Aging is difficult enough for women without having to deal with declining hormones. Women of Broward often complain of a diminished sense of wellbeing, chronic fatigue, and a loss of libido just to mention a few symptoms of hormone imbalance.
For many women there is a tremendous void in treatment of menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings and low or no sex drive are just the tip of the iceberg. Some earlier hormone imbalance symptoms of estrogen deficiency are frequent waking at night. Many others are present, including “mental fogginess.” A woman’s short-term memory retention may be dwindling and her concentration and focus isn’t as good as it used to be. Frequently, women may experience some loss of energy to the point that they actually slide into symptoms of chronic fatigue.
In addition, women may experience some mood swings and irritability, and at the extreme may actually develop feelings of depression. With the loss of energy and chronic fatigue, females find themselves unable to exercise as much as in the past, or to recover as quickly when exercising. Women often find themselves increasing weight gain in spite of attempts at exercising. One hormone imbalance symptom that is not frequently discussed is the loss of sex drive and diminished libido. Not only is energy level and sense of wellbeing diminished, but anticipation and enjoyment of sexual activity is waning as well.
Medifast Recipes - Ways to Shake Up Your Medifast Shakes
If I had to give one tip as to how to lose weight without resorting to some fad diet, it would be this: eat nothing but fresh fruit or fresh fruit juice before noon. This tip alone will stand you in very good stead to losing weight safely. You will also be very likely to keep the weight off on an ongoing basis. This approach certainly paid dividends for me. I had tried every celebrity diet plan going and while I did initially lose weight, I could not keep it off for more than a month or two.
The theory is that when you eat nothing but fresh fruit before noon, you are not putting an undue burden on your elimination system so that your body eliminates waste properly. If you have a heavy breakfast, your body uses valuable energy in digestion that it should be using on elimination. I really found this to be very true. By just eating lots of fresh fruit I definitely felt "lighter" and had more energy than the days I used to have a coffee and a bagel with cream cheese every breakfast time.
The other important rule is that you should not eat anything else except fruit during the hours before noon. If you do, the food in your stomach will start to ferment and spoil, therefore requiring much more energy to break down and digest. Fruit only stays in your stomach for a very short period of time. Usually thirty minutes maximum. So that is how long you should wait before consuming any other food. I usually go for lunch at around 12.30 so this routine works perfectly.
If you want to really see some noticeable results very quickly, you should also for the rest of the day try to avoid mixing carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal. There has been lots written about this subject but it basically follows a simple principle laid down in the 1930s by the renowned nutritionist Hay. The basic idea is that concentrated protein causes acidic gastric juices to be produced whereas carbohydrates cause alkaline gastric juices to be produced in the stomach. If you have a mix of the two, Hay argues, you neutralize the pH in your stomach which means your body needs to spend much more energy in digestion that it would if the foods were kept separate. You can find much more on the topic of proper food combining by just doing a quick Google search. I have found that this way of eating combined with fruit only before noon has been very beneficial both to my weight and my general energy levels.
Hopefully this article has proved informative. You should always check with your doctor before embarking on any change in your diet. The concepts discussed here represent a huge area of research and discussion and you are encouraged to do further reading and research so you can tailor any program you decide to follow to your individual dietary needs and goals.
Are You Curious About Testosterone?
Are you one of those guys who are burning the candle at both ends and maybe only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night? Are you also one of those guys having problems with his sex drive and feeling out of sorts? Well, recent studies done in the last 3 years show that these symptoms could all be due to the effect of sleep on testosterone - just how, though, may be a chicken and egg question!
While it's true that lower testosterone levels can be the cause of a sluggish sex drive and irritability it seems to be a matter of research opinion whether low sleep levels cause low testosterone or low testosterone causes lack of sleep.
Here's what we know about sleep, and testosterone to date as it relates to men:
After age 30, men's testosterone levels drop between 1 and 2% a year! By the time they reach 40 they start experiencing trouble sleeping. They complain of less deep sleep time, the period of sleep where the body repairs itself.
In fact, as a man gets older, the most recent studies assert, he can lose deep sleep time altogether! That means the older a man gets, the more his testosterone levels continue to decline, the less deep sleep he gets, the more his body's repair mechanisms decline and the higher his risk climbs for disease!
The reason for this decline in deep sleep time is thought to be due to a loss of neuron activity, which synchronizes brain activity. These neurons are responsible for about 20% of achieving deep sleep. They are intact in young men and get further scrambled as a man ages.
To further complicate things, low testosterone levels are thought to contribute to this loss of neuron activity in the brain. The take away of these studies, then, whichever perspective you come from, seem to say that restoring testosterone to healthy, youthful levels would likely help a man not only achieve deep, restorative sleep again, but also keep him healthier, re-invigorate his sluggish sex drive and keep him in a happier frame of mind.
Do You Have Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
One of the most frequent complaints I hear from my over-40 patients is that their sex drive has diminished significantly from when they were younger. One of the first things I do is to check a testosterone level and most often find that it is decreased. Interestingly, as well, is that they also often complain of not sleeping very much and are depressed!
Now whether their lack of sleep is from a too hectic lifestyle, stress, or from their decreased testosterone level, is not clear. However, when I recommend that they try to get between 6-8 hours of sleep a night their testosterone levels seem to naturally increase and their mood is brighter!
But decreased testosterone levels don't just affect men over 50, it can start as young as the 30-40's! Many men don't seek treatment because they think it's just a part of getting older and they're embarrassed to talk about it! Like menopause in women, low testosterone is not something men have to suffer through just because it's associated with getting older. Here are some other symptoms you may not associate with low testosterone levels:
•Emotional changes, like depression, irritability, "grumpy old man" syndrome
•Decreased muscle strength
•Loss of height
•Weight gain, especially belly fat
What Does Cause Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone levels can be caused or aggravated by a number of things both nutritional and environmental. For my patients who have lower than optimal testosterone levels, here are some other things I tell them to pay attention to in their diet and lifestyle:
•Xenoestrogens - in food and water supplies. These are "environmental estrogens" from soy products and plastics that get into our food and can decrease testosterone levels. Stay away from foods containing soy, most notably protein bars and soymilk. If you buy frozen foods, transfer them from their plastic container into a glass dish before heating.
•Lack of Protein - men need between 0.5 to 1 gram of high quality protein per pound of body weight per day to both build muscle strength and testosterone. Sources include pork, beef, and chicken, which also have higher levels of zinc, which is testosterone friendly.
•Lack of Cholesterol - many men over 40 are watching cholesterol intake for the sake of their arteries, but too little cholesterol will stop testosterone production. Aim for about 30% fat, mostly monounsaturated (nuts, olive oil) and some saturated (red meat, eggs) to build testosterone. Go very light, or leave out, polyunsaturated fats (fish, vegetable oils) as studies have shown they can decrease testosterone perhaps because they may contain xenoestrogens.
•Lack of Nutrition - zinc is a major building mineral for testosterone. The B vitamins, especially B1, B6, and B12 are helpful in keeping testosterone levels healthy. Be sure that your vitamin/mineral supplement includes these.
•Too Much Alcohol - alcohol increases blood sugar levels, which decreases testosterone. Limit to a few drinks per week.
•Lack of Sleep - as mentioned earlier, less than 6 hours of sleep a night can seriously rob your body of its repairing mechanisms and this includes the re-manufacturing of hormones like testosterone. See that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep at night, more if you have been ill or under a lot of stress. Try some natural sleep aids like Valerian, calcium/magnesium supplements with some warm milk before bed. Cut back caffeine to not past 4 pm, and limit heavy meals to 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Researchers may finally decide which comes first; low testosterone then poor sleep, or poor sleep then low testosterone. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to counsel my patients that adequate sleep is at least a significant factor in low testosterone levels. However, before you start thinking dangerous steroids or prescription testosterone replacements, try the natural suggestions offered here. I believe your T-levels will be up to optimal levels and your sex drive and pleasant mood back on track in no time!
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Institute For Healthy Aging
Increase Testosterone - Herbs For Natural Testosterone Increase
Testosterone is a male hormone, besides promoting libido it has other important functions such as maintaining muscle mass and form bone, regulating heart muscle and cholesterol. It also helps to improve the oxygen levels throughout the body as well as controlling blood glucose and strengthening the immune system. In this article, we will discuss symptoms of low levels of testosterone.
1. Decreased sexual function
As we mentioned in the last article, starting at age 40 levels of testosterone start to diminish, the levels of the by-product prolactin of testosterone of men increases, stimulating the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that causes the conversion of testosterone to gihydro-testosterones DHT thus triggering low levels of testosterone resulting in sexual dysfunction.
2. Loss of bone density
The brain and bone are the important tissues that have the primary effect of testosterone is by way of aromatization to 17² estradiol. In the bones. 17²-estradiol accelerates maturation of cartilage into bone, leading to closure of the epiphyses (a rounded end of a long bone) and conclusion of growth.
3. Loss of muscle mass
As men start aging or damage of pituitary gland or extra estrogen build up in the body causing low levels of testosterone being produced resulting in loss of muscle mass. Testosterone effects can be classified as anabolic effects that include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of height growth and bone maturation. Testosterone effects can also be classified by the age of usual occurrence.
4. Memory loss
Low levels of testosterone allows beta-amyloid, a toxic peptide to accumulate in certain regions of the brain causing memory loss.
5. Abdominal fat
Fat cells create aromatase enzymes that contribute to fat build up and low levels of testosterone that allows the forming of abdominal fat that produce more aromatase enzyme resulting in more formation of estrogen. It also causes insulin resistance by increasing fat around the stomach/waist area and fat mass.
There are more symptoms of low levels of testosterone such as timidity, feeling of weakness, passive attitude,etc.
I hope this information will help. If you need more information of the above subject, please visit my home page.
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