who practices precision medicine for age management in New York and helped launch Womens Health at Yale University 20 years ago. The most noticeable signs are irregular menstrual/ovulation patterns, hot flashes and night sweats. Marshall said there can also be moodiness, weight gain around the waist, brain fog, depression and loss of muscle tone.

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Hormone therapies help older adults find new life

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