Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing the first chapter of my book, “How Your Doctor is Slowly Killing You: A Woman’s Health Survival Guide” – I hope you enjoy it!
CHAPTER 1: HORMONES: WHAT THEY ARE, WHAT DO THEY DO & WHY WE SHOULD REPLACE THEM
If you’re a woman and feeling run down, tired and forgetful, gaining weight or experiencing any number of the symptoms of menopause, chances are you haven’t had much sympathy from your doctors, let alone solutions. They’ll pat you on the head and tell you nothing’s wrong; saying that it’s all just part of aging. Feeling achy? “Take Tylenol.” Not in the mood for sex? “Schedule a date night.” Getting forgetful? “We call that CRS disease – Can’t Remember Shit.” Gaining weight? “Get more exercise and eat healthier.”
These types of responses do nothing to help us, and frankly, make women feel even worse. The underlying message is that we’re to blame because we’re not doing enough, and we should stop whining and simply accept feeling like hell. The demands on our time and attention are already endless, and now we’re supposed to do more? Many women already work eight or more hours a day, commute, run the kids around, grocery shop, cook dinner, do laundry, keep track of bills and finances, and deal with all of the daily dramas: The “check engine” light is on! The cat threw up! The toilet overflowed! The air conditioner is broken! Where’s my red shirt? Mom, I need 48 cupcakes for the bake sale tomorrow, and they can’t be from the store!
No wonder we’re exhausted. Now we’re also supposed to believe that because we eat poorly, feel worse, look like hell and have a virtually non-existent/boring sex life, it’s our fault? I’m here to say the answer to that is “Hell, no!” Hormonal deficiencies are usually to blame.
By now, you’re probably wondering what hormonal deficiencies actually are and why you should care about them. Get comfortable, and together we’ll find out.
The “big three” hormones are estrogen, testosterone and thyroid, or what I call “the Axis of Evil,” to borrow a phrase used by President George W. Bush. They’re either with us or against us, and as we get older, they usually start to work against us.
When working properly, a woman’s body makes 60 percent estrogen and 40 percent testosterone Working properly, a man’s body makes 95 percent testosterone and 5 percent estrogen. Ahem. This obviously shows that women are more balanced, much to the disbelief of the male half of the species.
As we age, both estrogen and testosterone decline, but testosterone will deplete more rapidly because:
1. We have less of it to begin with.
2. It doesn’t store in the body’s fat cells, like estrogen does.
In the United States the average age for menopause is 52, but this simply refers to the state when the ovaries fully retire and our periods end. All systems are down and permanently out of business. By the year 2025, it’s expected that 1.1 billion women worldwide (yes, that’s billion with a “B”) will be in menopause. However, women actually enter a state of perimenopause, meaning “around menopause,” 10 to 15 years before menopause, and that’s where the trouble starts.
NEXT WEEK: The Rise of the Axis of Evil
Recognize these signs and symptoms? Call DeRosa Medical to schedule a hormonal health checkup today. 480.610.4097