Male interest in anti-aging and hormone rebalancing and replacement therapy has risen dramatically in recent years. In this exclusive interview Antonio Sabato, Jr., a soap opera star, actor and international model, talks about his personal struggles with hormone depletion and how Dr. Christopher Asandra, Medical Director of NuMale Medical Centers, has changed his attitude, his vitality and his life with the help of growth hormones and other anti-aging secrets revealed to Aesthetic Insider™. To learn more about Dr. Christoper Asandra and NuMale Medical Centers, visit www.numale.com. To learn more about Antonio Sabato, Jr., visit www.antoniosabatojr.com.
Antonio, what symptoms led you to seek help from Dr. Christopher Asandra and NuMale Medical Centers?
In my mid-thirties and as I was getting into my forties I really began to feel that there was something missing. I love to play sports but after a challenging activity my body didn’t recuperate as fast as it used to. My muscles ached for longer and I would find that I would injure myself easier. Also, my stress level began to increase I was feeling more tired than usual and I just was not on top of my game.
Had you ever felt like this before?
Not at all, I have always been extremely energetic and able to manage many projects, TV shows, movies, guest appearances you name it, with complete ease and ambition. When I felt like I was beginning to slow down, I became very concerned as I really enjoy my work and my lifestyle and I didn’t want anything to hold me back. At 45 I feel like I am at the prime of my life and I should have the energy to keep up with everything that is coming my way. I also have three beautiful children to keep up with, so figuring out what was slowing me down became increasingly important.
Before going to NuMale Medical Centers did you try to manage this yourself?
Yes. I tried changing my diet, adding extra vitamins and supplements to my nutrition program, exercising more and trying to find ways to boost my mental clarity but nothing was able to give me back the energy and vitality I am known to have.
Dr. Asandra, were Antonio’s symptoms typical of men in his age group?
Antonio is a classic example of what happens to many men as they age. Generally, their hormone levels go down, stress levels go up and this imbalance begins to affect every area of their life. Weight gain, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, mental fog, premature aging and even loss of libido are among the symptoms both men and women experience as they get older. It takes a toll on them, not just physically, but mentally as well. Every person that we treat at NuMale Medical Center and its sister center clinic, NuFemme, have different medical issues and different imbalances, but overall they experience many of the same symptoms.
Is this natural aging, or are there also environmental triggers?
Natural aging does include many, if not all, of the symptoms discussed. However, many men and women now live a very active, stressful and demanding lifestyle that brings with it added pressure and the constant bombardment of emails, texts, etc., all have adverse effects on stress. It seems as though people are never detached from the world and as the body is aging and hormone levels are depleting, it is harder for it to process these types of environmental triggers. Other environmental triggers would of course be pollution, heavy traffic, congested cities, etc. All of these things do take a toll on the body and if the body is out of balance hormonally, it just cannot keep up efficiently.
What was your first impression of Antonio when he came to see you as a patient?
Antonio is a guy who is hugely inspirational to people, he’s physically active, he motivates a lot of people, he is an example of what the average man of his age aspires to be. He looked youthful and vital. However, that was not how he felt. Inside he was tired, felt beat down, had a harder time getting out of bed in the morning and simply didn’t feel as sharp as he thought he should. In Antonio’s case, the outward appearance did not reflect what was going on inside. He had consulted several other doctors who said what he was experiencing at mid-life was normal, others thought anti-depressants might give him the mood lift he needed. But that was not OK with Antonio so he pushed forward looking for an answer and found one at NuMale.
How did you go about diagnosing Antonio?
Antonio has a very demanding career and lifestyle. He’s an actor and a model, and is very active physically. He also has a family and business needs to attend to as well so it would be easy to assume that he was overdoing it and needed to cut back. I have helped thousands of men struggling with similar issues and know that the answer lies in an comprehensive series of blood tests and therapeutic treatments. It was obvious when reviewing the blood work that he was perfectly healthy overall but did have Low-T (low testosterone). His growth hormone levels were somewhat low as well. Rather than telling him to just slow down and rest more, we were able to get his whole body and system back to a level where he could easily meet the many challenges he puts on himself.
Antonio, how did you feel hearing that your testosterone level was low?
I was actually so grateful to have an answer that all I could say was “OK, now how do we improve it?”
Dr. Asandra, please explain Antonio’s course of treatment.
After diagnosis, we started Antonio on testosterone replacement therapy. At NuMale we use bioidentical testosterone pellets. The pellets are about the size of a tic-tac and are placed under the skin during a quick in-office procedure. These pellets give a physiologic release of testosterone over 4 -5 months. Patients prefer the implanted pellets versus the creams, gels, and shots which are administered frequently and create a “roller coaster” effect on the body. Each testosterone replacement therapy is completely customized to the patient. In Antonio’s case I also have estrogen blockers built in as we also want to control the estrogen levels too. At the same time we use a growth hormone therapy called Sermorelin. Sermorelin helps him sleep better, recover from physical exercise faster, improves skin quality, and increases lean muscle mass. He already eats a highly nutritious clean diet so we did not have to change anything there, and his daily exercise regimen far exceeds daily recommendations.
Antonio, how do you feel your overall quality of life has improved?
My sleeping is better. My recuperation is better. My Jiu Jitsu classes are better because after a grueling work-out, I rest more easily and don’t feel quite so beat up the next day! I am also memorizing my lines when I have to learn new scripts like I could in my twenties. It’s truly fantastic. My whole life has changed even down to the relationship that I have with my children. Because I’m more active and my stress levels are lower I can actually keep up with my kids. I love it! Even my body fat percentage is lower. I feel as though I’m healthier than ever. I wake up full of energy and I’m ready to seize the day, every day.
How long did it take before you began to feel the full benefit of the growth hormone treatment?
Within a matter of days I began to feel my energy levels increasing. As my sleep improved, my body became more flexible and the brain fog lifted. It was really very quick, maybe a few weeks in all and now I feel like my old self again – full of life energy and feeling vital.
What advice would you give to other men who find themselves in the same situation as you?
Seek help immediately. I wish I had not waited so long to find a solution. Obviously my life has been changed thanks to Dr. Asandra and NuMale Medical Centers and I would advise others to seek a doctor that is familiar with the aging process, hormone imbalances and growth hormone therapy. I would also advise men to not feel embarrassed about what is happening to them, and to not accept that it is OK to feel unfulfilled health-wise. It is normal but it can be corrected in a safe and effective way with growth hormone and testosterone therapy. I went to a lot of doctors who did not know how to help me and that wasted a lot of time and it is my belief that you have to make every day count.
Dr. Asandra, what advice do you offer to men experiencing these types of health issues?
It is a growing problem and is something we need to address rather than being ashamed to talk about. It’s not the perception of being on steroids or any type of negative connotations derived from past forms of treatment. My patients do not turn into body builders overnight! This is a medically managed hormone replacement therapy, optimizing a patient’s own hormones in a very safe and effective manner under medical supervision. Once we determine the patient’s levels, the pellet therapy is a quick 3 to 5 minute procedure where we place the bioidentical testosterone under the skin. The pellet has a slow-release capacity that keeps the body regulated and it lasts for about 4 to 5 months. It is far more convenient than hormone creams and gels that are smeared on the body several times a day, or injections. Nobody likes needles, so it’s really a revolutionary and safer way to turn back the clock. My advice to men is to seek help sooner rather than later. The longer hormones are left unregulated, the higher the imbalance and increase in health problems. Frankly, they will spend more time not enjoying life as much as they could with treatment.
To listen to Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Dr. Christoper Asandra discuss growth hormone replacement therapy for men, CLICK HERE!