Testosterone is typically thought of as a male hormone, but both men and women have it. Low testosterone levels may cause low libido. In one study of more than 800 postmenopausal women reporting low sex drive, those who received 150 or 300 micrograms per day of testosterone in the form of a topical patch reported more sexual desire and less distress than women who received a placebo. Women receiving extra testosterone also reported more satisfying sexual experiences compared to women who took a placebo. However, women who took 300 micrograms of testosterone per day had more unwanted hair growth than women who took the placebo. Men can get low testosterone, too. The condition has been referred to as andropause in males.
To balance your hormones naturally, it’s important that you eliminate toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.
Experts say that mood swings and other symptoms do not necessarily indicate abnormal hormone levels. "Every study done on women with PMS shows their circulating levels of hormones are normal," says Nanette Santoro, MD. Santoro is director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "But some researchers believe that certain hormone metabolites in the brain cause the mood changes - or that some women just metabolize hormones differently. No one knows for sure."
The Labs: Mainstream medicine typically just runs TSH and T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to determine thyroid hormone dosage. A functional medicine thyroid panel involves looking at many other labs such as Free and Total T3 (active thyroid hormone), Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies to rule out autoimmune thyroid problems. For a full list of thyroid labs and how to interpret them, read my previous article here.
The female hormone, estrogen, is produced in the ovaries. It is responsible for the growth of the female sex organs and mammary glands. It is also responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle, and plays a role in sex drive. As women age, the amount of estrogen produced decreases. Hormone production can also fluctuate throughout life, causing mood swings, decreased libido and infertility. Many women look first to natural remedies to help restore hormone balance. However, always consult your physician or health care provider before trying herbs or other alternative therapies, especially if you are currently taking prescription hormone replacements.
But what about natural testosterone, made by our own bodies? Well, we know that one hormone doesn’t exist in isolation in the body. For example, in a study of breast cancer risk and natural hormone levels in postmenopausal women (J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(16):1218-26) risk increased as body mass index increased. However, even though testosterone levels were higher in the obese women, their estrogen levels were higher still. Fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogens, using an enzyme called aromatase, so obese postmenopausal women tend to have higher estrogen levels than lean women. The study found that it was the higher estrogen levels that accounted for the increased breast cancer risk while the higher testosterone levels had a negligible impact on risk. Another study of natural hormone levels and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women (Br J Cancer 1997; 76(3):401-5) also found that estradiol levels were more strongly associated with breast cancer risk than testosterone. The same investigators had similar results when they studied premenopausal women, in whom high estradiol (the most potent of the estrogens) and low progesterone levels were more often seen than high testosterone levels in women who developed breast cancer. In addition, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), who tend to have higher than normal testosterone levels, do not have a higher rate of breast cancer than women without PCOS. So the testosterone circulating naturally in our bodies certainly does not seem to be the prime culprit in breast cancer risk.
Breast cancer is a major concern for women of all ages. As we have discussed, excess estrogens may act as initiators of cancer or as promoters of cancer cell growth. There are concerns too about a surplus of estrogen metabolites such as estrone sulphate, the stored form of estrogen in the body, contributing to the overall estrogen burden and the growth of breast tumors. However, not all hormones are equivalent when it comes to breast cancer risk. Estriol, the weakest estrogen may have a protective effect against breast cancer. If we follow natural physiology, and the growing number of studies attesting to its protective benefits, bioidentical vs. synthetic progestin may also help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer via its balancing effects on estrogen.
Hi I have been taking oral prog and T cream now for 9 months and I still have anxiety, sleep issues , sweating at night. I had a partial hyste and last March was thoroughly tested and told my Prog was low and T which was causing all my symptoms. I had been basically non functional before that with depression and anxiety. The thing is I am not like I was but still struggling and don’t feel myself. They have adjusted my hormones down and now back up several times and it’s not helping. I still have the symptoms just not the horrible dep. I also have some issues with my hands going numb at tines and tingling and weird body sensations like burning skin feeling almost and chest pressure. Could this be bc I do have adrenal fatigue or maybe I just on to much of the hormones?.if it is adrenal like to hi cortisol how can that be fixed ? Would that have caused my awful depression and anxiety in first place and that maybe all.i needed was to address that ? Or maybe do I need both hormones and that to be fixed. HELP I am so confused i don’t know what to think
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Estrogen plays a huge role in ensuring healthy cell growth in every part of the body. When estrogen levels begin to decline during menopause, cell renewal slows and women start to feel old and uncomfortable. By seeking female hormone imbalance treatment in Springville UT, you can reverse this process and enjoy many important health benefits, such as:
My daughter had been on the birth control pills since she was 16 (8 years now) because of cysts in her ovaries. She has had lots of UTIs, about 2 a year since then. 2017 she had 4. The urologist looked closer into it and discovered that they all haven’t been UTIs after all. Most of the cultures came back from the lab as negative. He now saying she has interstitial cystitis. We have notice that most of her bladder flare ups are right before her period. She is in such pain during that time. And I started researching and it seems to me she might have a hormonal imbalance due to the birth control pills. I’m wondering if she gets off the pill if all her problems would go away or would getting off the pill make it worse? I’m thinking the pills has cause her problem? Tell me what you think?
Now such hormones are produced by pharmaceutical companies. However, they only offer standard doses, not customized formulations, and may include the specific (patented) additive of a binder, filler, preservative, dye or adhesive. (Examples include Vivelle, Prometrium, Climara). The bioidentical hormones from pharmaceutical companies come in limited doses and delivery methods.
Insulin resistance is linked with many health problems, Type II diabetes, being the most commonly known, but it also leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. Insulin is a growth factor and as we eat more and more carbohydrates and sweets, it rises, and as it does it increases IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) which stimulates cancer cells. A 2004 study out of Vanderbilt University suggests that insulin resistance and increased IGF-1 synergistically increase the risk for breast cancer. The study found that women with abnormal levels of both had a three-fold rise in the incidence of breast cancer. Two years earlier, Dr. Pamela Goodwin of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto found that women with early stage breast cancer, who were also insulin resistant (as defined by a high fasting insulin level) had a higher rate of cancer spreading to other organs (metastases), and death, compared to those whose insulin levels were normal. Type 2 diabetes, which is essentially advanced insulin resistance, leads to breast cancer—the long-running Nurses Health Study of over 100,000 nurses bears this out. Although some studies have questioned these findings, a combined analysis of 21 studies published in 2004, backs up the trend.