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Know Your Hormones

November 25th, 2022

Hormones make everything in your body work properly. And there are bunch of them that need to be present is the right amounts for optimal health. That goes for both men and women.

Following are ten important hormones, and how they can impact your health for better or worse.

Estrogen

Estrogen is the dominant sex hormone for women. It supports the female reproductive system and the development of female secondary sexual characteristics. It also supports a healthy cardiovascular system, brain, skeletal system, and more.

To say that estrogen is important to a woman’s overall health would be an understatement. It’s for this reason that menopause and the reduction in estrogen production that goes with it can so negatively impact a woman’s health. Symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, and vaginal dryness are common. Over the long-term, issues can include cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, dementia, and metabolic disorders.

Men need estrogen for good health, too—albeit a smaller amount. But as men age, they can become estrogen dominant or estrogen deficient. Estrogen dominance causes symptoms such as weight gain, water retention, depression, and low sex drive. Estrogen deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and metabolic disorders.

Testosterone

Testosterone is to men what estrogen is to women. It’s responsible for sexual development in men, in addition to male secondary sexual characteristics like facial hair.

For both men and women, testosterone supports muscle and bone development, as well as a healthy sex drive.

Low testosterone levels can result in weight gain, low libido, and declining muscle mass.

In men, testosterone levels usually decline starting in the late 20s or early 30s. Women will typically become testosterone deficient during perimenopause.

Progesterone

Think of progesterone as the “estrogen police” in a woman’s body. One of progesterone’s most important jobs is to balance the growth stimulating characteristics of estrogen so that cell growth doesn’t go unchecked. Women usually become estrogen dominant during perimenopause when estrogen production continues, but progesterone production declines. In addition to losing progesterone’s protective qualities during this time, common symptoms of progesterone deficiency include insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain.

Incidentally, if you have had a hysterectomy and have been told that you don’t need progesterone because you don’t have a uterus, this is completely untrue. Women who have had hysterectomies need progesterone for good health the same as any other woman.

Thyroid

Metabolism is strongly controlled by thyroid hormones in both men and women. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, hair loss, and trouble regulating body temperature. Like other hormones, men and women become thyroid deficient with age.

DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA for short) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in both men and women. People become deficient in DHEA with age, and also as a result of stress. DHEA deficiency isn’t something that will always be felt in the form of symptoms, but maintaining optimal levels has many silent benefits. In particular, DHEA boosts the immune system, helps the body to cope with stress, and contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Some studies have even found a correlation between maintaining healthy levels of DHEA and living longer. Extreme deficiencies in DHEA can lead to feeling run down, as well as a decline in mental acuity.

Pregnenolone

Pregnenolone is another adrenal hormone, and it’s a precursor for other hormones. Like DHEA, pregnenolone supports cognitive function and memory.

Growth Hormone

Also known as human growth hormone (or HGH), growth hormone contributes to cell growth and repair.

People produce large amounts of growth hormone during childhood when they are growing rapidly. But production drops off gradually once adulthood is reached, such that by the time a person reaches their 70s or 80s they’re producing just a fraction of what was produced during childhood. The resultant slowing in cell growth and repair contributes significantly to the aging process.

Oxytocin

Often called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone”, oxytocin helps to create a bond between mothers and babies. It also strengthens emotional attachment between adult couples, and it can help to reduce anxiety.

Melatonin

When it gets dark, your pineal gland produces melatonin to help your body relax and get ready for sleep. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant.

Exposure to artificial light too close to bedtime can compromise melatonin production. Aging also reduces melatonin production. The result can be trouble falling and staying asleep.

Cortisol

When under stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol as part of the “fight or flight” response. This causes your blood sugar and blood pressure to increase so your body is better equipped to cope with whatever is causing the stress.

However, chronic stress can cause an over-production of cortisol. If this over-production goes on for long enough, the adrenal glands can tire out. The result is adrenal fatigue, which means the adrenal glands can no longer produce even the small amounts of cortisol necessary for good health. The result is often fatigue, brain fog, and weight gain.

Know Your Hormones to Stay Healthy

Properly balanced hormones are essential for good health. Renew Youth can work with you to make sure your hormones stay balanced as you age.

Want to learn more? Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form to sign up for your free 30-minute consultation.

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