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Testosterone Replacement is a choice only you and your doctor can make.
However, exhaustive research and personal experience makes testosterone replacement therapy off limits for me. While I cannot advise or speak for anyone else, and am not a doctor, I CAN share knowledge about body function.
To my view, it is well worth it for both men and women to work long and hard at achieving optimal levels of Testosterone without having to do hormone supplementation.
After years of reviewing many articles and lectures of excellent holistic MD's whom I highly respect, and looking in on many discussion forums to understand what patients themselves were experiencing, I nixxed the idea of ever doing it myself.
This view was firmly fixed in my mind after hearing one too many of my male clients reveal the side effects they suffered - severe testicular shrinkage, erratic mood, NO sexual benefit, AND symptoms of Estrogen overload! Under many conditions, especially as we get older - much of the hormone given in Testosterone Replacement Therapy can CONVERT to ESTROGEN - worsening an already bad situation!
Take Testosterone replacement therapy for too long and you're DONE! One VERY IMPORTANT consideration is that those who stay on Testosterone Replacement long enough (more than a few months) commonly lose ability to make their own. The feedback system of the body keeps saying, 'yes, there is plenty of hormone,' and stops production. As I understand it, this is usually permanent!
The Testosterone Replacement therapy model says 'If the hormone is low, replace it, supplement it.' This model is promoted by many prominent MD's, but as I said, it has major flaws. There may be people who swear by it. But interestingly, in discussions with coaching clients, and looking in on many forum discussions - generally, the longer a man or woman was taking Testosterone, the less enthusiastic they were. Some were downright discouraged - even people who had only been on it for a few months.
The replacement model often does not take into consideration ways that are needed to keep that Testosterone from being converted to Estrogens. Commonly, if that happens, then ANOTHER drug is prescribed, such as Arimidex, which has side effects like any prescription drug.
The Functional Model says, 'Let's give you every possible tool to help your body produce AND utilize Testosterone on its own.'
Compounds like Chrysin lower SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), which helps increase Free Testosterone so you may benefit from it.
Boron helps convert Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone which is the ACTIVE form of T. Did you know that Testosterone is inactive until it is converted to DHT?
Healthy animal fats give you more HEALTHY cholesterol (essential for hormone production). The BEST raw cheeses, lightly cooked egg (yolks), raw butter, pasture-raised meats and raw milk and cream are available at Miller's Organic Farm - grass-fed animals raised by excellent Amish farmers and shipped to your door)! I buy all my meat, eggs and dairy from them and highly recommend their excellent quality foods.
Weight training: VERY important for T production.
Reduce stress! Did you know that when you are too stressed, excess cortisol opposes Testosterone. Then the estrogens get the upper hand.
There are many other measures as well. Just detoxifying heavy metals helps because mercury, lead, etc. are stress-inducing and interfere with all manner of hormonal and enzyme functions.
Our detox suppository 5-pack includes Medicardium, Glytamins, Xeneplex, Endosterol and our newest, wonderful addition, Rejuvelon AntiOxidant Support.
Supplemental precursor hormones such as DHEA and Pregnenolone are a better option than Testosterone replacement therapy, in my humble opinion. HOWEVER, it is important to consider the conditions that must be met for these precursor hormones to take the pathways that will lead them to become the end-product hormones that are desired.
Pregnenolone: It is wisely suggested NOT to use Pregnenolone if one is under stress.
Because of what is called the Pregnenolone 'steal' - when we are under stress, most of the pregnenolone we product daily gets diverted to cortisol production. Stress takes pregnenolone away from the DHEA pathway (which leads to the healthy production of both estrogen and testosterone). If a stressed person takes pregnenolone, it can actually make matters worse because it leads to more stress hormone production instead of sex hormone production. ALSO, cortisol opposes Testosterone - not good for anyone, and particularly not good for someone taking Testosterone Replacement!
Note that a low DHEA reading on a saliva or blood test may indicate a 'pregnenolone steal' in progress.
It is advisable to not take pregnenolone if one is stressed in ANY way (infections, emotional issues, lack of sleep, poor diet, chronic illness or pain). The pregnenolone would only go to producing more cortisol.
DHEA: Particularly for women, it is NOT a great idea to take DHEA orally! There are too many possible undesireable side effects that may result. I personally use DHEA in a coffee enema; that way it gets into the pelvic circulation, bypassing the digestive system. 10 mg is a good starting point. I have been using DHEA rectally for years with no problem.
DHEA (applied transdermally or rectally - I actually put 20 - 30 mg in coffee enema) can help support hormone production. I do not take DHEA orally. Particularly for women, it can cause unwanted side effects. By using it rectally, it gets into the pelvic circulation, which is a more natural route.
Any kind of inflammation in the body (such as candida, gut issues, circulatory issues etc.) is a stressor. Not only does inflammation spike cortisol (which knocks down Testosterone), it also suppresses hypothalamus and pituitary function. That keeps the pituitary and hypothalamus from stimulating healthy hormones in adrenals, endocrine glands, and in particular, the gonads. Inflammation byproducts (cytokines) can ALSO cause cells throughout the body to become resistant (unreceptive) to the hormones they so desperately need. So healing the gut, circulatory system and any other inflammation, is critical to healthy sex hormones.
NOTE: Sugar and excess carbs in general, cause inflammation! Everyone I speak with who has cut out sweets, grains and processed foods and gone mostly Paleo, says they feel better and happier. This is because less carbs = less inflammation. You may not know this, but research has shown that inflammation tends to make people more depressed, in addition to all the other downsides.
Excess hormones, if not cleared from the body, commonly attach to hormone receptors, but because they are not fresh, healthy hormones, they block active hormones and do not have beneficial effects that active hormones have. This is where detoxification comes in to free up the liver to process the by-products of old hormones and clear them from the system.
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