Life Extension Magazine January 2011
Ask The Doctor
Why testing your hormones is important
By Michael Aziz, MD
Q: I’m a 54-year-old woman experiencing excessive night sweating, fatigue, weight gain, and decreased energy and sex drive. My doctor says it’s all a normal part of aging. I’m not so sure. I’ve asked him if he could check my hormones, but he brushed me off and recommended a multivitamin. What do you think?
A: While your symptoms may be related to a variety of things, they are likely caused by a decrease in anti-aging hormones (estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, and testosterone). That’s the most likely scenario. Of course, decreased energy and weight gain could also be related to an underactive thyroid.
If your problem is low sex hormones, which is quite probably the scenario based on your age, it can be corrected with proper hormone replacement, and not just a daily multivitamin as your physician suggested. First, you need to decode your deficiency—which hormones are you really missing? You certainly don’t want to replace hormones that you already have in adequate amounts.
I suggest consulting with an experienced anti-aging doctor—such as those in the fellowship program of the American Academy of Anti-Aging—who knows how to test for hormones and interpret the results. Let’s say your thyroid and growth hormone test results come back normal, but your sex hormones are low. Living with these symptoms as you age does not have to happen. Your sex hormones can be replaced with the right dose of bioidentical hormones or even by taking the right supplements. Bioidentical hormones’ structure is identical to human sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). They are currently used routinely in Europe and have been shown in studies to be safe. Bioidentical hormones are different than the synthetic hormone drugs that doctors use in the US, such as Premarin® and Prempro®, which are quite dangerous.
Life Extension® offers an extensive blood test panel for both men and women to test for hormones. They also have multiple supplement formulas that support these important sex hormones. The first step is to have your blood tested using Life Extension’s Female Hormone Blood Panel. The results will enable you and your doctor to restore your hormones back to youthful ranges.
Dr. Aziz is an attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He is a member of the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine, and a fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom. He is a speaker for many distinguished organizations, including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Aziz has been featured on national TV and radio shows, including The View, The Doctors, 700 Club, and Good Morning America Health. He is a regular contributor to The Mel Robbins Show, a nationally syndicated radio program. He is also the medical director for IBN Sports, a website that reaches millions of students and athletes in California.
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