As we age, our athletic performance declines. That is a fact of life for both men and women, but athletics and general exercise are good for the body and mind. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help people retain athletic ability after menopause – for women – or andropause, for men.
One caveat: athletes in professional sports are tested for hormone levels, and are seldom granted exemptions for the use of any type of hormone therapy. BHRT is not aimed at the professional athlete, but for those who want to continue to remain in top physical condition no matter their age.
Even if you are not particularly athletic now, it is never too late to start exercising and improve your health and quality of life. BHRT can help.
When female athletes hit menopause, they can expect many of the same changes in their body as their less athletic contemporaries. They are less likely to endure some of the more common issues facing menopausal women, such as insomnia, because fit people usually sleep better than couch potatoes. However, there is no guarantee that sleep will not become problematic.
Other issues arising because the body’s estrogen and progesterone levels are lessening include:
- Weight gain – no matter how much they exercise, female athletes may find themselves developing “bellies” because menopause changes the way the body stores fat
- Bone density loss – female athletes generally have denser bones than non-athletes, but they are still subject to bone density loss after menopause. Blame the loss of estrogen. In the seven years post-menopause, women may lose up to 20 percent of their bone density, according to The Washington Post
- Hot flashes – few events will affect athletic performance like an overwhelming hot flash
- Less muscle – menopause makes building muscle more difficult
- Mood changes – estrogen loss can lead to irritability and other personality changes, which may affect athletic performance
BHRT can improve a woman’s cardiovascular health and also offers protection against diabetes, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and other conditions that can derail a female athlete.
Male testosterone levels peak in early adulthood, and men lose about 1 percent per year of this hormone starting in their early 30s. Many of the issues facing men in andropause are similar to menopausal women, including:
- Bone density loss
- Less muscle
- Weight gain
- Personality changes
Men may especially notice a decrease in strength and increase in fatigue.
BHRT and Performance
BHRT consists of hormones that are biologically identical to those produced by the body. They are the same on the molecular level. BHRT not only relieves many of the symptoms of menopause and andropause, but can help athletic individuals continue enjoying their favorite sports.
A BHRT regimen is always custom-designed for the individual patient. Regular blood and saliva testing monitor hormone levels, so the prescription for the patient is likely to change over time.
Along with BHRT, the doctor discusses the patient’s training program and the type of sports in which they participate. A person playing a lot of tennis, for example, will require a somewhat different exercise program than a person who likes cycling. A holistic approach with diet, exercise and any recommended vitamin and nutritional supplements is an important element of a BHRT regimen.
Contact Dr. Jacobson Today
If you would like more information about BHRT and athletic performance, call Dr. Edward Jacobson’s office today and arrange a consultation.