Hello Hormone Hotties! This month I am spilling the tea about testosterone. That's right, testosterone is not just for men. If you are just finding me for the first time, I'm Dr. LaKeischa, your Integrative Gynecologist, hormone specialist, speaker, and best-selling author. I help ambitious women, like you, who are struggling with depleting hormones; get their hormones balanced, regain mental sharpness, have energy all day, so you can remember just how beautiful and vital you are.
When I start a conversation about perimenopause and menopause most women seem to have heard about two of the big three hormones that become depleted in perimenopause and menopause. The two hormones I'm talking about are estrogen and progesterone. Some women can even give you a thesis about these two hormones. But when I mention the big T. I get awkward silence or blank stares. "Testosterone, isn't that just for men?" "Testosterone, I don't want to be given a steroid". Or my all-time favorite, "I'm not trying to look like a man." All of these are old ways of thinking so let's start spilling the tea about testosterone.
Here are three reasons why testosterone is not just for men.
1. It helps with mood, motivation, and focus
You walk into the room and there are those papers on the floor in the corner staring at you again. They are calling your name for you to organize them but you just don't have anything left in the tank to tackle that project today. You'll get to them tomorrow. Your mood is just not as bright as you use to be. You just don't feel yourself anymore. You feel like you are walking side-ways and even if you tried to explain it nobody would understand. And as for this memory of yours today it's not being able to remember that person's name. Tomorrow it's where did I put my keys, next week, it's those reports that you used to know like the back of your hand are now looking like Greek to you. And the last thing, you've been asked to volunteer on that committee but all you want to do day after day is crawl home and into bed and pull the covers over your head. What is going on?
What if I told you that was all a part of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TDS)? Yes, that is a thing. I first heard about it from Dr. Kathy Maupin, MD in her book The Secret Female Hormone. What is TDS? TDS is when you start having a decline in the amount of testosterone that your body used to make. This decline can start in your late thirties early forties. This is when you start feeling like you have no energy, you feel like snapping at everybody and you swear you have early-onset dementia.
You see testosterone plays a key role in your brain health. It helps certain neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and epinephrine work more efficiently. Ok, I know, I just sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher. Let me put it this way. In the brain, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine, help you focus. When you have the right amount of testosterone, your norepinephrine and epinephrine pathways work a lot better. So that foggy brain you are starting to experience could be a result of low testosterone.
We are also finding out that testosterone helps estrogen when it comes to helping the centers in the brain that help you have a better mood and affects motivation as well. So those papers in the corner that have been calling your name, guess what? You finally have the motivation to sort them and you don't feel grumpy about doing it!
2. It helps with weight gain
That body you woke up in and don't recognize. That muffin top you started seeing and don't understand where it came from. Well, testosterone deficiency could be the reason you are gaining weight and don't know why. Testosterone has been known to build lean muscle. And lean muscles have a higher resting metabolic rate. What does that mean? It helps your metabolism to burn fat. So what am I saying? I'm saying that when you have the appropriate amounts of testosterone on board you can exercise and really see the results.
3. It helps with that sexual healing...
I'm sure this is no breaking news headline but I had to say it. Testosterone helps with our desire for sex. Now I'm not saying that this is the magic key to all your sexual problems. What I am saying is that this is a major piece of the puzzle. I hear all the time, "I never had a problem with wanting to have sex. But now...I could take it or leave it. I'm pretty much, meh about it." Does this sound familiar? There are studies showing that testosterone helps with desire, fantasy, and arousal. Testosterone works with our main sex organ, you know, our brain as well as our pelvic region.
So as you can see testosterone helps with a myriad of areas that affect a woman's quality of life. Your body has been making it since you started puberty! And now that you are in this new stage of life your body isn't making it like it used to and this is throwing you into a tailspin. So what do you do now? Why don't you grab your FREE hormone quiz and start building your hormone blueprint?
I know I gave you a lot to take in and ponder this week. While you are taking it in and processing it all remember to give yourself and others a little bit of grace.