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.
Weight Loss Consequences, Physical or Emotional?
Have you ever thought, "I just can not seem to get motivated anymore to workout. I just don't understand why I have not lost a pound in two months. My bench press is going down and not up, how can this be?"
We have all experienced time periods where all the hard work, dedication and even desperation does not seem to be enough to jump start us. We focus so much on what we are not doing we begin to lose sight of main reason for exercising in the first place. Before you know it you start entertaining the idea of quitting.
ALl of us have heard of the eighty - twenty rule in life. This is where our lives are built on twenty percent of our efforts. The remaining eighty percent seems too be pushed along by the other twenty percent. When it comes to our weight loss and fitness goals lets look at the same percentages in another light. How about the eight twenty rule in our attitudes?
When I first started exercising and bodybuilding over twenty years ago I knew absolutely nothing about fitness, food or where my future was headed. However, what I did believe was that if I kept consistent, something had to change. With that attitude came a hope for the future and an understanding that good days would be followed by some bad ones.
It is unrealistic for you and me to think that every day in the gym and at the table will be great? We will be tempted to eat badly and we will be discouraged to go workout from time to time. This is reality. However, understanding that in the long run if you have more good days than bad, things will be work out good for you. This mindset is the key longevity. Here are some ideas on how to follow the 80/20 rule:
1. Write out in detail your yearly goal.
2. Get an accountability partner.
3. Focus on internal health vs. external.
4. Focus on the feeling not the work.
Best of luck and remember it's about the BIG picture!
Are You Curious About Testosterone?
Marijuana attacks your precious testosterone in almost every negative way possible. One study after another has shown that cannabis lowers testosterone. For example one research team found that "a reanalysis of existing data established that testosterone levels are depressed both after smoking one marijuana cigarette and after intravenous infusion of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a pharmacologically active component of marijuana". The same study concluded that it would take at least 24 hours for testosterone levels to normalize after marijuana use. (NOTE: It's not just the smoke - an IV will do it.)
Another study found that not only was testosterone decreased after short term marijuana use, but leutenizing and follicle stimulating hormone were lowered as well. And just to add to the endocrinological misery, the arch-villain and stress hormone cortisol was raised as well. There are also studies in animals and humans that strongly indicate that marijuana blunts growth hormone response as well. And so it is no wonder that animal studies show that marijuana use shrinks the testes. So, if you're not happy with lowered testosterone, infertility and elevated cortisol, you can sit around enjoying the fact that you've got a little more air flow through your boxers.
You should also know that there are many reports that chronic marijuana use leads to gynecomastia, i.e. "enlarged male breasts", due to its abundant amounts of phytoestrogens. One journal writer pointed out that "given the effects of marijuana on the HPG axis in males and the possibility that noncannabinoid components of marijuana smoke have affinity to the estrogen receptor, an association with gynecomastia is plausible but has not been convincingly demonstrated". Remember that estrogen fights against testeosterone in the body as well.
Marijuana has also recently been flagged as particularly dangerous for young people because it decreases seratonin and increases norepineprine. While these are not sex hormones like testosterone, these can alter mood negatively and, through prolonged use, may permanently alter anxiety levels and reaction to stress. Again, the researchers are suggesting this may have long term, possibly lifetime anxiety and mood repercussions. I would also add that any increase in stress will also likely lower testosterone as well.
So we ask the question, "Could someone please explain again why anyone in their right mind would smoke marijuana?" The only thing we can think of is the extra hydrogen cyanide. That's right - marijuana tobaco is much higher in hydrogen cyanide - probably five times higher - than cigarette tobacco. Maybe that partially explains why habitual pot smoking is so hard on the lungs and why cannabis use has also now been linked to the most aggressive form of testicular cancer.
Not to make the bad news even worse, but there is also considerable reported evidence of erectile dysfunction among chronic marijuana users. This is undoubtedly partially due to the lowered testosterone. However, the other reason was discovered by one study that showed marijauna effected Nitric Oxide and summarized by saying, "We conclude that early endothelial damage may be induced by chronic cannabis use (and endocannabinoid system activation". Let me translate that: it may take your sex life with it. If so, decreased sexual activity is also associated with lowered testosterone levels as well.
The tragedy with marijuana is that many cultures and youth are embracing marijuana as more "natural", but this is far from being the case. One recent study found that marijuana induces just as much cell toxicity and DNA damage as cigarette smoke. The researchers were very clear that marijuana displayed just as much cancer causing power as the cigarette smoke: "In addition, when corrected for total particulate matter yield, little difference was observed in the mutagenic activity of samples smoked under the extreme vs the standard regime for both tobacco and marijuana condensates".
In summary, there is significant evidence that marijuana lowers testosterone, nitric oxide, leutinizing hormone, growth hormone and raises cortisol at the same time. Hormonally, there is no justifiable reason for cannabis use.
Is it Low T? How to Get Your Husband's T Level Checked!
What is the underlying cause of impotence, depression, fatigue, excess body fat and osteoporosis in an estimated four million American men? Low Testosterone.
Natural supplements can be an alternative to creams, gels and patches. Dietary changes are slower but have less side effects.
For men, testosterone and DHEA ( a precursor hormone for testosterone) diminish after the age of 40. Actually the peak age is 17 and then production slowly falls off for the rest of your life. It does not become noticeable until around 40 plus.
Your doctor can perform a simple test to measure your testosterone. Normal levels range from 300 to 1,000 ng/dl.
Talk to him - you may be able to get some changes going using what nature has provided.
Traditionally Asia's most prized herb for hundreds of years is Ginseng root. Most of North America's crop of ginseng is mainly shipped to China. Ginseng is supposed to increase blood flow.
Sarsaparill contains a testosterone-like substance. Most main stream physicians will tell you that it has no effect.
Saw Palmetto at 120-360 mg daily is supposed to reduce the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. (see Low Testosterone)
Diet and Testosterone
Adjust your diet to make sure you get the good stuff. Zinc, Manganese and Niacin (B3) are absolutely essential. Add pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Milk Thistle is a good source of zinc and is very helpful to your liver.
Niacin is found in beef liver and brewer's yeast. If you go the beef liver route be sure it is grass fed beef. Use caution in supplements as Niacin (B3) in amounts over 500 mg may cause liver damage.
Of course, if you already have diabetes, glaucoma, gout, ulcers or any liver disease you must consult your physician before adding additional B3 supplements to your diet.
The FDA and traditionally physicians do not believe that DHEA supplements taken orally do any good. That being said, the suggested way to take DHEA is 2 weeks, discontinue for 2 weeks and then repeat. Taking this supplement daily continually is detrimental.
If you have read about Yohimbe and are tempted - use caution. This herb has been associated with panic attacks, hallucinations, elevated blood pressure, headaches and dizziness. It is also bad for the kidneys.
Flavonoids (whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables) are protective in coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. Research is being done to determine if one flavonoid, chrysin, found in high concentrations in honey could inhibit the aromatase action that turns testosterone into estrogen. If it does work, that would increase the level of testosterone. If it doesn't work, at least you are doing good things for your heart.
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