Think only men need the hormone? Think again.
5. What are the side effects of testosterone replacement? When given in appropriate doses, there are no negative side effects. Today we can measure blood levels, so it is easier to monitor the dosage. Excessive testosterone can cause acne, body hair growth and scalp hair loss in women. Excessive testosterone supplementation, such as with anabolic steroids used by athletes, also tends to drop high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (HDL). That is the "good" cholesterol. Lower HDL levels increase the risk of heart disease.
6. What about other androgens, such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)? DHEA is a weak male hormone. Although it is true that DHEA levels decline with age, very few research studies show benefit from replacement. Another New England Journal of Medicine study says DHEA treatment improves sexual function in women who have underactive adrenal glands.
In addition, many people are taking DHEA in very large quantities. Excessive amounts of synthetic androgens drive down HDL cholesterol levels, which is considered a cardiovascular risk. People who are ill often have low DHEA or testosterone levels. This appears to be a normal physiological response to illness and not the cause of the illness.
Barbara L. Minton is a school psychologist and a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments. She has also studied the affects of testosterone on women. The last point is taken from her research.
7. Testosterone conveys powerful anti-aging effects. It turns fat into muscle, keeps skin supple, increases bone mineral density, puts women in a positive mood and boosts the ability to handle stress. Testosterone also supports cognitive functioning and keeps the liver and blood vessels clean.
Low testosterone levels have been associated with heart attack, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and depression. If you are freezing cold all the time and your thyroid levels are adequate, you are probably low on testosterone. For women, a little bit of testosterone can go a long way in improving looks, figure, energy level, outlook on life, sex appeal and sexual fulfillment. Love Your Body: 35 Ways To Improve Your Health
Women produce increased amounts of testosterone during puberty. Levels of testosterone peak for women in their early 20's. The decrease in sex drive, due to age, is often exacerbated by oral contraceptives which suppress all sex hormone production. By the time a woman has reached natural menopause, she may have only half of the level of testosterone she once had.
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