By Mark Henkle
Arthur Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, said, “All research passes through three phases. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”
In the past 10 years, testosterone replacement for men has gone through all three phases. Low energy, depression, diminished libido, and erectile dysfunction are now recognized as symptoms of low testosterone. We are bombarded with commercials touting the benefits of testosterone replacement, and the same doctors who vehemently opposed the idea 10 years ago are now giving their patients samples of testosterone gel. BioFit Medical Group was one of the first medical practices to identify the benefits and safety of testosterone replacement, and the only medical practice to specialize in hormone replacement for men.
“You can’t just hand your patient a packet of testosterone gel and expect good results,” says Dr. Jeffrey S. Dunham, BioFit medical director. “You need to follow the patient closely to assure that he’s achieving optimal testosterone blood levels. I usually start my patients on a 10 percent testosterone gel from a compounding pharmacy or testosterone injections, since the 1 percent gel packets available at retail pharmacies rarely give optimal blood levels. I also monitor other lab tests, including estradiol, thyroid, and growth hormone levels. It’s like any other area of medicine: The more closely you follow the patient, the better the outcome.”
Each new patient spends two to three hours with the doctor, which includes a complete medical history and physical examination, a Bod Pod® body composition analysis, laboratory testing, and a detailed discussion about the patient’s goals and how hormone replacement therapy may help him achieve those goals. There is also a significant amount of time devoted to dietary issues, since the proper diet is critical in achieving the maximum benefit from hormone replacement therapy.
“It takes a while to explain the diet,” says Dr. Dunham. “There are a lot of misconceptions about diet and nutrition, and most patients don’t understand what’s making them fat. But once they get it, it seems obvious.”
In 2012, Dr. Dunham launched the BioFit Diet™ app for iPhone and iPad, making it easier than ever for patients to follow the diet. It incorporates glycemic load and calories to calculate the number of “glycals” in a meal, which is a better predictor of how fattening that meal will be. The app has been a huge success: In the first six months, it had more than 25,000 downloads, putting it in the top 1 percent of all diet apps available from the Apple App Store. To date, it’s had more than 65,000 downloads spanning 108 countries.
“The diet works equally well for men and women,” says Dr. Dunham, “so I encourage my patients to share the app with their wives and friends. You never have to be hungry on the BioFit Diet. You just need to eat the right foods and know how to combine them.”
Just as the benefits of testosterone replacement and the BioFit Diet™ are emerging as “self-evident,” growth hormone replacement is still in the early phases of acceptance. It’s only been a little over 15 years since the FDA approved growth hormone for patients with adult growth hormone deficiency. Growth hormone levels decline with age in almost an identical manner as testosterone levels, and almost all men over 40 will have suboptimal testosterone and growth hormone levels. Replacing growth hormone to more youthful levels results in more energy, better sleep, and stronger erections. Heart, lung, and immune function are improved. Patients heal faster after surgery and recover faster from injuries. There is increased collagen synthesis and, as a result, skin is firmer with fewer wrinkles. There is a significant increase in lean body mass and dramatic fat loss. In a word, patients feel and look “younger.”
“Growth hormone replacement can dramatically improve quality of life in men who are growth hormone deficient,” says Dr. Dunham, “but just as patients taking testosterone require close monitoring to assure the best results, so do patients taking growth hormone.”
Patients travel to Palm Springs from more than 25 states and three foreign countries to see Dr. Dunham because of his detailed and knowledgeable approach to hormone replacement for men. His patients include celebrities, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. He even has patients who are on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
At 59, Dr. Dunham practices what he preaches, and has been on the BioFit program for the last 16 years. He has an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, a Ph.D. in biology from M.I.T., and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. He is certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. You can learn more about the BioFit program at www.biofitmedical.com.
1751 N. Sunrise Way, Suite E
Palm Springs, CA 92262