Women need a healthy level of testosterone, the primary male hormone in the category of hormones known as androgens. To make estrogen, a woman must first make Testosterone. To have proper hormone balance we need to have sufficient levels of the various important hormones. To be healthy we need to keep the secretion and intake of hormones (even those we encounter via foods, plastic bottles and pesticides) in check by being able to properly metabolize and excrete the byproducts of hormone metabolism. It’s a complicated female paradox that we are just beginning to be able to adaquately monitor and modify for our patients.
We get imbalances in testosterone in the same way we get other hormonal imbalances, it’s due to a variety of reasons.
The adrenal gland makes male hormones too. So adrenal fatigue is in essence a lower number of male hormones.
Common reasons for changing male hormone levels have to do with fructose consumption, exercise, insulin resistance, steroid use, excessive body fat, and stress
By age 35 your testosterone levels decrease. As important as these androgen hormones are their levels in the female body peak between 18 and 24 and by age 35 the levels begin to drop in fairly quickly, years before natural menopause after the age of 40 (average age 51).
All androgens can have similar effects in the body and should be balanced. We have just begun to realize that some compounds, once thought of as lesser androgens, like androstendione actually can bind to the same places in a cell as testosterone with equal potency. DHEA, (Dihydroepiandosterone) an androgen from the adrenal gland is one of these potent androgens we need for sustaining health, muscle mass, and sexual function.
Too much binding protein will lower needed testosterone. We know that the levels of androgens that are circulating in the blood stream are affected by the binding proteins that make the hormone inactive when bound to these proteins.Lower levels of androgens, accompanied by lower levels of the binding protein can have an effective androgen level that is actually fairly stable.
We advocate consultation and balance, as excess male hormones can produce risk for cardiovascular disease.