Hormones are special chemical messengers inside the body. Sex hormones, also known as androgens and estrogens, are essential as they regulate several health functions. As you age, the natural production of sex hormones in your body decreases. This reduction in hormone levels leads to the undesired symptoms associated with aging. Optimal sex hormone levels are associated with improved body weight and composition, mood/brain function, heart health, metabolism, sleep, skin and hair health, and bone health.
Three Major Hormones
The primary sex hormone in males. Testosterone is produced primarily from the testicles in men, and the ovaries in women, although in much smaller amounts.
Testosterone stimulates the development of secondary sex characteristics such as muscle growth and body hair and contributes to bone and reproductive health. Testosterone production increases during puberty and begins to dip after age 30.
Testosterone is associated with sex drive and, in men, sperm production. Mood, energy, bone and muscle mass, and even the way fat is stored in the body are affected by testosterone levels.
One of the primary sex hormones in women. Estrogen is produced mainly from the ovaries. However, fat tissue and the adrenal glands produce small amounts as well. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as well.
Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle and maintains pregnancy. At menopause, estrogen levels drop.
For both men and women, estrogen promotes bone health. Estrogen also affects your mood, heart health, skin health, and controls cholesterol.
The corpus luteum, in the ovaries, releases the other primary sex hormone in females. Small amounts are also produced by the ovaries themselves and by the adrenal glands in men and women.
Progesterone plays a major role in fertility and menstruation. Production halts during menstrual cycles when there is no ovulation and at menopause.
Progesterone is associated with preventing uterine cancer, protecting the endometrium, promoting good cholesterol, and improving mood and memory.
Correcting the Imbalance
You would likely benefit from having your hormone levels checked if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms: gaining weight or struggling to lose weight, feeling tired, having difficulty staying focused, less interested in sex, down moods, hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, or having trouble getting or maintaining an erection.
Comprehensive tests and a careful review of health symptoms and health history are essential in determining appropriate treatment. If treatment is recommended, hormone levels can be safely and effectively restored through the administration of bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones as appropriate, and supplements.
Bioidentical hormones are molecularly identical to the hormones we naturally produce. This makes bioidentical hormones easily and safely absorbed and less harmful side effects. Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone all come in bioidentical forms.
Synthetic hormones are made in a lab from chemicals and compounds and designed to mimic the molecular structure of hormones naturally produced by the body. Synthetic testosterone does not have the health risk associated with it like some synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone. The safety, efficacy, and tolerability are comparable when it comes to synthetic and bioidentical testosterone.
If you think you may suffer from a hormone imbalance, take our FREE QUIZ to see if hormone therapy may be right for you.