ARE MY HORMONES IN BALANCE?
When it comes to our health, there are few things more important than hormonal balance over the course of the majority of our lives. Male or female, whether you are 15 or 55, your hormone balance matters. There are many reasons why your hormone balance shifts throughout your lifetime. Puberty, stress, life change, physical activity level, weight gain/loss, aging, menopause/andropause, etc. Needless to say, achieving hormone balance is a lifelong pursuit but it is one that is very worthwhile because it will impact not only your health but your quality of life. One hormone that many doctors and patients are paying more attention to is testosterone – for men and women.
SYMPTOMS OF TESTOSTERONE IMBALANCE IN MEN & WOMEN
Testosterone is traditionally a hormone that we think of as a ‘male hormone.’ But, the reality is, both men and women need a healthy balance of testosterone for optimal health and wellness. Normal hormone ranges can be wide – normal male testosterone range is (generally considered to be) between 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) – 800 ng/dL while the normal range for females is 15-70 ng/dL. While both men and women can have a testosterone imbalance, and may even experience some similar symptoms, the symptoms do vary.
• Reduced sexual desire
• Increased body fat (often in the abdomen)
• Lethargy or fatigue
• Increased breast tissue
• Reduced muscle mass
• Difficulty achieving/maintaining erection
• Hair loss
• Low semen volume
• Decreased bone mass
• Reduced sexual desire
• Decreased fertility
• Irregular menstruation
• Excess body hair
• Enlarged clitoris
• Muscle weakness
• Poor sleep
TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT OF TESTOSTERONE IMBALANCE IN MEN & WOMEN
Some form of testosterone replacement therapy or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy may be needed to restore balance to your hormone levels – whether too high or too low. There are various forms of testosterone replacement therapy and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. The ideal treatment for you will depend on your age, gender, lab results, health conditions, lifestyle, and ultimately – the recommendation of your physician. It is always important to consult your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine, even including natural supplements.
There are many powerful treatment options that can restore hormone balance and improve your health and quality of life. But – they require the supervision of a trained physician because there are many things that must be monitored. When you want to achieve holistic health and wellness, the ideal solution is to work with your naturopath to look at your hormones, as well as your entire health. In addition to prescription treatment options, there are many herbal and natural ways to address hormonal imbalance in men and women. In doing this, your naturopath will be able to not just treat symptoms but address the root cause of the imbalance with the goal of achieving whole-body wellness.