Though not widely known, the hormone testosterone is not only present, but vital to the sexual health of women. During menstruation, testosterone is converted into estrogen to help protect the uterus while it sheds its lining. And the rest of the time, this androgen helps stimulate sexual arousal.
Though testosterone is necessary, it is still more dominant in males than females; males have about seven times the amount of a normal female. If a woman is experiencing an overabundance of testosterone, she may develop certain symptoms like change in weight, irregular periods, loss of muscle mass, and hirsutism (the growth of thick, course hair in places women generally do not grow hair like the back, chin, and chest).
If you feel you are suffering from too much testosterone, the first step is to get tested in order to properly diagnose your suspicions. After you have determined you do indeed have too much testosterone, but before you beg your doctor for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you may want to try altering your diet. Below are four foods to incorporate into your diet to help you find your appropriate level of testosterone.
Soy. Soy-based foods contain phytoestrogens which promote the production of estrogen, which is converted from testosterone. Try incorporating soy products like edamame, soy milk, and tofu into your diet.
Alcohol. Though it may be a little unconventional to recommend drinking for health, studies suggest that alcohol, especially red wine, has been shown to lower testosterone levels. Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation.
Complex carbohydrates. Foods like whole grain bread, fruits, and vegetables. Because complex carbs take more time to be digested, glucose and insulin are more gradually introduced into the blood stream. Insulin may stimulate the production of testosterone, so having it enter your body more slowly is a good thing when trying to keep testosterone levels low.
Healthy fats. Those like omega-3 fatty acids. This is an essential fat not produced naturally in the body, and can be found in fish oils, salmon, and seeds.
Never begin a course of treatment for a hormonal imbalance without first consulting your doctor. Though altering diet and implementing exercise into your lifestyle are the least invasive means of treatment, alternative treatment, or drugs may also be necessary if symptoms persist. Also, certain symptoms may be compatible with one or more health complications, and only your doctor can shed better light on the subject for you. Also be aware that herbal supplements and alternative forms of treatment are being further researched all the time. For more information on testosterone, follow this link.