Testosterone is mostly associated as the male hormone, but did you know a woman’s health can also be affected by decreased testosterone levels (or low T)? Often just dismissed as symptoms of getting older, these low hormone levels can affect everything from how much energy you have to the vitality of your sex drive. A healthy woman produces up to 300 micrograms of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands every day. When those levels drop, it can create issues that added up, can reduce your quality of life.
Here are the most common signs of Low T in women:
· Insomnia, sleep apnea and disrupted sleep patterns can be caused by low T and can eventually lead to heart problems.
· Weight gain is a common effect in women with low testosterone. Loss of muscle tissue can be followed by an increase in body fat, particularly around the area of the abdomen. Lower testosterone levels are a leading cause of midlife weight gain in women.
· A decreased libido and vaginal dryness happens because testosterone plays an extremely important role in sexual arousal. Women who are suffering from low T usually have a decreased interest in sex.
· Depression, mood swings, and other emotional symptoms can be caused by decreased testosterone levels. This happens because testosterone plays an important role in mood stabilization and mental focus. This is often misdiagnosed and treated with antidepressants, but hormone therapy yields similar results with less side effects.
· Osteoporosis is another common result of lowered testosterone in women, as this develops gradually over time. The correct balance of testosterone supports the growth and strength of healthy bones, while too much or too little can harm bones. Testosterone replacement after menopause can help women maintain healthy bones.
· Irregular periods are a sign that the low T is a problem and may lead to pre-menopause.
· Anxiety, depression and panic attacks can occur because testosterone plays an important role in neuropsychiatric regulation, and hormonal fluctuations can cause changes in brain chemistry that trigger symptoms.
· Hair loss is the most visual symptom of low testosterone since the hormone is necessary for healthy hair production and maintenance.
· Anorgasmia is the inability to have orgasms, and is a common symptom for women with low testosterone levels.
Here are some natural ways to combat Low T levels:
1. Intermittent Fasting – basically eating 3 meals per day: one at noon, one at 3 p.m. and your last meal around 6 p.m. allows your organs to rest, especially your liver, which naturally balances testosterone and other hormone levels.
2. Reduce your carbohydrate intake and add more healthy fats into your diet. Healthy saturated fat is found in coconut oil and raw, fermented dairy products like goat and sheep milk and kefir. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Monounsaturated fats like avocados, olive oil and almonds can naturally boost your testosterone levels.
3. Do a liver cleanse. When the liver does not function optimally, it affects your testosterone output.
4. Stress releases high cortisol levels, and testosterone responds by elevating and then dropping drastically. Find ways to reduce stress to keep testosterone levels up.
5. Vitamin D can help boost testosterone levels. If your vitamin D levels aren’t right, your testosterone levels will stay low, despite what other measures you take.
6. Sugar has been linked to depleting T-levels, and type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low T-levels.
7. Obesity and lack of sleep affect testosterone levels. Working on reducing that gut and getting a good night’s sleep is important in fighting low T.
Some women can benefit from hormone replacement therapy. If you’re diagnosed with low testosterone levels, discuss with your doctor the potential benefits of this type of treatment.