TAMPA, FL–(Marketwire – January 7, 2010) – Grant Mansell was 46 and frustrated with his 300 pound physique, ensuing back pain, rising cholesterol, dependency on blood pressure medicine but most of all not enjoying life with his wife and children.
“It was extremely frustrating,” says Mansell. “I’ve been involved with sports my entire life but when I hit 40-something everything changed. My recovery time from the gym took days and dieting on my own was getting me nowhere.”
But it was a personal conversation with a former pro-football player that changed Mansell’s 40-something dread into a 30-something life.
“He told me he had been seeing Dr. Stephanie Bien about similar issues and had great success so I had to check it out,” says Mansell.
The 120-mile drive from Punta Gorda did not stop Mansell from becoming a regular patient of Dr. Bien’s at her Wesley Chapel practice once she diagnosed him with andropause, known as the male form of menopause, and started treatments that eventually led to his 120-pound weight loss and restored his cholesterol and blood pressure to normal, taking him out of the diabetes risk category.
“Grant’s situation is not uncommon,” says Dr. Bien, whose Age Management Medicine practice focuses on men’s health issues. “Every decade we age, our bodies produce fewer hormones whether we are a woman or a man, but unfortunately for men this condition is not taken as seriously as it is for women.”
However, that hasn’t stopped millions of men in search of answers to feel better. Sales of male hormone products hit $809 million last year and keep rising especially in Florida, which is considered the No. 1 state for these types of therapies. Hormone replacement therapy for men is such a hot issue that the U.S. government recently announced funding a national study called “T Trial” to see if older men with low testosterone benefit from boosting it.
“Hormone replacement therapy invites controversy,” says Dr. Bien. “However we shouldn’t be looking at replacing hormones but optimizing them with careful testing and monitoring to restore levels that can bring men relief, allowing them to focus at work and relax at home.”
Dr. Bien says good testosterone levels are in the upper 25 percent of normal range, but many men over age 40 experience lower levels and increased disease risk. Unlike menopause, the hormone change with andropause is gradual and medical experts say all men experience the change starting in their 40s but most are unaware.
Warning signs include low libido, irritability, short-term memory loss, mid-section weight gain, depression and low energy. Depending on the patient’s medical history, Dr. Bien says a combination of exercise, proper nutrition, supplementation and conservative hormone optimization on a case-by-case basis is an approach that can make a huge impact on quality of life issues.