Testosterone issues are associated with males, but with up to 20% of the female population struggling with hormonal issues like PCOS, it is time to address how T-levels affect the health of women.
Reading the following article to expand your mind on how this element works in the body, how it reacts to the environment, and what you can do with drugs and lifestyle changes to drive positive changes.
Do Women Have Testosterone?
We all know stories of steroid use and boosting T-levels in men, but do women have testosterone? Yes, although the female body produces the hormone at a much lower rate, women do have testosterone. In fact, women need the hormone to carry out vital bodily functions.
Normal Testosterone in Women
The hormone is measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). You don’t have to concern yourself with what that means other than you can compare your results from a doctor’s blood test with what is the normal range. Average levels range from 15 to 75 ng/dl for females.
High Testosterone in Women
Anything above the 75 ng/dl level is considered high testosterone in women. Too much can cause the following symptoms:
- Deepening of the voice
- Overgrowth of body hair, meaning you sprout more than you used to have or it pops up in places it wasn’t before. Darker and coarser hair could also be one sign.
- Larger than average clitoris
- Mood swings
- Low libido
- Irregular periods
- Unexplained muscle growth
- Shrinking breasts (not due to weight loss)
- Hair thinning
If left untreated or in extreme cases, excessive testosterone can lead to infertility, weight gain, and obesity.
High Testosterone Causes
Overproduction of testosterone isn’t a condition that occurs typically on its own, but rather it is a symptom of other underlying conditions. Disease causes of high testosterone include:
PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a disorder of hormones. The condition is quite common with estimates being around 8-20% of women globally are living with the condition. Signs cover hair overgrowth, odd menstrual cycles, and enlarged ovaries. Women with PCOS often struggle with their fertility.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). Testosterone is produced partly by the adrenal glands. CAH is a blanket term conditions that cause dysfunctional adrenal glands. Since the adrenals produce a variety of hormones in addition to testosterone, it can lead to an imbalance of T-levels compared to other hormones like cortisol and aldosterone.
Hirsutism. Hirsutism is a genetic disorder that drives excessive hair growth on the neck, face, back, and chest. Socially, the overgrowth of hair can be embarrassing for women.
How to Lower Testosterone in Women
There are a few routes to take for how to lower testosterone in women.
The first is with medication. You can utilize pharmaceuticals to both lower T-levels and also alleviate some of the side-effects of high testosterone. Common prescriptions are:
- Oral Contraceptives. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends birth control with norgestimate, gestodene, and desogestrel specifically for balancing T-levels.
- Glucocorticosteroids. These hormones are fantastic anti-inflammatory elements in the body. Supplementing them into your treatment program has been shown to help suppress testosterone.
- Metformin. Metformin was originally developed to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, but new research has shown it can help to reduce testosterone in females, particularly in adolescent girls with PCOS.
- Spironolactone. Spironolactone is a diuretic (street name: water pill), but also treats high T-levels and PCOS.
Reduce Testosterone for Women Weight Loss
The most visible, and perhaps most detrimental, side effect of too much testosterone is weight gain. Women are particularly sensitive about their weight and when you struggle to control it due to a hormonal imbalance, it can be severely depressing.
A main goal of treatment should be to reduce testosterone for women weight loss to keep them healthy in a holistic way. Shedding pounds can prevent obesity and related diseases like diabetes.
Remedies to Balance Hormones Naturally
If you prefer to avoid drugs, there are remedies to balance hormones naturally. Exercising is a great way to combat weight gain and smooth out hormone levels in the body, for example. Changes in diet can improve the situation as well. Try these testosterone lowering foods:
- Licorice Root
- Nuts (especially walnuts)
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