Have you ever noticed that men lose more weight than women–and lose it faster? Did you know that men are less likely to suffer from sleep problems, osteoporosis, and depression than women? Have you wondered why middle-aged men still want sex although we lose the intensity of our desire for it—or why men seem to age more slowly and gracefully than we do?
Testosterone, often called “the male hormone,” gives men the edge in these areas—and it may also be a reason why men are at much lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease than females. Could testosterone be your missing link to looking, feeling, and functioning better? In The Hormone Secret, I say the answer is yes. So do my patients.
More than 90% of women over age 45 suffer from low testosterone. Research shows levels of testosterone drop 50% between the ages of 20 and 40. Other key hormones drop drastically as well. This loss, which continues as you age, takes a huge toll in stamina, appearance, mental acuity, general health, and zest for life. Yet testosterone can be a life changer in these areas—without a prescription. I see the results every day at my clinic. My protocols also help with weight loss and looking and feeling young even when you have balanced your testosterone levels.
Safe and Effective Testosterone Replacement
Some women may need more help than others, and I treat them with bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormones mimic the body’s own hormones and are available through compounding pharmacies. However, I don’t suggest women pump their bodies full of testosterone. Low dosage is the key. I prescribe 1-5 mg. when necessary, providing only as much testosterone as is appropriate for a patient’s age. A small amount vastly increases quality of life.
Many women feel afraid of testosterone, having read and heard about disturbing side effects of supplementation. But these effects were associated with high doses of testosterone–the same dosage prescribed for men with testosterone deficiency. And too much testosterone can cause growth of facial hair, acne, short temper, and other problems. Today we know that women need only a fraction of accepted dosages for men, which are up to 200 times higher than what I prescribe. A report in the May 2012 issue of Menopausal Medicine, a journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, emphasizes that only dosages appropriate for women should be used when testosterone is prescribed for female patients.
It is important to have enough testosterone. I start with 1 or 2 mg. and slowly raise the dose, providing only as much testosterone as has been lost. At my clinic, I find side effects in women receiving these low doses are extremely rare. In the small percentage of women who do experience problems, those effects disappear as soon as testosterone is stopped—and they do not return.
There is a lot of discussion in the medical community about the loss of estrogen and what to do about it—synthetic estrogen, such as premarin, vs. bioidentical estrogen. Estrogen loss causes hot flashes and night sweats, and women have been very motivated to restore this hormone if and when they experience these symptoms. But few people understand the problems associated with the loss of testosterone in women. Testosterone plays a small but extremely vital part in living a healthy and happy life.
Is Testosterone Loss a Problem for You
You may be surprised. The majority of women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond have low testosterone.
• Have you had trouble losing weight since turning 40? Or are you the same weight, but flabbier?
• Do you sometimes feel your brain is foggy?
• Does your doctor say you have osteoporosis or osteopenia?
• Do you feel fatigued most of the time?
• Do you feel less sexy than you used to?
• Do you have mood swings?
• Has your hair become thinner and drier?
• Do your cheeks sag and your eyelids droop?
• Are your lips thinner?
These are signs of testosterone deficiency. If you’re over 40, you’re probably experiencing some of them. After 50, it gets worse. Every day I see women who are suffering and feeling helpless. But you don’t have to accept these changes. I’ve helped thousands of patients look younger and feel energized with The Hormone Secret’s strategies.
The Big Testosterone Benefits Nobody Talks About
Your own body has a small quantity of testosterone, which plays an outsized role in your quality of life. You’ve probably seen ads in the media about “low T” in men—and maybe you’ve heard that testosterone helps women’s libido (sexual desire) as they age. Yet you probably don’t know about the rest of testosterone’s extraordinary benefits for women.
• Helps women slim down and shape up. Testosterone gives you the ability to make muscle and create a healthy muscle/fat ratio and a lean body, as Stephanie discovered. Muscle burns calories at rest—even while you watch TV, drive the car, or work on your laptop or iPad. Which is another reason why men lose more weight than women. They have more muscle than we do and burn more calories sitting on the couch.
• Improves women’s mood. Research shows testosterone elevates mood in depressed women as well as or better than anti-depressant medication.
• May prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. One in six women develops Alzheimer’s vs. 1 in 10 men. Could testosterone be the reason? We know studies link higher testosterone levels in men with better mental function. Low levels of testosterone in older men may predict cognitive decline. In addition, a 2011 study by The Endocrine Society suggests testosterone may protect women against dementia.
• Helps women’s hearts. Low levels of testosterone in postmenopausal women are linked with greater risk of cardiac disease. Studies suggest that testosterone therapy after a heart attack may help remodel cardiac tissue due to the abundant number of testosterone receptors in the heart.
• Increases women’s energy. Optimal testosterone levels are associated with increased energy in men and women.
• Lifts women’s sex life. Testosterone improves sex drive and sexual response in many women and can increase sexual thoughts, fantasies, activity, and satisfaction.
• Builds bones and prevents (and is one of the best ways to treat) osteoporosis. Testosterone is so much safer than scary Fosamax, too.
• Improves skin tone and texture. Women who boost their testosterone notice the difference in firmer, more elastic, less crepe-y skin. They also find thinning hair becomes thicker.
Although many studies confirm testosterone’s benefits for men, little research is available on its advantages for women except in the area of libido (sexual desire) and some great research on successful treatment of depressed women with testosterone. Many researchers are looking at estrogen, progesterone, and Vitamin D, but testosterone is often overlooked. Yet testosterone does so much more for women than helping libido.
Give Me 30 Days to Change Your Life
Can you spare a month to lose 8-10 pounds without dieting, be smarter and sharper, look younger, sleep better, and be happier and healthier? I’ll show you how with The Hormone Secret 30-Day Plan.
You don’t have to resign yourself to decline as the years roll by. We age because we lose our hormones, not the other way around. I know because I’ve treated so many cases of hormone deficiency successfully. I speak regularly at medical conferences to educate other physicians to my methods.
Yet The Hormone Secret isn’t about going to the doctor. I will help you naturally stimulate your body’s own production of testosterone—and utilize the testosterone you do have—at home.
In The Hormone Secret, you’ll learn to:
1. Evaluate your own testosterone levels and the state of other hormones. These self-assessments are the same ones I’ve used with thousands of my patients.
2. Heal your adrenal glands. These glands produce testosterone and many other hormones. Stress is killing us and prevents the adrenals from performing at their best.
3. Detoxify your liver. The liver activates testosterone and other hormones and converts them to safe, cancer-protective metabolites. Your liver also works overtime to filter all the pollution and pesticides you’re exposed to. A sluggish liver can’t do its job right. This detox, which is different from detoxification of the colon, includes an easy two-week cleanse that pulls out and disposes of toxins and heals and tonifies the liver.
4. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Nutrients are the raw ingredients for building our cells, detoxifying the liver, and healing the adrenals. But few of us eat enough fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins and minerals we need. Our food sources are also less nutrient-dense than 50 years ago, due to pollution, pesticides, and farming practices. Results of a landmark study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 show that a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts and olive oil can reduce risk of heart disease by 30%. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, even though most of us are more afraid of breast cancer. The diet also promotes hormone production. My nutrition recommendations closely resemble this diet.
5. Use herbs and vitamin/mineral supplements to boost testosterone and balance other hormones you need. These are available over-the-counter. For example, maca, the herb Stephanie used, removes the testosterone that is bound to carrier proteins and is virtually useless—and makes it available to do its important work as a “free” hormone. The herb ashwagandha boosts testosterone, too, and the B vitamins—B1, B6, and B12—help the adrenals.
6. Slash stress. Low-impact, stress reducing exercises include tai chi, sitting mindfully in silence and stillness (some call it meditation), and breathing exercises. Research also shows moderate exercise like walking increases testosterone production. It’s a myth that watching TV relaxes you. You actually have to do something in order to relax. You need to turn on the “relaxation response.” These exercises are ways to do that.? Incidentally, your body’s response to stress is to produce fat. One of the stresses in our lives is malnourishment. We are an overfed malnourished society.
Not Your Mother’s Testosterone
Most women don’t know they need testosterone. I am writing The Hormone Secret as a wake-up call to educate them. This book helps women achieve healthy hormone levels with the same strategies that work for my patients. My protocols are now being used to create an integrative hormone program at each of Dr. Daniel Amen’s clinics throughout the country.
Don’t wait till you’ve got hot flashes, you’re stressed and exhausted, your sex life’s in a ditch, and you can’t sleep or focus. Don’t accept weight gain and muscle loss, bone loss and memory problems. It’s much easier to make continuing small changes now. You can live a full, vibrant, active life and truly prevent conditions associated with aging—no matter how old you are now.