Testosterone, androgenic hormone, male sex hormone, etc. Testosterone is good for women too. Sure, you will need it if you’re trying to “lean and tone” your body. But, research has revealed much more about the “so-called male hormone.”
Here are 7 Ways Testosterone Improves Womens’ Quality of Life:
1. According to the research, heavy weight lifting gives you exercise-induced testosterone increases. This will help you build muscle mass without fear of “bulking up” like a man! Couples who workout together report having improved sex lives due to this type of exercise…..makes sense.
To lift heavy enough, your repetition range for exercises should be between 3-5 (you would have a difficult time lifting these repetitions). You would typically do 4-5 sets of each exercise.
Rotate heavy lifting days with light lifting days (10-12 reps per exercise, 3-4 sets). Do circuit weight training with the lighter weights (little or no rest between sets). You will need more rest between sets when you lift heavy (1-2 minutes rest between sets).
Women can also burn more fat by increasing exercise-induced growth hormone. Growth hormone is also important for building muscle. Intense circuit weight training and interval cardio workouts will increase your body’s growth hormone.
Women need testosterone for other uses too:
Paul Carpenter, M.D., is a consultant in endocrinology and health informatics research at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He has practiced in endocrinology, with a special interest in hormone replacement, for 25 years. Here he addresses questions about the role of testosterone in women (items 2 through 6 based on Mayo Clinic research).
Testosterone production is substantially lower in women than it is in men. After puberty, a woman begins to produce a constant, adult level of testosterone. The production is split about 50:50 between the ovaries and the adrenal glands. In men, the testes produce testosterone. Women produce just a fraction of the amount of testosterone each day that men do.
2. Studies show that it helps maintain muscle and bone and contributes to sex drive, or libido. There are also quality-of-life issues. If you give testosterone replacement to testosterone-deficient women, they often say they feel better, but they’re not specific as to how.
One of the tough things about research in this area is what has been measured and what hasn’t. Testosterone levels, muscle mass and bone strength have been measured. When testosterone levels in the blood increase, bone density generally improves. Although a few researchers have attempted to measure changes in sex drive and overall quality of life, these important effects are much more difficult to assess.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated sexuality and quality of life in women with low blood levels of testosterone. After raising their blood levels of testosterone using a medicated skin patch, health and sexuality seemed to improve.
3. Which women should have their testosterone levels checked?
It’s a complicated answer. After menopause, testosterone production drops, but not as sharply as estrogen does. For women who’ve had their ovaries removed, testosterone production drops by roughly one-half, sometimes resulting in less-than-normal testosterone blood levels.
Generally, the women who have too little testosterone are those who may go to their doctor with concerns like, “Ever since I had my ovaries removed, I don’t feel like the same person. I’m not as strong, I don’t have as much energy and I don’t have the same sex drive.” Should we measure testosterone in all women who’ve had their ovaries removed? I don’t know. If a woman says her sex life has diminished since her hysterectomy, her doctor may check her testosterone level. If it’s low, she can consider testosterone replacement.
Another group at risk of low testosterone is women who have lost pituitary gland function because of a medical condition or past surgery. The pituitary sends hormone messages to the adrenal glands and ovaries. Without the pituitary signal, hormones aren’t manufactured. These women require estrogen and cortisone replacement, and they’re also testosterone deficient. This isn’t a common problem, however.
4. How important is it for women with low testosterone to have it replaced?
It isn’t an imminent health danger per se. However, think about the older woman with osteoporosis who has fallen and fractured her hip. If her testosterone is low, would replacement have helped prevent her hip fracture? It’s possible. Testosterone has the potential to strengthen her bones. Additionally, she might have been able to prevent the fall if her muscle mass had been better.
If a postmenopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), does that affect her need for testosterone?
Yes. Estrogen therapy — with or without progesterone — can further suppress residual testosterone production by the ovaries. That’s because hormone signals from the pituitary gland drive ovarian hormone production. Taking estrogen partially reduces the pituitary hormone signal to the ovaries and potentially reduces testosterone production. The pituitary senses there’s enough estrogen, so it doesn’t send the signal for more estrogen and testosterone.
5. What are the side effects of testosterone replacement?
When given in appropriate doses, there are no negative side effects. Today we can measure blood levels, so it’s easier to monitor the dose. Excessive testosterone can cause acne, body hair growth and scalp hair loss in women. Excessive testosterone supplementation, such as you’ll find with anabolic steroids used by athletes, also tends to drop high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. That’s the “good” cholesterol. Lower HDL levels increase the risk of heart disease.
6. What about other androgens, such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)?
DHEA is a weak androgen or male hormone. Although it’s true that DHEA levels decline with age, very few well-designed research studies show benefit from replacement. Another New England Journal of Medicine study says DHEA treatment improves sexual function in women who have underactive adrenal glands, but not many people are using the supplement for that reason. In addition, many people are taking DHEA in very large quantities. Again, excessive amounts of synthetic androgens drive down HDL cholesterol levels, which is considered a cardiovascular risk. People who are ill often have lower-than-normal DHEA or testosterone levels. This appears to be a normal physiologic response to illness and not the cause of the illness.
Barbara L. Minton is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natura. This excerpt is published on www.naturalnews.com
7. Testosterone conveys powerful anti-aging effects. It turns fat into muscle, keeps skin supple, increases bone mineral density, gives us positive mood, and boosts our ability to handle stress. It supports cognitive functioning, and keeps the liver and blood vessels clean. Low testosterone levels have been associated with heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and depression. If you are freezing cold all the time and your thyroid levels are adequate, you are probably low on testosterone. For women, a little bit of testosterone can go a long way in improving looks, figure, energy level, outlook on life, enjoyment of living, sex appeal and sexual fulfillment.
Women produce increased amounts of testosterone during puberty. Levels of testosterone peak for women in their early twenties. The decrease in sex drive through the twenties, thirties and forties is often exacerbated by oral contraceptives which suppress all sex hormone production (testosterone, estrogens and progesterone). By the time a woman has reached natural menopause, she may have only half of the level of testosterone she once had.
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