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Posts Tagged ‘testosterone’

I am constantly being asked by clients about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), from which many women suffer where cysts on the ovaries cause pain during ovulation, PMS, and excess hair growth on the face, legs and arms.  It’s been known for some time that PCOS is associated with high insulin levels, which stimulate the ovarian production of androgens (male hormones).  In a study of obese and non-obese women with PCOS (Nobumasa et al, 2002), various hormones were measured with interesting results: the average levels of testosterone and androstenedione in obese women were significantly higher than those in non-obese women.  This is yet another indicator that obesity can contribute significantly to hormone imbalance.  PCOS disappears rapidly in most women when they cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from their diet.

Can Progesterone help recovery from PCOS?

PCOS is a condition which is rising alarmingly all over the world.

PCOS is generally considered a syndrome rather than a disease, because it manifests through a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination, rather than having one known cause.

Symptoms vary and include some or all of the following…

  • oligomenorrhoea (absent or infrequent periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual period).
  • enlarged ovaries (usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal).
  • cysts (fluid-filled sacs), giving the classic “string of pearls” appearance to ovaries with many cysts. Cystic ovaries can lead to…
  • chronic pelvic pain – although the exact cause of this pain isn’t known, inflammation is the most likely cause.
  • anovulation (lack of ovulation), which is relatively common as the follicles mature only occasionally, this leads to…
  • low progesterone levels, as it’s only after ovulation that the follicle, now called the corpus luteum, produces progesterone. But low progesterone levels lead to…
  • high levels of luteinising hormone (LH) as the pituitary is trying to stimulate ovulation. High LH suppresses follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) so this leads to arrested follicle growth in the next cycle. But LH also stimulates the thecal cells in the ovary to produce androgens which leads to…
  • high androgens (hyperandrogenism), particularly high testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), leading to excess facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice, weight problems including obesity and a smaller hip to waist ratio, acne, oily skin, dandruff, suppression of ovarian function, leading to anovulation which leads to…
  • infertility (the inability to get pregnant within six to 12 months of unprotected intercourse, depending on age) and low progesterone levels

Natural treatment

  • Above all have a vitamin D test done, and take a minimum of 5000 IU’s per day, bringing the level in the blood to 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or above. A lack of vitamin D is found in PCO, with many authorities believing it could be the main contributing factor. A lack also leads to hyperparathyroidism which is often present in PCO. High levels of parathyroid hormone suppresses thyroid activity, leading to a higher than normal TSH level. The year round level of vitamin D should be 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or higher
  • A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone
  • Use between 150-250mg/day progesterone, this helps stabilise blood sugar and suppresses androgen production. It also helps to correct ovarian malfunction
  • Take the B vitamin inositol, this aids in reversing insulin resistance and stabilizing glucose levels. Studies have shown this restores gonadal function.
  • Take the antioxidant amino acids L-arginine and N-acetyl cysteine, studies have shown these restore gonadal function.
  • The amino acids L-glutamine and L-glycine are very helpful. The brain can use them in place of glucose for energy, so they stop all binging, tiredness, cravings for sugary foods and alcohol. Glutamine also heals the lining of the gut, it boosts the immune system and is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles, so helping with muscle weakness. These two amino acids are also two of the three precursors to glutathione, which apart from vitamin D, is the most important antioxidant the body makes. The third amino precursor is cysteine, which is essential to take.
  • MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) is another excellent source of energy which is not converted to fat, but can be used directly by the cells for energy, take 5-60ml/day. It’s extracted from coconut oil and comprises 60% caprylic acid, which kills candida, and 40% capric acid.

It could take a while for things to sort themselves out, so have patience. Researchers have found it takes from four to six months for the ovaries to start functioning correctly.

Additional Information

Progesterone

Apply 150-250mg of progesterone per day. The higher dose might be needed.

It should only be used at ovulation, for the last 14 days of the cycle, taking day 1 as the first day of bleeding.

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It’s a common problem when you hit 30 that despite your best efforts you just can’t seem to lose the extra weight around your middle.  Medical research proves you’re not alone – the average person gains one to two pounds a year after the age of 30, usually around the stomach area. 

Hormone imbalance spejcialst, Dr C W Randolph’s book ‘From Belly Fat to Belly Flat’  explains the real reason behind this problem which has less to do with calories and everything to do with a little-known medical problem known as ‘oestrogen dominance’. 

Readers of my blogs will know that I’m an advocate of natural progesterone – an essential hormone for both men and women – fostering a calming effect on the body; maintaining libido; serving as a natural antidepressant; promoting regular sleep patterns; stimulating bone building and opposing oestrogen’s predisposition to promote cell growth, thereby providing protection from uterine, breast and ovarian cancer.

If you want to know more about progesterone and, particularly, its effect on weight gain and how to lose that belly flab then check out Dr Radolph’s book: ‘From Belly Fat to Belly Flab’ by Dr C W Randolph and Genie James

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Having found out that my DHEA level was low I decided to look into this hormone. DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands and is known to ameliorate the effects of aging on many body functions. My research, however, led me to a safer alternative: 7 -Keto DHEA.

7-Keto DHEA is a safer and more potent form of DHEA. 7 Keto is NOT DHEA, rather it is a natural metabolite of DHEA which means that our bodies eventually convert DHEA into 7 Keto DHEA in the skin and kidneys.

Benefits of 7-Keto DHEA:

  • Reduces body fat
  • Strengthens immune function
  • Helps balance thyroid function
  • Enhances the liver enzyme catalase
  • Enhances IGF-1 (growth hormone) hormone production
  • Improves cognitive function and enhances memory
  • Helpful for overcoming insulin resistance in type II diabetes
  • Relieves depression
  • Has anti-aging benefits
  • Helps lower stress-induced high blood pressure and may be beneficial for other heart-related diseases
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Eases inflammatory conditions like lupus and arthritis
  • Boosts energy and relieves fatigue
  • Helpful for asthma
  • May be helpful in Alzheimer’s disease

The most fundamental difference between DHEA and 7 Keto DHEA is that 7 Keto DHEA is already converted DHEA, so, it will not dangerously spike oestrogen and testosterone as does DHEA. Studies have shown that DHEA can raise blood levels of testosterone by as much as 10 times above normal. Since 7-Keto does not convert into testosterone or oestrogen, it is a safe alternative. (Elevated testosterone can increase hair growth in women and cultivate prostate cancer in men).

7 Keto is non-toxic. Liver and blood hormone levels have shown it to be safe and without adverse side effects.

7 Keto DHEA has been proven to promote greater weight loss than DHEA. One clinical trial published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology Online looked at 30 obese people who took a placebo or 7-KETO. Both groups took three one-hour sessions of aerobic and anaerobic exercise per week. At the end of the eight-week study, the 7-KETO group had lost 1.8 percent of body fat, compared to 0.57 percent among the placebo exercisers. Their overall weight loss was 2.88 kilos, about three times the loss among those who took the placebo.

There are signs that 7 Keto DHEA imitates thyroid hormones which cause the body to make more heat and thus burn more calories and helps the body lose weight.

7 Keto lends greater support to the immune system by increasing IL-2 production in human lymphocytes. IL-2 is the key cytokine regulator of T-helper cells which helps activate the immune system against invading pathogens. It also helps to reduce cortisol – a hormone associated with stress as well as chronic mood disorders and aging.

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I get extremely cross when people think that progesterone is simply a female sex hormone – it’s not just that! So, you can imagine what I told my male friend when he came to me for advice about his anxiety and migraines, then turned to me and said “ I don’t want to turn into a woman”! Progesterone is commonly thought of as a ‘female’ sex hormone. This is misleading as it is vital for sustaining not just health but life itself in all mammals of both sexes.

As a man gets older testosterone is converted into di-hydrotestosterone (DHT), which some believe is the cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer.

Oestrogen levels also increase as a man gets older. Oestrogen is known to stimulate cell growth. Reading between the lines, because as yet, there is no definitive study done on this, it appears to be the increased oestrogen level which is the problem and not the two testosterones. As progesterone is a powerful counter-balance for estrogen, progesterone for men is essential.

If in fact testosterone were the culprit, then men aged ±22 would have the highest incidence of BPH and cancer, as testosterone levels are at their highest point in the early 20’s, but of course they don’t. From the early twenty’s to the late twenty’s testosterone makes it’s greatest drop, thereafter it continues to decline, but at a slower rate.

Progesterone also down regulates the action of oestrogen if used in a sufficiently high dose. The endogenous oestrogen made by humans is now being supplemented by synthetic oestrogens found in the environment. They are now found in food, air, water, plastics, skin care products, no one can avoid them. Some authorities speculate this is the cause of the increase in problems such as hyperplasia or cancers of any hormonally sensitive tissues, such as the prostate, endometrium, cervix and breasts. So, despite often being, erroneously, thought of as a ‘female’ hormone progesterone for men is essential to preserve masculinity!

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