Women, don’t think you are exempt from having testosterone issues! Did you know that testosterone is an essential hormone for you too, and that your body produces testosterone in your ovaries and adrenal glands?
In your body, testosterone performs all the same functions that it does in a man’s – except for sperm production. A woman’s testosterone level can affect her mood, her energy level and her sex drive. In addition, testosterone is important for strong muscles and bones.
If you are lacking in testosterone, you could feel depressed, uninterested in sex, and be at greater risk for bone fractures. However, women don’t need very much testosterone. If you get too much, or try to supplement with testosterone replacement therapy, the side effects could be very unpleasant, including: male pattern baldness, more facial hair, a deeper voice, and disruptions in your menstrual cycle. That’s why this is another area where it’s important not to self-diagnose or self-treat.
It’s important to know that women can get off-balance easily with too much testosterone. Why? Because if their male spouse or partner is on testosterone replacement therapy, it could affect the woman too! How? Many men use a gel or cream containing testosterone that they rub into their abdomen. If you, as a woman, some in contact with his skin (hands, abdomen, or wherever the gel was applied), you can also absorb the testosterone. So men, if you are using any sort of topical testosterone treatment, wash your hands and cover that area so that it doesn’t come in contact with your spouse or girlfriend.
At Olive Branch Wellness Center, we can assess your entire hormone profile – whether you are a man or a woman. If you are a woman, we can see what might be blocking your production or off-setting your balance of testosterone and other necessary hormones. Usually we can make a few small adjustments to your diet, lifestyle or use nutritional supplements to bring you back into balance.
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This Month's Mineral-Mini: Magnesium
Magnesium is a supplement I frequently prescribe for my patients because it’s one mineral many, if not most, of us are deficient in. Magnesium plays a role in over 300 functions in the body. It’s key to providing energy, helping the body build and use proteins, bone health, muscle function, digestive health, mood stability, neurological function, as well as being one of the key minerals the body needs to help get rid of toxins.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms include: muscle weakness and cramps, depression, irregular heartbeat, mood and mental disorders, high blood pressure and many, many more.
To get more magnesium in your diet, include: avocados, nuts, legumes, salmon and leafy greens. Dark chocolate is also a good source for magnesium, but watch out for the sugar! (Yes, chocolate cravings could mean you are low on magnesium.)
It’s good to take your magnesium supplements right before bed, since they have a muscle relaxing effect. The magnesium is also used overnight by your body to help clean out toxins from the day. Not all magnesium supplements are equal, however. At Olive Branch Wellness Center we provide or can point you to the correct types of magnesium that can be best assimilated by your body.