When you hear the word “Testosterone” do you think of men?
With all the articles and advertisements on TV, magazines and the internet for products geared to increase testosterone for men, women are also at risk for low testosterone. Women also produce testosterone, but only one-tenth the level of men. So, you’re probably wondering:
WHAT DOES TESTOSTERONE DO FOR WOMEN?
For women, both estrogen and testosterone are produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, and released into the bloodstream. Just like men, the functions of testosterone for women are many, such as
*Maintaining sex drive and sexual pleasure
*Keeping bones healthy and strong
*Muscle mass and strength
*Preserving mental health
*Strong pain response
*Feeling of well-being and good energy level
THINGS THAT CAUSE LOW TESTOSTERONE
*Low levels of Vitamin D
*Prescription drugs (especially statins)
*Unhealthy micro flora
WOMEN WHO ARE MOST AT RISK FOR LOW TESTOSTERONE
Department of Health and Human Services in Australia say that by the time a woman reaches the age of 40, the level of her testosterone, also known as androgens, decrease by half.
Because women produce testosterone from their ovaries, they are at the greatest risk for developing low testosterone during their pre- and post-menopausal years. This can cause a drop in libido.
The ovaries and adrenal glands continue to make testosterone, even after estrogen production stops, just not as much. A woman who is highly stressed can begin losing testosterone, which can also put her into early menopause.
Women who have a hysterectomy are also at risk for low testosterone.
Many things can be done to help keep testosterone levels healthy for both men and women such as:
*Heavy weight training and sprints
*Eat Healthy natural fats, like avocado and coconut oil
*Eat nuts, especially almonds
*Add zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C to your diet
*Cleanse the liver
*Reduce stress in your life
*Lower your body fat
*Eat less sugar
*Drink less alcohol*Get plenty of sleep
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENTS FOR LOW TESTOSTERONE
Most often low testosterone symptoms in women are misdiagnosed or under diagnosed and mistaken for depression and stress, especially if she’s not close to the average age of menopause. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, normal levels of testosterone are between 15 to 70 ng/dL.
There are hormonal blood tests that a doctor can prescribe that will determine if a woman has low testosterone. If that’s the case, doctors will often prescribe synthetic hormone pills, gels or patches. The side effects of traditional hormones can cause:
Because women’s hormones fluctuate daily, it’s often difficult for a doctor to detect low testosterone levels. More researchers are finding the connections between the production of testosterone and distressed libido. There’s also some doctors propose that there are genetic factors that determines how much testosterone a woman maintains or loses.
Since DHEA and DHEA-S are the main compounds for testosterone, women who are deficient in the enzymes that produce DHEA and DHEA-S will most likely experience low testosterone.
Other potential factors that lead to low testosterone in women are:
*Poor adrenal function
*Removal of ovaries
If you are experiencing low testosterone levels, your doctor may prescribe a synthetic medication, gel, patches or injections. Another alternative your doctor may suggest is taking an over the counter supplement DHEA.
With proper nutrition, exercise and weight management, and medical care, you can help increase your testosterone and help keep your physical health, mental health, and sex drive alive.
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