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Women's health is complex
Let's start with the most common issue in women's health. Androgen. This hormone can help growth and reproduction in all sexes. But in females, they are slowly reduced with age. Furthermore, by the age of 40, levels stay at 50% of what they are at age 20.
Some think that androgen deficiency can cause medical concerns. As a result, these can cause effects in the short- and long-term. While others believe that the evidence of androgen deficiency effects is still scarce, even so, the problem seems to be growing amongst women and should be addressed.
What kind of hormones are androgens?
They are typically male hormones, but females also naturally make smalls amount as well. This is usually 1/10th to 1/12th of that produced by men. Moreover, androgens are produced by ovaries, adrenal glands, fatty tissue, and skin. The ovaries change testosterone into estrogen for women's health needs. While they are seen in much higher levels in men, they're just as important in women as well.
What are the symptoms of androgen deficiency?
Most of the symptoms of ADS are similar for males and females. According to Medscape, these include:
- Reduced muscle mass and body strength
- Reduced libido
- Loss of motivation
- Poor well-being
- Poor mood
What are the causes of fewer hormones in women?
- Age. Reduced testosterone production naturally happens in all women with age. This usually starts after the late teenage years
- Oophorectomy. The surgical, chemical or radioactive removal of the ovaries reduces androgen production.
- Estrogen therapy. Combined oral contraceptive medicines stop androgen production in women. Also, any type of oral boosts the level of testosterone-binding protein. This makes the hormones less available for action.
- Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. Lack of menstrual periods can happen because of stress, weight loss or exercise. This can be problematic for women during the reproductive period. It reduces the ovarian production of androgens.
- Hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin is one of the female hormones. It causes milk production in females. Excess prolactin counteracts androgen activity.
- Premature ovarian failure.
- Primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency.
How can you tell if you have fewer hormones?
If you think you may have a hormone deficiency, contact your therapist or family doctor. The symptoms of androgen deficiency syndrome are similar to other conditions, like:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Autoimmune disorders
Firstly, your doctor will have to rule out other disorders before diagnosing ADS. However, there is no single test for androgen deficiency syndrome. In fact, some blood and saliva tests for androgen levels aren't accurate enough. As a result, they can't measure the already low levels present in women.
Nowadays, there are certain testosterone tests that can be used. All in all, androgens are hard to measure for various reasons. For one thing, the blood levels do not accurately represent the androgen levels in cells. Lastly, to make matters worse, a woman’s blood test depends on time. This is because hormone levels change due to different cycles.
Generally, if you get your androgens levels checked, blood has to be taken at the start of the day. This is when your hormone levels are at their highest. So, if you are of reproductive age, you should have the test done 8-20 days after your period.
What is the treatment?
Generally, there is no one specific treatment for ADS, same as there's no magical test. So, if you're diagnosed with ADS, it's going to take supportive therapies to feel happy and healthy:
Most professionals that know about ADS advise treatment using low-dose testosterone cream. All in all, it involves 1% use for the daily application. The goal of testosterone treatment is to revive hormones to levels higher than the normal. This is for the woman of early reproductive age.
However, one problem with testosterone therapy is that it relies on regular testosterone products. Thus, these are mostly designed for males with ADS. For women, the androgen levels in the products would be too high. In fact, doctors usually advise postmenopausal females to not get testosterone therapy. But, if these women are getting progesterone therapy, then the therapy won't hurt.
Since hormones can have side effects for both genders, it's important to rely on natural methods for women's health. Naturopathy offers an alternative to medical and surgical treatment. You can opt for natural supplements, diets, as well as exercises. Consequently, these can help elevate or decrease your hormone levels according to your needs. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of androgen deficiency. Eating diets with higher protein levels can help boost up hormone production.
Androgens respond better to emotional stability. So, getting rid of stress through exercise, acupuncture or aromatherapy can greatly help. Your doctor may let you know about abnormalities in your blood tests and levels.
After checking your tests, a professional naturopathic doctor can recommend the right supplements. This way you can elevate your hormone levels to the proper degree. It's safe to say the alternative naturopathic route is a good idea for women's health.
Where to find a good women's health clinic?
Great healthcare is based on partnership and collaboration. A good clinic offer high-quality health services to meet the clients needs, in a calm and friendly environment. If you are living in Burlington, Ontario or the surrounding area. Check out Pillars of Wellness. A multidisciplinary clinic offering different services including naturopathy.
What are the risks to women's health?
- Health habits
- Substance use and abuse
- Sexual practices
- Thyroid disorders
What health services are available for women?
- Stress Detox
- Nutrition Programs
- Cleanse & Detox
You don't have to live with the pain, discomfort or other disorders
Many great clinic and wellness center can help you get better. Prevention and education are very important. Be prepared and do not hesitate to speak with a health practitioner to get all the information you need to remain healthy, active, and free!