Health, Aging, and Hormonal Balance
A guest editorial
A brief prologue-
In the battle to break through the legacy media propaganda and censorship regarding COVID-19, effectiveness of early treatment, and the vaccine risk/benefit ratio, Jill and I have been maintaining a rather brutal travel schedule. We often get some version of the question “how are you able to keep up with this?”. Frankly, I am not sure that we are. I was hoping that things would slow down, the government would pivot to the next crisis, the COVID controversies and fearporn would die down, and I could have time to plant more trees, fix fence, fertilize and seed pastures and take care of all of those farm chores that have been neglected. Ha! Silly me.
The travel demands are overwhelming from time to time, and the next couple of months are looking like it is not going to stop. Lets go! seems to be the new normal. Sometimes I wonder how we are able to keep it up - it is certainly an important cause, definitely one worth fighting for (medical freedom, freedom of speech, saving children’s lives), but we are in our 60s now. We are having to maintain a young persons schedule.
A few years ago, before all of this “global crisis” began, I had really started to slow down, and was settling into a glide path towards retirement. Travel, as well as many other things in life, had lost its luster. Jill was worried about the effects of aging on both of us, and in particular the loss of bone density which had plagued her mother. As she usually does, she took on this challenge with a vengance, and was not going to give up without a fight. Digging into the literature, she discovered that the whole story regarding hormone replacement therapy was a lot more complicated that we had been lead to believe. Many both younger and older were discovering a sort of second life with careful medical management of key hormones, and data were demonstrating that this can have a huge impact on post menopausal bone density deterioration in women. So, off we went into the world of bioidentical hormone replacement.
As we have been traveling all over the country, and particularly in the various Florida medical communities which serve a more elderly population, we have encountered many physicians and medical care providers that have extolled the benefits of careful management of hormone levels. I have been personally amazed at the vitality of those who are receiving this type of treatment, and have also been amazed at the difference it has made in our own lives. We just feel younger, have more stamina, and are able to maintain a schedule that we could not have sustained a decade ago.
Please keep in mind that the biggest risks for developing severe COVID include obesity and diabetes. This is the underlying epidemic that has driven much of the death and disease associated with SARS-CoV-2. And that one of the best things that you can do to prevent severe disease is to live a healthy life, lose weight, keep your blood sugar under control, and make sure that your vitamin D levels are well above 50 nanograms per milliliter.
A couple of weeks ago, we went in for our checkup and oil change at the Charlottesville clinic that we have come to rely on, and ran into a clinical research colleague who has also had his life transformed by this treatment. We talked for a while, compared stories, and I asked if he would be interested in writing a guest piece for our substack. And without further ado, here is his personal story.
Do You Want to Be Average?
By Jim Baker
I didn’t think I was average 5 years ago.
As a devoted father of four, a loving husband and entrepreneur who had a successful exit from a clinical trials business in 2014, I have built myself upon the goal of achieving excellence in every facet of my life. I strive to be better every day, whether it is in my role as a husband, as a father, or as a business owner. However, I needed good health in order to reach this goal of mine; my body had to serve as a tool rather than an obstacle in my journey towards excellence. Because of this, I have always tried my best to eat healthy, exercise six days a week, monitor my alcohol intake, and to follow traditional medical advice.
My wife has always tried to live in a healthy manner as well. However, five years ago, she began experiencing significant menopausal symptoms which were quite debilitating. My wife was a former patient of a highly respected OB/GYN in Cary NC, which he sold in 2016. She learned that after his sale, he had opened a new practice focusing on wellness which takes a whole-body approach of balancing the body through bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), thyroid, adrenal and traditional wellness therapy. Following a consultation and lab work my wife became a perfect candidate for hormone replacement. Soon after she began receiving treatment and taking preventative measures to balance her hormones, my wife’s menopausal symptoms disappeared, and she felt like her healthy self again. At the risk of sounding cliche, her life really had changed for the better.
All the while, however, I was still living in this illusion of being above average or excellent when it came to my health and all things physical (except when it came to my golf game). Yet, I couldn’t help but think that I, like my wife, could also benefit from balancing my hormones and my body, thus bettering my wellbeing all together. However, despite my wife’s experience, I needed to do my own research to be convinced that I had room to improve my wellbeing.
My research started with the goal of answering two questions: what exactly is causing our hormones to become imbalanced in the first place, and just how many people are affected by hormone imbalance? To my shock, I discovered that there are a multitude of things that could be causing hormonal imbalances. I also discovered that it wasn’t just my wife who was suffering from hormone imbalances.
After some research, I found that on average, the testosterone levels in both men and women are three to four times less than what they would have been thirty years ago. This was shocking to me, as it meant that most of our population, whether male or female, is unknowingly struggling with a hormonal imbalance. This led me to get my own hormones tested, and I was shocked to find that at age 54, my hormone levels tested at 286, where my father at age 54 would have tested close to 1,000. After receiving these test results, I then began to dig further; what is the cause of this decrease in hormone levels?
Surprisingly enough, the most common cause of hormone imbalance is PVC piping, which was heavily introduced into residential and commercial buildings in the mid 80’s when it began replacing traditional copper piping. PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride, contains chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and phthalates which are designed to make the PVC more durable, but at the same time, are quite dangerous. Of these chemicals, phthalates, are endocrine disruptors and block androgens. In turn, they can mimic or block hormones, and can interfere with the formation of testosterone in the body. Since PVC piping is found in almost every commercial and residential building; all the water you drink, cook with, swim in or bathe with is most likely flowing through PVC piping. Unfortunately, when the PVC piping begins to break down, those foreign and dangerous chemicals are released into the water supply and subsequently find their way into the body. This means that our entire population, regardless of age or gender, is affected by the dangerous chemicals found in PVC piping. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) has seen testosterone levels in boys six to twelve years old decrease 24-34% in the last few years. Similarly, the WHO also reported that these chemicals were found in 100 % of pregnant women. Thankfully, the WHO is aware of just how dangerous the chemicals in PVC piping are, even going so far as to coining these chemicals as “gender benders” that not only interfere with female and male chromosomes and the production of sperm and egg, but also that cause obesity, Type-2 diabetes, infertility, dementia, and loss of memory. Because of these data, there is a current campaign to eliminate these chemicals through outlawing them all together throughout the United States.
The second most common cause of hormone imbalance is BPA Plastics. Unfortunately, like PVC, BPAs are dangerous and nearly everyone in this country faces exposure to them daily. BPA stands for Bisphenol-A. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s, which are often used in containers that store food and beverages. The biggest culprit of BPA contamination is water bottles. Unfortunately, as we are attempting to get in our daily recommended water intake, we are simultaneously poisoning our body with the dangerous chemicals found in the plastics that our water is held in.
Third, as America is one of the top medicated countries in the world, decline in hormone levels may be the result of certain medications we take. For example, as of 2018, 30.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease, and are subsequently prescribed statins, a class of lipid-lowering medications to manage their disease. However, studies have shown that 35-50% of men will experience a decrease in their testosterone levels when on statins. Roughly estimating, this means that around 15 million men across the United States are experiencing a decrease in testosterone due to statins alone.
The fourth most common cause of hormone imbalance is sugar consumption. Unfortunately, while a lot of Americans may think they have a healthy diet, a lot of individuals are just eating “unhealthy health foods” that are high in sugar. For instance, there is more sugar content in a bowl of oatmeal than in a root beer float and a bag of Twizzlers combined. Consistent consumption of large amounts of sugar can cause a barrage of symptoms, including weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, and increased uric acid levels. Most importantly, however, increased sugar consumption can cause Type-2 Diabetes, and those who suffer from that disease have a 57% decrease in their testosterone levels.
Fifth, a lack of sleep can cause hormone imbalance as well. Our bodies were designed to get consistent, quality sleep. When you don’t sleep well, it throws off your body, and one of the effects is a decrease in testosterone. When you are sleep-deficient, your body doesn’t replenish testosterone naturally, which can be a vicious cycle, because we need testosterone to enter REM cycles and to sleep well, but low levels of testosterone can also cause lack of sleep. We lose both ways!
The sixth most common cause of hormonal imbalance is from various environmental toxins such as air fresheners, perfumes, and pesticides. Just a few years ago, researchers in England surveyed the lakes surrounding pharmaceutical plants that produced or used high amounts of the chemical Atrazine, an herbicide used by farmers to control destructive weeds. They found that in these lakes, not only was there a high abundance of Atrazine, but there were no more male frogs in and around those lakes: they had all been converted to females during the embryo-genesis phase of their development. Researchers concluded that this conversion was due to Atrazine and banned the chemical in the European Union. Unfortunately, Atrazine is the second most used pesticide in the United States behind Round up, and is used primarily in our corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and other foods. Unfortunately, recent studies are linking the chemicals in Roundup to hormonal imbalances as well, which effects even a higher amount of our population than Atrazine. In fact, studies have shown that 93% of us have traces of Roundup (Glyphosate) in our urine. When these life-altering chemicals found in toxins such as Roundup or Atrazine get into our bodies, they wreak havoc on our systems.
Lastly, heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury are hazardous to humans and can also cause hormone imbalance when they build up in the body. Do you know the most common way those chemicals get into our bodies? It is not only through the environment but also through standard vaccines. This makes you wonder; is this why despite being the most vaccinated country in the world, there are still thirty-three other nations with lower infant mortality rates than the US?
Conducting my own research, coupled with a quest to be above average, brought me to the decision to receive BHRT. I have not regretted the decision.
What sets BHRT apart from synthetic hormone treatments and the creams, shots, and oral treatments is its efficacy and adverse event (it works and there are zero or minimal side effects) profile. The all-natural bio equivalent hormone pellet that’s been around since the mid 1930’s and has been proven safe and effective. It differs from the synthetic pellet as its plant based (yam, soy, olive oil) and is bio equivalent to your body. As our hormone provider states, “testosterone is your body’s engine oil where the engine oil and filter in your car were designed to lubricate and protect other parts from contaminants and wear. But over time, those elements become thin and no longer protect the same way. Have you noticed how your car engine sounds different when you start it after you have run it 4,000 miles on the same oil? You can tell something is not right. Only after you change the oil will your car return to optimal performance. Changing your car’s oil every 5,000-7,500 miles (except in rare cases where it is indicated more frequently due to driving habits) is crucial to its health.”
Our bodies function the same way. Over time, hormone levels decrease, and they must be renewed and restored. The pellet replacement therapy starts with an initial insertion where the pellets are placed underneath the epidermis in the fat part of your backside. It is a very simple 10-minute procedure done in the office. Each pellet placement lasts four to six months until your body needs another oil change. After beginning my therapy, I have noticed how well I feel through day-to-day life, workouts, and in everything I do.
In my world I believe in medical freedom, and that discipline equals freedom. Unfortunately, when seeking traditional medical solutions, we don’t always have a choice: we are simply given a drug to treat a symptom and our aches and pains are chalked up to be a result of lifestyle or age. While traditional medical solutions may mitigate our symptoms, they generally place limits on our bodies and fail to treat our actual ailment. It’s important that you see a whole-body approach to health care, where providers listen and then treat the cause and not the symptom. BHRT has completely transformed my health for the better which in turn is giving me the ability to stay disciplined in every aspect of my life, thus allowing me to better myself every day.
If you are like me, you want to have choices as you get older, which will provide the freedom to live life to the fullest. If I want to travel, I want the freedom to walk or ride a bike and not sit in a tour bus all day long. If I want to see mountains, I want the freedom to hike to the top to see the view. If I want to exercise with my adult kids, I want the freedom to run instead of walk with them. I hope that most of you would want the same. It’s your body and you only get one of them. Seek knowledge and really learn why all of us are becoming sicker and sicker. Most importantly be your own person and do what’s best for you.
Do you still want to be average?