Naperville resident feels younger with hormone therapy

A treatment to reverse the effects of aging? Naperville resident John Freiburger thinks so. The 48-year-old began hormone therapy to replace testosterone loss after a severe bout with the Epstein-Barr virus several years ago. The improvements have convinced him the treatment is worth seeking. “It increased my energy level and my ability to concentrate,” Freiburger says. “It’s been beneficial to my sexual health. And I’ve put on muscle.” Male hormone-replacement therapy is used to treat symptoms caused by reduced testosterone production, a common condition among older men. Symptoms such as: depression and irritability, low libido and erectile dysfunction, lack of focus, and exercise becoming ineffective at controlling weight and building muscle. The Mayo Clinic notes testosterone production levels drop by 1 percent each year after the age of 30. This explains why hormone therapy is often seen as an anti-aging treatment. Until recently, doctors have discouraged many patients from getting testosterone therapy because of the perceived increased risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Paul Savage, chief medical director at Ageology in Chicago, dismisses this misconception. “Testosterone doesn’t cause prostate cancer,” Savage said. “However, low testosterone does increase the risk of death not only from heart disease but all causes.” A recent study by German endocrinologists showed that hormone-replacement therapy among men improved symptoms of metabolic syndrome — a syndrome that increases the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, among other complications. But while the use of this therapy is on the rise, Savage notes many men with lowered hormone levels still go untreated. “Only about 5 percent of …
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