As you age, your body’s biochemistry changes, and one of the most significant changes is the decline in the levels of hormones that have a major impact on aging. Specifically, those hormones are the sex hormones—estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—as well as the mother of all these hormones, DHEA, and a few others, including melatonin, thyroid, and growth hormone.
One of the primary roles of hormones is to transmit messages to the body’s cells so they can perform their various functions. Hormone levels begin to decline when people are in their twenties, which means the amount of information that is shared among the cells declines as well. Because hormone levels typically fall slowly, the impact of their decline often isn’t felt until people reach their forties or fifties. That’s also about the time that women experience another hormonal change—menopause—and men also have a decline in sex hormone production, known as andropause. All of these hormonal changes taken together are associated with symptoms of aging and also increase your chances of developing disease and infection.
Anti-aging medicine promotes hormone balancing using bio-identical hormone therapy as a way to fight aging. The concept is simple: take hormone supplements that are similar to the ones your body produces—not artificial or synthetic hormones— as a means to restore and maintain your levels to where they were when you were in your twenties. Achieving healthy levels and balance of hormones slows the aging process and promotes health and well-being. Generally, hormone balancing offers the following benefits.
Helps prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
Promotes muscle strength and tone.
Enhances heart functioning.
Helps maintain a healthy immune system.
Improves the texture, tone, and elasticity of the skin.
Improves sexual function and desire.
Helps maintain mental functioning.
Promotes tissue repair and regeneration.
Improves mood and emotional stability.
Helps keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.
What You Can Do Now
Hormone balancing is not an approach you should take on your own: you will need tests to determine your hormone levels and a professional to customize your hormone restoration program. Although most of the hormones are available over the counter, a few require a prescription (testosterone, thyroid) from your physician. A physician should also reevaluate your hormone levels yearly and make any dose adjustments as needed.