Testosterone and estrogen are called the sex hormones. These hormones function by regulating gene expression and have the task of developing and maintaining a healthy body for the purpose of reproduction. Your genes want to be passed on for the survival of the species. We first must correct the idea that testosterone is the ONLY male hormone and estrogen is the ONLY female hormone. This medical outlook has resulted in treatment for women, which IF not actually harmful, are certainly not optimal. Testosterone is the most abundant and primary health maintenance hormone for both men and women. A healthy woman will have ten times as much testosterone in her blood as estrogen. The blood tests are confusing because testosterone is measured in nanograms and E is measured in picograms. Nanograms is ten times larger than picograms. Testosterone can be converted to estrogen in both sexes by the aromatase enzyme, so in effect, when you give a man or a woman testosterone you are indirectly giving estrogen.
Low testosterone or estrogen can lead to many of the same symptoms. A few symptoms include; hot flashes, fatigue, decreased libido, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, irritability, brain fog and headaches. The only difference in men and women is in men low testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction and in women, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse.
Why do we see so much hormonal imbalance today? While there are medical conditions that can cause hormonal imbalance such as thyroid disease, pituitary tumors and chronic metabolic diseases, which include diabetes, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disease your diet is a major factor. The standard American diet of high sugar and refined foods are major contributors, along with poor sleep and stress.
Testosterone and estrogen regulate gene expression controlling the production of proteins and neurotransmitters that allow the body to function in a normal, healthy manner, which relieve the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Restoring balance to these primary hormones is vital to healthy–aging and to one’s overall well-being.