Our Hormones are one of the Master Regulators of our Body & Health
Our Hormones are one of the Master Regulators of our Body & Health
The hierarchy of who and what we are begins with our being human. After being human, our next most dominant trait has to do with what sex we are. Like it or not, we are either male or female, albeit there are huge variations in the degree of maleness (male traits) vs femaleness (female traits). We will not get into the philosophical & political debates about gender choices or affirmations here, we will stick with what a person was born as, and the influence of various hormones on both their development and current health condition.
The primary difference between men and women involves just a few differences in the levels of the ‘sex’ hormones beginning shortly after conception, with a major surge associated with puberty, and sustained elevations of the hormone(s) associated with their biological sex that continues influencing their body throughout the life cycle. The two most critical periods are at approximately 6 weeks post conception and puberty where key hormones peak.
Most people don’t realize that these differences impact all aspects of our biological development including our brain’s structure and function. Male and female brains literally are wired differently.
Many things, from various toxins and stressors (including psychological-emotional stress of the mother) to nutritional imbalances in either parent prior to conception or just the mother post-conception, can throw off the delicate balance between these hormones during those critical times and throughout the lifespan. Obviously, we can’t go back and correct or balance those hormones during those crucial times, but we can help to balance them in the present. Although we have not reached the level of sophistication where we can perfectly micromanage hormone balance, we can help support them via a mix of biologically identical hormones, peptides, and various lifestyle modifications including proper nutrition and exercise.
Although all doctors learn the basics about hormones, very few excel in understanding them and being able to properly manage them. That takes someone that has studied this area and devoted significant time and attention to the details. This is one of the many things that we can help you with. Our doctors have a combined 90+ years of experience dealing with hormonal health issues from a health optimization perspective rather than a disease perspective. That makes a big difference.
The medical specialties that primarily deal with hormonal imbalances are endocrinology and gynecology however, their training is focused on pathological deviations in hormones rather than hormone optimization.
Our Men’s Health Program: TRT & Optimizing Performance (ED)
Services range from Testosterone Replacement Therapy to treating ED to ‘P’ shots using Stem Cells.
Our Women’s Health Program: Biological Hormone Replacement & Optimizing Pleasure
Services range from BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy) to ‘O’ Shots using Stem Cells.
The first step is to set up an initial consultation so we can get a good sense of what is going on with you and whether our program is a good fit. At that point, we will check your hormone levels, recommend a plan, and monitor you while adjusting & modifying hormonal support as needed going forward.
More on Testosterone & Men’s Health (testosterone is also an important factor for women)
As we age, the relative amounts of the sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, & progesterone) change. Tiny changes can have a huge impact on how we feel and perform. In general, most hormones tend to decline with increasing age (the cumulative wear and tear on our bodies also impact our key glands & organs).
Most primary care doctors are not well versed in hormone replacement therapy and may not recognize or acknowledge that a man’s hormone levels may be the issue because they are in the ‘normal’ range. The ‘normal’ range is huge and doesn’t consider what your historic normal was and should be. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS, TAKE ACTION TO CORRECT THE UNDERLYING ISSUE. Your quality of life, and that of those you love and interact with, depends on it. Stop suffering needlessly.
Here are some of the symptoms associated with declining testosterone levels in men.
|Reduced Muscle Mass
|Reduced Focus or Motivation
Therefore, it is both appropriate and important for us to check and monitor those levels. Many may also choose to supplement & support those hormones to achieve more youthful levels. For men, testosterone and its relationship to estrogen, is the primary key; for women it is more about the relative balance between estrogen & progesterone, however, testosterone is also important.
While many facilities will charge up to $500 for an initial workup, we do our best to keep the initial cost to a much more affordable level. Additionally, our goal is to make the process of monitoring and balancing one’s hormone levels simple and sustainable. The following chart shows how supplemental testosterone (HRT) can help to maintain youthful testosterone levels as we age.
As a man’s natural testosterone levels decline, we can ‘supplement’ them using testosterone therapy to maintain a healthier, more youthful level.
Of course, testosterone isn’t the only hormone that declines with age in men, there are several others to consider and support as needed. We also have to look at estrogen and its ratio to testosterone, total testosterone and free testosterone, SHBG, DHEA, thyroid, cortisol, etc.
|Many studies and a few decades of clinical experience have demonstrated the safety of Testosterone Replacement Therapy, AKA Testosterone Optimization Therapy.
|Many additional studies and decades of clinical experience have demonstrated the Effectiveness of Testosterone Replacement/Optimization Therapy.
|One of our goals is to make Testosterone Replacement/Optimization Therapy Affordable to any man that wants and needs it.
|Properly supporting and balancing testosterone levels has actually been shown to help prevent &/or help with a variety of chronic processes.
|Remember, at ARTC, we also have programs to support your health that go way beyond Testosterone replacement.
|Our basic plan is all-inclusive at just $200 per month. That includes medications, labs, monitoring, and visits with our resident testosterone optimization physician.
At ARTC we do things differently. We address the whole person, including Nutrition, Body Structural Integrity, and the 4Ms (Microcirculation, Mitochondria, Metabolism, and Metabolic Reserve (Muscle). To properly balance hormones, you have to support and balance ALL of these factors rather than just putting a band-aid on your symptoms. Many very good, progressive doctors can help with your hormone levels but NONE of them address all of the vital components mentioned above. We have developed The Wolverine Healing Protocol to cover all of those bases. You don’t have to do them all, but the system is there to take advantage of if TRUE, long-term health optimization is what you’re looking for. That’s the ARTC difference.
ED: Erectile Dysfunction:
Unlocking the Path to Treating Erectile Dysfunction: Conventional and Progressive
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent condition that affects a substantial number of men worldwide. Current estimates indicate that approx. 40% of men over 40, 50% of men over 50, 60% of men over 60, and 70% of men over 70 experience some significant degree of ED. There are many potential reasons that can contribute to this; however, no single primary cause has been identified and agreed on.
The inability to achieve or maintain an erection can have a profound impact on one’s self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life. While conventional treatments have long been available, innovative, and progressive approaches are gaining attention for their potential to revolutionize the management of ED.
At ARTC we stay ‘up’ on the latest advances to provide our patients with the best of both conventional and progressive approaches to dealing with and overcoming ED challenges.
Here we will explore the factors contributing to ED and discuss both conventional and progressive treatment options, including stem cells, shockwave therapy, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), special nutrients, penis vacuum pumps, red light therapy, and exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT).
Factors Contributing to Erectile Dysfunction: ED can arise from a variety of physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors. Common physiological contributors include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, hormonal imbalances, and neurological disorders. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues can also play a significant role. Lifestyle factors, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, and sedentary habits, can exacerbate the condition.
In our analysis, much of the problem comes down to compromised microcirculation.
Conventional Treatment Approaches:
1. Oral Medications: The most well-known conventional treatment for ED is oral medication, such as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. These drugs, including sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), enhance erectile function by increasing blood flow to the penis. Although initially effective in the majority of patients, over time they become less effective, and many men are not satisfied with the results. The overall satisfaction rate, at least initially, using these medications runs approx. 60-70%; therefore 30-40% do not achieve satisfactory results. This percentage tends to increase over time.
2. Medications Injected directly into the Penis: These medications (alprostadil, papaverine, etc.) may be combined and injected directly into the base or side of the penis. The recommended frequency of injection is no more than three times weekly and should produce an erection in 5-20 minutes. In the vast majority of men that utilize this approach, a satisfactory response is reported (70-90% effectiveness). Note that the men who use injected medications typically did not have satisfactory results with oral medications.
3. Medications Inserted into the Urethra as Suppositories: These medications (alprostadil, etc.) are inserted into the urethra at the end of the penis using an applicator (also called MUSE™). Medications applied 16 minutes before intimacy can dissolve inside the penis to relax the muscle, encourage blood flow, and cause an erection. This approach also produces satisfactory results in most. Effectiveness ranges from 30-60%, however, this tends to be in men for who oral medications do not produce satisfactory results either.
4. Psychotherapy: Counseling and therapy can help address underlying psychological factors contributing to ED, such as performance anxiety or relationship issues. Techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be employed to alleviate stress and promote healthier sexual functioning.
Progressive and Alternative Treatment Approaches:
1. Stem Cell Therapy: Emerging research suggests that stem cells derived from various sources, such as Wharton’s Jelly from umbilical tissue, may have the potential to regenerate damaged penile tissue and improve erectile function. While still in the experimental stage, early studies have shown promising results.
2. Shockwave Therapy: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) utilizes low-intensity acoustic waves to improve penile blood flow and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. This non-invasive treatment option has demonstrated positive outcomes in some clinical trials.
3. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): When testosterone levels are low, TRT can be used to restore hormone balance and improve sexual function. Obviously, TRT should be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional knowledgeable in its use and monitoring, as improper use can have adverse effects.
4. Special Nutrients and Supplements: Certain nutrients, such as L-arginine, ginseng, zinc, and many other substances have been suggested to enhance erectile function. However, although there is both logical and scientific support for the use of many of these substances, their efficacy and safety require further investigation before definitive conclusions can be reached.
5. Penis Vacuum Pumps: Vacuum erection devices create negative pressure around the penis, drawing blood into the erectile tissues and facilitating an erection. These devices are often used as a non-medication-based treatment option. In some cases, an elastic strap may be used to help maintain the erection. The success rates are reported to vary between 60-90%.
6. Red Light Therapy: Also known as low-level laser therapy, red light therapy utilizes specific wavelengths of light to enhance blood flow and tissue regeneration. Preliminary studies have indicated potential benefits in improving erectile function. Some studies and preliminary evidence suggest potential benefits of light therapy for ED:
- a. Improved Erectile Function: A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2019 investigated the effects of low-level light therapy on men with ED. The results showed that participants who received light therapy had significant improvements in erectile function compared to a placebo group.
- b. Enhanced Blood Flow: Light therapy has been shown to promote vasodilation and improve blood flow in various tissues. This may potentially contribute to improved penile blood circulation, which is essential for achieving and maintaining erections.
- c. Tissue Repair and Regeneration: Red and near-infrared light therapy is thought to stimulate cellular activity and promote tissue repair and regeneration. It may have a positive impact on the health and function of penile tissues.
While these findings are promising, it’s important to note that the available studies have been small in scale and may have limitations. Additionally, there is no consensus on the optimal treatment parameters, such as the specific wavelengths, duration, and frequency of light therapy sessions.
It’s worth noting that light therapy should not be considered a standalone treatment for underlying medical conditions that may contribute to ED. It is important to address any underlying causes and consider a comprehensive approach to ED management in consultation with healthcare professionals.
7. Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT): EWOT involves performing physical exercise while breathing higher concentrations of oxygen. Some evidence suggests that this therapy may improve erectile function by enhancing blood flow and promoting cardiovascular health. EWOT is the only documented technique to open and reset the microvascular system. Given that ED is closely associated with reduced blood flow, this would seem to suggest that EWOT could have a significant positive impact, however, studies are lacking. There are a number of anecdotal reports by individuals undergoing EWOT for other health challenges who report significant improvements in erection strength and maintenance.
8. Gene Therapy: Gene therapy involves introducing genetic material into the body to correct underlying abnormalities and promote tissue repair. Research on gene therapy for ED has shown promising results in preclinical studies, but it is still in the experimental stage and not widely available.
9. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy utilizes a concentrated form of a patient's own platelets, which are rich in growth factors, to promote tissue regeneration. It involves injecting PRP into the penile tissue to improve erectile function. While research is ongoing, early studies have reported positive outcomes. This can also be done using Beyond PRP, an umbilical cord-derived biologic containing 10-20 X the growth factors and collagens of a healthy person’s PRP.
10. Penile Implants: Penile implants are devices that are surgically placed within the penis to allow for an erection. There are different types of implants available, including inflatable and malleable implants. These devices can provide a long-term solution for men who do not respond to other treatments or who have severe ED.
11. Combination Therapies: Some studies have explored the efficacy of combining different treatment modalities to enhance outcomes. For example, combining PDE5 inhibitors with other therapies like shockwave therapy or vacuum erection devices may lead to improved results. This is true for many chronic conditions; combination therapies are often more effective than single therapies.
Conclusion: Erectile dysfunction is a multifaceted condition that can significantly impact a person's well-being. While conventional treatments such as medications and psychotherapy remain somewhat effective, progressive approaches offer exciting possibilities for the future of ED management.
At ARTC we strive to stay ‘up’ on various ED therapies and provide effective combination therapies for our patients. It all starts by reaching out to schedule an initial consultation.
Here are some references that can provide you with further information on the topics mentioned:
1. Stem Cell Therapy:
- Levy JA, Marchand M, Iorio ML. Stem cells in urology: future directions. Translational Andrology and Urology. 2018;7(Suppl 3):S293-S305. doi:10.21037/tau.2018.03.18
- Lin CS, Lin G, Lue TF. Allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplantation for erectile dysfunction. In: Zouboulis CC, Kemeny L, Gold MH, et al. (eds.) Stem Cells in Aesthetic Procedures: Art, Science, and Clinical Techniques. Springer International Publishing; 2018. p. 197-209. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-72154-9_16 2.
- Vardi Y, Appel B, Jacob G, et al. Can low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy improve erectile dysfunction? A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. European Urology. 2010;58(2):243-248. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2010.04.017
- Clavijo RI, Kohn TP, Kohn JR, Ramasamy R. Effects of low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy on erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2017;14(1):27-35. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.11.001 3.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT):
- Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, et al. Testosterone therapy in men with androgen deficiency syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2010;95(6 Suppl 1):S1-S6. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-2354
- Hackett G, Kirby M, Edwards D, et al. British Society for Sexual Medicine guidelines on the management of erectile dysfunction in men-2020. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2020;17(5):689-715. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.02.015
Women’s Health & the Role of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Just as men’s hormone levels decline with age, the same is true with women. Everyone concedes that women’s sex hormones are significantly more complicated than men’s, the balance between estrogens and progesterone is the most important but testosterone also plays a role in addition to DHEA, thyroid, and cortisol.
Changes in the patterns of the sex hormones in women greatly impact major life changes like puberty, monthly menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. They also have a huge impact on quality of life and their disruption or imbalance can cause or be associated with a wide array of troublesome symptoms. With each of these life changing milestones one’s body is partially required; hormone replacement therapy helps to even things out a great deal, however, many of the changes associated with each of these life events are part of the natural lifecycle. Although Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help to smooth out many of the rough spots, it cannot reverse these life stages.
Major life events like childbirth, as well as things like nutritional imbalances or exposure to various toxins, can set off years of hormonal imbalances that often go undiagnosed and untreated by most physicians.
Hormonal imbalance can affect your daily life, your sleep, your relationships, and your quality of life. They can contribute to anxiety, depression, weight gain, declines in the texture & health of your skin and hair, reduced bone mineralization and energy levels.
Hormones play vital roles in regulating all biological processes, including things like fertility, sexual function, desire, and pleasure, mood, how you handle stress, body temperature, the sleep-wake cycle, heart rate, appetite, bone remineralization, and overall metabolism.
If even one hormone is elevated or decreased, the impact can be life-altering. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it is time to talk to an expert in hormone optimization. It doesn’t have to be us, but please take action to address and balance your hormone levels because your health and happiness depend on it.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? If so, book an appointment today.
|Lack of Focus
Most of these symptoms are often dismissed as signs of ‘normal aging’ or a result of ‘stress.’ Most doctors are not trained to properly address these kinds of vague symptoms even though they are robbing you of your quality of life.
DO NOT ACCEPT THIS, TAKE ACTION TO CORRECT THE UNDERLYING ISSUE. Your quality of life, and that of those you love and interact with, depends on it. Stop suffering needlessly.
Whether you are interested in overcoming a particular health challenge or optimizing your health, function, and performance, it all starts with an initial consultation. For example, issues like ED in men and sexual enjoyment in women, both depend on first making sure the sex hormones are reasonably balanced. From there, we have several specific therapies, including ‘P’ or ‘O’ shots using stem cells, that can make a big difference in these areas.
At ARTC we do things differently. We address the whole person including Nutrition, Body Structural Integrity, and the 4Ms (Microcirculation, Mitochondria, Metabolism, and Metabolic Reserve (Muscle).
To properly balance hormones, you have to support and balance ALL of these factors rather than just putting a band aid on your symptoms. Many very good, progressive doctors can help with your hormone levels but NONE of them address the vital components mentioned above. We have developed The Wolverine Healing Protocol to cover all of those bases. You don’t have to do them all, but the system is there to take advantage of if TRUE, long term health optimization is what you’re looking for. That’s the ARTC difference.
Our goal is to keep it simple, safe, and sustainable.
Here’s How Our Programs Work
A flat rate of $199 to begin and $199 a month includes:
We realize that you might have insurance that covers your labs, and we can make a minor price adjustment in that case. However, you must realize that jumping through hoops to deal with insurance companies is one of the biggest contributors to our dysfunctional disease care system. We prefer patients that are willing to take full responsibility for their health vs. leaving it up to their insurance providers to decide what to pay for.