Mike O’Hearn and Mona Muresan go into detail about hormone replacement therapy for women and debunk the most common myths behind HRT.
In a recent episode of Generation Iron and Barbend’s The Mike O’Hearn Show, host Mike O’Hearn delved into the world of bloodwork and hormonal replacement therapy for women with special guest John Tsikouris, the owner of Titan Medical, a hormone replacement therapy clinic. This eye-opening conversation shed light on the importance of understanding hormone balance, the significance of regular bloodwork, and the potential pitfalls of certain treatments.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and the wider world of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is having a major moment right now. What was once seen as taboo is becoming a better understood and more openly talked about option for individuals whose hormones are becoming unbalanced as they age. Even beyond aging, there are a wide variety of people who may benefit from the safe and legal practices of HRT.
Mike O’Hearn has spoken in-depth multiple times about HRT and his experiences with clinics. But this week he brings back Titan Medical owner John Tsikouris alongside bodybuilder and former editor of Muscle & Fitness Hers Mona Muresan to discuss the details and experience of HRT for women. Let’s dive in.
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Hormones: Not Just for Men
Mike O’Hearn started the discussion by acknowledging that he’s witnessed many women pushing themselves too hard in the pursuit of fitness, often resulting in harm. He wanted to know how women could stay fit, strong, and, most importantly, healthy while also pushing their fitness levels to the limit.
John Tsikouris started out with the basics, pointing out that men and women have the same hormones but in different quantities. These hormonal balances (and imbalances) can profoundly impact not only physical abilities but also overall well-being.
John emphasized the critical first step for anyone serious about fitness: regular bloodwork. While general practitioners may perform basic tests, they often lack the depth of analysis provided by specialized clinics like Titan Medical.
The Pitfalls of Pellets
John introduced the concept of pellets in the fitness and HRT clinic medical world. These small implants contain varying doses of medication and are often used in testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) clinics to balance hormones. However, John cautioned against relying on pellets, as they can lead to hormonal spikes beyond the patient’s control. For women, this may result in side effects such as voice changes, unwanted hair growth, and clitoral enlargement.
Once a patient begins a pellet protocol, they’re committed until the pellet and medication regimen completes its absorption in the body. This lack of flexibility can lead to unintended consequences.
Personalized Protocols for Women
John shed light on Titan Medical’s approach to hormone replacement therapy. Unlike preset plans, they customize treatments based on individual needs. They offer various forms of medication, including sublingual options, creams, gels, and injectables, in contrast to the pellets used in some TRT clinics. This flexibility allows for ongoing adjustments based on a patient’s response.
And allowing for adjustments is vital to having effective hormone replacement therapy. Every individual is different – and while bloodwork will help determine protocols, how the body reacts to the protocols can vary. That’s why being able to adjust as you move forward with the therapy is important. It gives you control over how your body reacts – and lets you truly find the right doses to bring your hormone balances to “normal” rather than spikes that can lead to various side effects.
Potential Side Effects of HRT
John Tsikouris explains the kinds of side effects that can come with HRT. Most notably, what extensive side effects can arise when using the pellet protocol plan for HRT. Many of these side effects may be commonly known by those in the athletic and bodybuilding community – as they share attributes to those who use (and abuse) steroids and other PEDs.
HRT side effects can include:
- Deepening of the voice
- New hair growth in new areas of the body (such as the back or chest)
- Thicker hair growth including on the face (which may be unwanted by women)
- Enlarged clitoris (for women)
These side effects can be mitigated by consistent checkups and alterations to an individual’s HRT protocol. Ultimately, HRT is meant to help optimize and bring hormones back to a normal balance. This should not lead to these somewhat extreme side effects. However, when using the pellet protocol system – these side effects are possible due to the unalterable long term use of the protocols.
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Addressing Discrepancies in Bloodwork and Symptoms
Mike O’Hearn asked about cases where bloodwork results don’t align with a patient’s symptoms. John explained that sometimes, despite experiencing low energy and reduced libido, patients may have normal hormone levels. In such cases, treatment isn’t warranted, as the issue may be more psychological than biological.
On the flip side, individuals like Mona, who exhibit remarkable motivation and drive despite recently discovering low levels in her bloodwork, can benefit from optimization. Even if an individual feels fine – it’s likely because they have adapted to their changing body through sheer willpower. However, this just means that the potential they can achieve is even greater should they optimize their hormonal balance.
John likened this to driving an older car compared to a newer model – both work, but the newer one offers an enhanced experience.
Fan Questions: Insights on Drugs and Kidney Health
During the podcast, a fan inquired about the drug BPC-157 and its effects on muscle inflammation and kidneys. John clarified that BPC-157 doesn’t harm kidneys; instead, it’s designed to strengthen organs. However, caution is advised, especially for individuals with preexisting kidney conditions.
The fan also asked about growth hormones (GH) and their impact on kidneys. John reassured that prescribed GH injections should not negatively affect kidneys, as oral GH would involve the organ’s processing. The risk primarily arises from abusing GH beyond medical guidelines.
The Dangers of Black Market Drugs vs. Legal Alternatives
Mike raised the issue of athletes and gym enthusiasts resorting to black market drugs and steroids to enhance their physique and strength. He questioned why people wouldn’t seek legal and professional advice from TRT and hormone clinics first. John emphasized the importance of legal avenues, even for young individuals, to optimize hormone levels and improve physical performance safely and responsibly.
John believes that young aspiring athletes don’t realize just how many legal and safe options there are to optimize the body. While nothing can replace the powerful outcomes of illegal steroid abuse – many underestimate just how much can be achieved naturally. And even further, what can be achieved with a legal and healthy HRT protocol plan.
The Mike O’Hearn Show provided valuable insights into the world of bloodwork, hormonal replacement therapy, and overall health for women. Regular bloodwork and personalized treatments can make a significant difference in one’s fitness journey, all while prioritizing health and well-being. Don’t gamble with your health – choose the legal and professional route to achieve your fitness goals.
You can watch the full episode above. And don’t forget to check back every Friday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded!