Annapolis Integrative Medicine
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Annapolis, MD 21403
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Restoring Health and Vitality As the Years Go By
As we emerge from the pandemic (and maybe it was already the case), many people are realizing that they have neglected their health. Over the past few years you may have gained unwanted pounds, stopped exercising, have had disrupted sleep, ate badly and drank more than you used to. The stress of this time period and life in general has impacted many people.
You might find your sleep is disrupted, and it is possible that weight gain has brought about sleep apnea, which is a dangerous condition that causes fatigue, weight gain, and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension. It is nearly impossible to feel well and to functions optimally when sleep is disrupted. Addressing this with a physician can be extremely helpful rather than just tolerating it.
Gastrointestinal problems are also common, including irregular bowel movements and bloating. Two common GI conditions are bacterial and yeast overgrowth, which when recognized can be easily treated. Dietary intolerances are also common and can be addressed with a physician who is able to address them.
Stress can exacerbate or accelerate hormonal deficiencies in men and women particularly when menopause or its male equivalent “andropause” is happening. Bio-identical hormone replacement is an approach where the natural hormonal status and balance of a man or woman is optimized to allow for health and well being in the safest possible way using the lowest effective dose.
While some women do very well in menopause with just a few symptoms, many others have a very difficult time with it and some are nearly incapacitated. The majority of symptoms are due to estrogen deficiency. Treating these symptoms with safe and effective doses of estrogen, progesterone, and in some cases testosterone, can make a big difference in how a woman navigates menopause. Positive results include improvement in sleep, decrease in hot flashes and night sweats, heightened libido and sexual pleasure, and a greater sense of well-being.
Low testosterone levels are fairly common as men enter into their 50s and beyond. This is not just about sexual performance. Men who have low testosterone levels are at a higher risk of dying from many causes than are men with normal levels of testosterone. Symptoms and signs of low testosterone are fatigue, loss of muscle mass, low libido, elevated cholesterol. Low testosterone contributes to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. By replacing testosterone to optimal levels a man can experience heightened vitality and well-being, often in a very surprising way.
Another common hormonal issue is hypothyroidism, which is often underdiagnosed and can leave people feeling unwell and sluggish. Like the other issues discussed in this article, not addressing hypothyroidism can make other health issues persist, including sleep problems, fatigue, and ability to function well in life.
I encourage you, if any of the above resonates with you, to engage with a physician knowledgeable in addressing these important issues of health.
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