Our mothers never talked to us about menopause. In fact, I was completely unaware of what to expect until I was hit over the head with horrible side effects. I call it the Seven Dwarves of Menopause: Itchy, Bitchy, Sleepy, Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful, and All Dried Up! These little guys have a way of making things awfully unpleasant; however, women aren’t the only ones affected by hormone imbalances. That’s right. Men experience unbalanced hormone levels, too!
Hormones can make a huge impact on the weight and health of both men and women — though the balances needed to maintain optimal weight and health for each gender vary wildly. For women, it’s a lack of estrogen (often brought on by the changes associated with menopause) that can contribute to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. For men, conversely, excess estrogen and a shortage of testosterone can cause those love handles (and more) to form around the stomach.
To determine whether testosterone and estrogen are out of balance, men and women should both have blood tests to measure their levels of estradiol, a type of estrogen, and testosterone. A woman’s optimal estrogen range is 90 to 250 pg/mL, while a man’s estrogen levels should stay within 20 to 30 pg/mL. For testosterone, women should be in the range of 1.0 to 2.2 pg/mL, while men should maintain testosterone in the 20 to 25 pg/mL range.
If a woman’s levels of estrogen are too low, she may be prescribed bioidentical estrogen to restore it to a more youthful level. Women may also need to receive progesterone supplements to help balance out the estrogen — the progesterone level should be between 2.0 and 6.0 pg/mL. For men, levels of estrogen that are too high (or levels of testosterone that are too low) may be balanced out by testosterone supplementation.
We’re getting older… that’s something we all have in common, however, that doesn’t mean we need to sit around and watch our bodies deteriorate. It isn’t inevitable. Choose to extend your youthful energy and good health by restoring your hormones! Once you do, you’ll see exactly what I mean. You have a unique, beautiful, and irreplaceable life, and you should enjoy every incredible second of it. Look into having a hormone-panel test. In addition, look for a qualified doctor who specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in my medical-resource guide.