At a certain age, we all lose those youthful hormones, and start to think about replenishment. That’s a great idea, but determining what hormones you need to replenish based upon your test results is very tricky and there may be trial and error involved.
There’s a lot of confusion about hormones, testing and natural supplements to help shift patterns.
The route of administration matters in terms of testing yourself. So for example, if you take oral estrogen, then a blood test is fine. If you do use transdermal hormones, a patch, pellet or injection form, then I highly recommend you do urine metabolite testing as in the “DUTCH Complete” test. This is a home test kit that required you to urinate on a little strip. It’s available at my website because I’m one of their licensed providers.
Here’s guidance about each hormone. My goal right now is to help you break it down properly, which in turn improves health and reduces risk for cancer-causing metabolites.
Get FREE hormone info with my eMagazine – download NOW!
Men and women have all three types of estrogen in their body, and each of these exhibit varying degrees of activity and target different tissues. Dramatic reductions in estradiol may lead to a decrease in mental sharpness and muscle mass. In excess, estradiol is associated with heavy periods, fibroids and endometriosis. DIM and glutathione supplements help break this down well, depending on the specific metabolite you make. The DUTCH test will tell you your ratios of estrogen and the way you break them down. If you’re interested in more information about estrogen, read this article, “Estrogen Levels Affect Guys and Gals.”
Benefits of progesterone impact mood and sleep. Stroke victims are sometimes given progesterone to help recover because it plays a role in neurogenesis. Progesterone keeps women looking more youthful by improving elasticity and stimulating collagen production. Excessive amounts cause mood swings, fatigue, dizziness, yeast infections, bloating, fluid retention, acne and drowsiness.
Adequate amounts help both men and women, although this hormone is predominately male. It is required for sperm production therefore playing a role in fertility. It gives people a competitive spirit. Benefits include energy, libido, strong bones and fat-burning capabilities. During andropause when levels plummet and men suddenly notice problems in the bedroom, or with prostate function. Excessive amounts of testosterone in women cause cystic acne, deepening of the voice, PCOS, facial hair and menstrual irregularities.
Some people have an androgenic preference in the way they break down testosterone and this can be corrected with natural remedies such as saw palmetto and stinging nettle. Some people have poor Phase I metabolism and therefore create cancer-associated estrogen by-products which are like trash in your body. You have to take the trash out. By that I mean, you need to open up that pathway using natural remedies such as DIM and others. If you don’t methylate well, you could benefit from some methyl donors like TMG, methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) or natural folate. It’s really about detoxifying the hormones you have, not total estrogen or testosterone levels.
Estrogen Dominance in Men
Yes, it’s a thing! As men go through andropause and reach above 50 years old, levels of estradiol gradually rise, while progesterone and testosterone plummet greatly. Most men don’t realize they have estrogen to begin with! It’s what their testosterone breaks down into though! And in some men, the more testosterone supplementation they take, the more estrogen they deal with! In excess, estrogen dominance in a man causes terrible symptoms. Estradiol (and lingering DHT) can cause prostate problems and that is why many men experience urinary symptoms (weak flow, nighttime bathroom trips) after a certain age.
In women, progesterone is highest during pregnancy. After menopause, it is still produced but to a much lower degree. In men, progesterone deficiency tends to cause similar symptoms as testosterone deficiency. Some men find it beneficial to supplement with progesterone at night (it helps you sleep), but it really depends on the entire hormone profile. If you take the DUTCH Complete Test and have results that shows a deficiency of two metabolites of progesterone ( b-Pregnanediol or a-Pregnanediol) this could mean you have a progesterone deficiency.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.