Why Women Need Testosterone Too

Posted on May 16, 2018. Filed under: Aging, Exercise, Healing, Health, Hormone, Testosterone | Tags: , , , , , |

Monica side with weights

Monica Steiner

By Dr. Greg Steiner

Most people have been under the impression that testosterone is for males only.  Not so!  This hormone is found in both sexes but in smaller concentrations in females.  Testosterone not only helps with keeping muscle mass (no more saggy arm skin) but it can help substantially with energy and overall well-being.  There are many things which affect testosterone levels with increasing age as a main factor.  Most recently, we’re seeing lowered levels appearing in younger ages and in both men & women so often it’s almost an epidemic.

Symptoms of low testosterone in women include:
Weight gain
Hair loss or thinning
Depressive mood
Irritability
Low libido/sex drive
Decreased energy & fatigue
Inability to build or maintain muscle mass

How Do I Know If My Testosterone is Low?
Questions to ask include, “Are you in your 40’s or 50’s? Have you had menopause? “or “Have you noticed a difference in your mood or how you feel?”  Because we have many different hormones, the issue at task is discovering just which ones are actually causing the problem.  Menopause symptoms as well as hypothyroid and low testosterone symptoms can be very similar and often overlap.  The best thing to start off with is a blood test to determine what may be off.  But don’t just go on labs alone because what some labs may consider to be a “normal” range may not be the optimal best range.  For example, if a patient has a testosterone level of 22 which one lab says falls within their “normal” range of 15-75.  This falls within the low range of normal but the patient could dramatically benefit from testosterone supplementation.  (There have been marked improvements in symptoms from shooting towards the upper 50% of “normal range”).

How to Naturally Increase Testosterone
Hormone replacement has been come well known in recent years but there are some things one can do to help increase those levels through nutrition, exercise and stress management.  Vitamin and herbal supplementation suggestions include plenty of omega oils, maca root, nettle root extract, and dim- (a broccoli extract which helps stop testosterone from being converted into estrogen) are good choices.  Because of deprived soils producing inferior foods with lowered nutrition on the market, a case for supplementation can be made.  A diet with lowered starches and carbohydrates and increased vegetables, good fats and proteins help as well.  Exercise is good for everyone but type of exercise can influence testosterone levels.  Those who are endurance athletes (runners, cyclists) whose bodies tend to be lighter and leaner  tend to have slightly lower levels than power athletes (weightlifters) or those who engage in strength building because growing muscle mass builds testosterone.  For stress management, having good, deep, and restorative sleep will make a huge difference.  Testosterone is produced when the body reaches a restorative state.  For example, with 5 stages of sleep, you’ll need to reach stage 3 or 4 at least in order to start that process.  Proper, uninterrupted sleep (where you dream) is necessary for recovery and sufficient testosterone production.

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How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Hormone, Testosterone, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Greg & Monica bodybuilding

Dr. Greg & wife, Monica

~by Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic

Over the years, testosterone levels have diminished a great deal in men and women both.  Average numbers for young men used to range in the 800’s. In the 1940’s,  an average, 40-45 year old male’s numbers had decreased down to the 700’s and by early 2000’s,  it had dipped into the 500’s. In my clinic today, we are seeing numbers for the majority of males in the 100’s-300’s.  Clearly there is a generalized decrease.  So why is it?

Years ago, in past generations, work would be done by 5:30pm, the male would come home and eat, and usually would rest and just relax after a hard day of work. This included sleeping in on the weekends and taking it easy.  Food was less processed.  Fast forward to today and it’s usually go-go-go 24/7 for both men and women.  There are no breaks, there’s high stress levels and poor quality nutrition. Many people suffer from the following…

Symptoms of low testosterone include:
Fatigue
Depression
Irritability & mood swings
Inability to build and maintain muscle mass
Weight gain
Hair loss
Breast enlargement (in men)
Hot flashes and night sweats
Low sex drive
What does Testosterone do for us?

Having optimal levels of testosterone can help you:
Lose weight
Build muscle mass
Boost your sex drive
Increase bone density
Improve memory and cognitive function
Decrease hot flashes & night sweats

Fortunately, there are ways to naturally increase those testosterone levels…

1. Take Control of Your Stress. Several hormones work against testosterone, one being cortisol. If you’re under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone so your body will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone.

2. Get Enough Rest.  If a person has unrelenting stress and cannot sleep, then it’s hard for the body to shut down externally to turn on internally to produce testosterone.  A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body and rest is needed to restore them.  Make sleep a priority, aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

3. Get to a Healthy Weight.   Overweight or obese men often have low testosterone levels.  Losing the extra weight can help bring testosterone back up.  For underweight men, getting weight up to a healthy level can also have a positive effect on the hormone. Studies are now showing that the more fat you carry, the lower your testosterone levels will be.

4. Reduce Sugar. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.  Eat foods that increase testosterone production. These include:
Tomatoes
Red peppers
Cruciferous vegetables
Alfalfa sprouts
Apples and pineapples.
Olives & olive oil
Coconut oil
Grass fed butter
Raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
Eggs
Avocados
Grass fed meats

5. Increase Omega Oils.  Most people lack a sufficient quantity of Omega oils which are the backbones of hormones.  Whether it is from a supplement or increased intake of food sources like fish, walnuts, chia, flax or hemp seeds, a person needs good fats to make a good hormone.

6. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake.  Immediately following any high-carbohydrate meal there is a temporary drop in testosterone levels. If you are eating 3-4+ carb dominant meals per day, this will lead to lower testosterone levels overall. Try to limit your consumption of starchy or simple carbohydrates to the 2-3 hour window after your training session for the day. This will ensure that your body is adept at handling the insulin spike a little better, and will also limit your consumption of carbs.  Try starting your day with a high protein/medium fat/low carbohydrate meal like eggs or turkey bacon, along with some green vegetables and avocado/nuts. Most people who switch from a high carb breakfast, to a high protein/moderate fat breakfast report increases in energy, satiety (feeling full), and almost always end up leaner from that one change.

7. Change up your Exercise.  Testosterone adapts to your body’s needs. If you spend most of your time lying on the couch, your brain gets the message that you don’t need as much to bolster your muscles and bones.  When you’re physically active, your brain sends out the signal for more of the hormone but know that longer workouts are not necessarily better. Exercise type and duration can influence your testosterone levels.  If you regularly engage in long, drawn-out workouts with lengthy rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, then your testosterone levels may actually see a reduction.  Workouts lasting longer than about an hour may begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone. Additionally, research has shown that a quicker rest period between sets (1 minute vs 3 minutes) triggered higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training. So, keep your rest periods short and engage in vigorous exercise like weight training incorporating big compound lifts like squats, dead lifts, bench presses and lunges or running hills in order for you to maximize your testosterone response.  Workouts should be between 15-45 minutes up to an hour but no longer, even with rest breaks included. While cardio is important and  it’s good for the circulation, it’s not the most effective way to produce testosterone.  You want to focus more toward the amount of exertion, not just how long you can keep endurance up.

Adding in supplements like zinc, vitamin d, and b-complex have also shown to help testosterone.  Even body building experts (like my wife) believe that eating at certain times during the day and frequent meals with controlled portions also help.  I recommend get your blood levels tested first to find out where you fall on the scale and devising a plan from there.

 

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