Age Management Alternatives

by Carol deFrank

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, women tend to seek medical help for menopause more readily than men do for andropause—the male version of menopause. They report only about 5% of the five million American men suffering from andropause seek treatment.

Menopause begins when ovarian production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decreases. Adropause is due to a decline of testosterone. Women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, insomnia, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis and irritability. Men can experience lack of alertness, loss of morning erections, thinning hair, heart disease and stroke. A significant drop in hormones can cause emotional, psychological and/or behavioral problems, depression, decreased energy and muscle mass, increased body fat and a loss of libido. Symptoms of aging include a reduced immune system, loss of memory and dry or wrinkled skin.

“I felt the aging process take hold of my body,” says Dr. Gary Gallo, an orthopedic surgeon for thirty-one years. “I was exhausted all the time and knew something was wrong so I began looking for help. I discovered BioLogicMD and became interested in the process as well as the results.” Body LogicMD is a nationwide network of centers promoting optimum long-term health and a better quality of life through preventive medicine.

Dr. Gallo says, “We begin to self-destruct from the day we are born,” but gives us hope by explaining, “We may not be able to stop these problems, but we can treat them by using FDA approved bio-identical hormones chemically indistinguishable from those our bodies produce.” Dr. Gallo says bio-identical hormone therapy is considered a natural, effective way to battle many of the aging symptoms. The bio-identical hormones he prescribes are derived from soy, yams and plant extract because the body can easily metabolize them.

The appeal of bio-identical hormones is that they are natural and easy to metabolize, minimizing side effects. Moreover, bio-identical hormones can be matched to each individual patient’s needs. Studies suggest that bio-identical hormones are safer than synthetic versions, but they have not been well-studied for long-term use.

Dr. Gallo began practicing bio-identical medicine and became a Diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) Board in 1999 and founded the Palm Institute in Naples in 2002.

When patients visit they fill out a 23-page questionnaire detailing their medically relevant history. Dr. Gallo goes over every answer before performing a comprehensive physical exam. Upon completion he orders a metabolic and hormonal laboratory evaluation to determine the patient's health and hormone levels. Hormone levels can be checked using an easy blood test and is recommended by age 50. Dr. Gallo explains that men are often assured by other healthcare providers that their testosterone levels are normal because only total testosterone rather than ‘free’ testosterone levels are checked.

Recent test results from mammograms, paps, prostate, etc are accepted. Then a multifaceted personal plan is formulated for each individual. It incorporates the medically supervised administration of natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as well as a nutrition plan including a balanced diet and vitamin and mineral supplements.

Dr. Gallo teaches patients to invert the old food pyramid. “There was never any scientific value in its creation and I believe it's responsible for obesity in America. It works better upside down.” The plan also includes a fitness program comprised of a customized cardio workout and strength training. This integrated approach is supposed to restore hormone balance and quality of life without adverse side effects. Dr. Gallo is also a firm believer in prayer, meditation and doing good deeds, all stress reducers.

The Palm Institute in Naples is one of seven BodyLogicMD anti-aging centers in the country. Dr. Paul Savage, founder of BodyLogicMD and practicing physician since 1988, is a hormone replacement therapy specialist based in Chicago and has worked with age-management physicians from around the country since 2003.

BioLogicMD claims specific results from their age-management programs including a revitalized immune system, improved memory and mental faculty, improved cholesterol and blood pressure, increased lean muscle mass, decreased body fat and osteoporosis, higher energy level, greater stamina, increased strength and athletic performance, libido and sexual performance. He says he accomplishes this with state-of-the-art proven therapies supervised by qualified medical doctors.

The cost of fighting the aging process isn't cheap. Aging is not considered a disease therefore insurance doesn't pay for the initial evaluation nor the low-up visits. The lab work-up and other tests may be covered, but the costs of supplements may be denied.

With 77 million baby boomers near retirement, the anti-aging industry is becoming a booming business that takes in $56 billion a year. There are opponents who say that not all the supplements are proven remedies and go so far as to say some may be risky.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, a relatively new medical association, believes aches and pains should not be ignored as just part of old age and strongly believes many problems can be addressed. For more information, visit their website at www.A4Minfo.net. •

from the May-June 2006 issue

Only about 5% of five million American men suffering from andopause seek treatment.