Androgens and Women’s Health- so what are they!?
Androgens are a class of “male-hormones.” Despite their name, women have androgens too, just in smaller amounts than men. A healthy balance of androgenic hormones is important as a deficiency or excess can result in unwanted symptoms. When androgen levels are out of range, it can lead to conditions that deteriorate our overall health such as increased insulin resistance, increased LDL cholesterol, and lower sex drive.
So let’s dive into Androgens and Women’s Health: What They Are & Strategies to Navigate
Androgens are a group of hormones that are classified under the reproductive family. They are responsible for regulating the male and female (in smaller amounts) reproductive systems. In the female body, androgens are released from the ovaries and the adrenal glands.
There are four hormones that make up the “androgen” class. These include:
As you can see, an important balance of androgen and women’s health hormones is essential to prevent unwanted symptoms. There are several factors that drive androgen production including insulin resistance, gut dysbiosis, and stress.
Below are a few things you can include into your everyday lifestyle to support a healthy balance of androgenic hormones:
When your blood sugar levels are elevated, this can increase your risk for developing insulin resistance. This reduces your body’s ability to absorb glucose and use it for energy. When insulin resistance is high, this can increase androgen levels and lead to undesirable symptoms like fatigue.
When your body experiences stress, a few things can happen: heart rate and blood pressure rates increase, blood sugar levels increase, and the hormone cortisol is elevated. When this continues to occur for a prolonged period of time, it can affect your hormonal health, causing androgen levels to be out of range.
This tea contains special herbal properties that can aid in decreasing androgen levels (specifically testosterone). It can also support follicle-stimulating hormones and estradiol which contribute to having a regular menstrual cycle.
Eating mineral rich foods provides your body with a wide variety of nutrients that are essential for balancing androgen levels. Consuming foods rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium can benefit your androgen balance and hormonal health overall.
Exercising daily can help decrease insulin resistance, a key factor in balancing androgen levels. Incorporate Zone 2 exercises in your workout regimen to build muscle, improve endurance, and achieve balanced hormones.
After the above components have been addressed, more thorough testing may be necessary to identify the root causes of your androgen imbalances. The DUTCH Test is an excellent comprehensive hormone analysis that looks at all androgen production and their metabolites. You can learn more about the DUTCH Test and how we integrate it into treatment here: DUTCH Test Package
Want to learn more about androgens and women’s health? Be sure to follow Lauren on IG at @NutritionWithLo or join Laurens private Facebook page where you can ask direct questions about health and hormones!
Written by: Helory Kojongian
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