Are you a little too in touch with your masculine side? In my line of work I find myself constantly educating others on their hormones and their bodies. Most, if not all, of the people I talk to know or have at least heard of a few hormones. The two hormones most people have heard of are Estrogen and Testosterone. While the majority of people I have interacted with in the past have come to think of these two hormones as male and female exclusive. The reality is that we ALL have and need both of these hormones. What dictates our gender, biologically in utero, is the concentration levels of these two hormones.
Overcompensating for Something?
More and more women are suffering from an excess of Testosterone, which has been linked to fertility issues such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). That is not to say there are not a significant number of individuals fighting with the signs and symptoms associated with too little Testosterone. But what is this pesky little troublemaker and what does it do? Better yet, how do we get our Testosterone levels to work for us rather than against us?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. In males, it plays a key role in the development of male reproductive organs as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle and bone mass as well as body hair. Testosterone is also involved in the prevention of osteoporosis in men and women. Insufficient levels in men can lead to frailty and bone loss. On average, an adult males level of Testosterone is about 7-8 times greater than that of an adult female’s. Because men metabolize Testosterone at an accelerated rate compared to women they produce twenty times more Testosterone. In women Testosterone levels increase during sexual arousal and decreases after sex. In fact, the mere act of having sexual thoughts can increase Testosterone levels in women. Interestingly falling in love can also increase Testosterone levels in women while decreasing them in men.
Signs Your Testosterone is Low
Unfortunately, like all of our hormone levels it can be difficult to determine if one of them is off. Not to mention, it can be even harder to figure out how to get those hormones back on track. Luckily, there are several signs and symptoms you can keep an eye out for. The following is a list of signs and symptoms that can indicate your Testosterone levels are low:
- Low Stamina
- Reduced Muscle Strength & Formation
- Reduced Vaginal Sensation
- Decreased Nipple Sensation
- Thinning Hair (at the crown of head)
- Vaginal Burning Sensation
- Low Libido
- Memory Loss
Searching For The Odd Man Out?
You may have noticed that these signs and symptoms are familiar with additional hormonal imbalance. Part of that is due to the fact that the majority of hormones are linked together. Think of it as one large self portrait made up of thousands of dominos. If one falls the rest go with it. Because the majority of these symptoms can indicate a number of additional health issues I would suggest focusing on the symptoms that are just outside of the norm. Please keep in mind the list of signs and symptoms I have included are for women. While the symptoms of low Testosterone in men are similar (hair loss, muscle decrease, libido, and memory loss) there are also a few differences such as bone density loss.
Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
If you are experiencing low Testosterone levels there are some safe and all natural options that can help increase your Testosterone levels. Of course you should always discuss with your doctor about doing additional testing to determine if your Testosterone levels are in need of a pick me up. The following is a list of all natural ways to increase your Testosterone levels:
- Eat More Healthy Fats
- Detox Your Liver
- Vitamin D
- Reduce Stress Levels
- HIIT Workouts
- Intermittent Fasting
It’s All Good!
The beauty behind all of these tips is that they all help your body reset itself. What most people forget is that our bodies benefit from us being healthy and functioning at our highest ability. That means our bodies are our greatest supporters! They are constantly doing their best to help naturally detox themselves. That’s right, your body is capable of detoxing itself! Of course, in order for it to do so you need to provide it with the proper building blocks and time it needs to work. How do you do that? Eat clean whole foods, limit your exposure to toxins (environmental or otherwise), sleep regularly, lower your stress levels, and stay hydrated! Your body will do the rest for you. One of my personal favorite things about detoxing is that it is nature’s way of hitting the reset button on your hormones.
Signs Your Testosterone Is High
With infertility on the rise researchers have been looking into a number of different variables. One unfortunate variable corresponds with an excess of Testosterone. PCOS has become more and more frequent in women and one of the leading causes of this illness stems from too much Testosterone. The following is a list of signs and symptoms that can indicate an excess of Testosterone:
- Hair Loss
- Increase In Facial Hair
- Insulin Resistance
- Weight Gain
- Low Libido
- Heart Health Issues
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles
But I Thought That Was Normal!
While this list of signs and symptoms that occur due to an excess of Testosterone, this list is based on Testosterone levels in women. Too much Testosterone in men can result in some of the same or similar symptoms just like before with low levels of Testosterone. Weight gain tends to accumulate in the midsection mainly the abdomen and hips. For acne the majority of hormonal imbalances result in breakouts around the chin. Hair loss due to an excess of Testosterone tends to be more evenly distributed as opposed to individuals suffering from hair loss at the crown of their heads due to not enough Testosterone in the body. Lastly, individuals suffering from an excess of Testosterone tend to miss cycles or experience lighter periods.
Natural Ways to Lower Your Testosterone
Too much Testosterone can be bad for your health. Luckily, there are a number of all natural solutions you can reach for that can help you keep your Testosterone levels in check. The following is a list of all natural options that can help lower your Testosterone levels:
- Vitex or Chaste Berry
- Evening Prim Rose
- Inositol (Vitamin B8)
- Maca Powder
The Supplemental Life
Vitex or Chaste Berry has been used for centuries to help regulate hormonal balance by maintaining healthy Progesterone levels. This berry received its name based on the fact that nuns and monks used to consume it to eliminate sexual thoughts. Prim Rose helps balance out Estrogen levels and maintain a healthy menstrual cycle. Diindolylmethane (DIM) also helps to balance out Estrogen levels and can be found in cruciferous vegetables. Inositol (Vitamin B8) has been shown to aid in a number of health disorders such as PCOS, ADHD, schizophrenia, and psoriasis. Maca has been used for centuries to help boost stamina and libido. Magnesium and probiotics are both great for helping to support your digestive track and improve your overall health.
Know What’s Going On First!
As always, you should consult with your primary doctor prior to changing any of your supplements. Some prescriptions can have a negative effect when combined with even healthy alternatives. In some cases prescriptions can even interact with foods such as grapefruit on blood pressure medication. Always discuss any dietary or supplemental changes with your doctor first. Your health should always be your number one priority! As a doctor my job is to help provide you with the education you need to make your own lifestyle and health choices. I will always put your health and safety first! If you are looking to eat your way to better health, here is a recipe you have to try.
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!