By Alane Archer, ND, CNC and Scarlett Eriksen
Men and women are similar as we are human creations, but many times it seems like women are from one planet and men are from a different planet. There are hundreds of books describing how different men and women are. One of the causes of men woman’s differences is hormones. Men have a higher level of certain hormones and women have a higher level of entirely different hormones. Thus there is a considerable difference between men and woman’s hormones.
“Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that travel in the blood to organs and tissues signaling them to do the work they were designed to do” (2). Both men and women are created with certain amounts of hormones. These levels of hormones change and develop as we age. Over time these “changes can cause a variety of symptoms which we may not like. In women, some get facial hair, painful periods, depression, anxiety, hot flashes, lack of periods, infertility, PCOS, weight gain, acne, belly weight. In men, some get erectile dysfunction, depression, lack of motivation, acne, trouble sleeping, belly weight and more.
Men need the hormone called testosterone, but this necessary hormone tends to decline over the years. Some of the consequences can be a mid-life crisis, low mood, lack of motivation, depression, low sex drive, belly weight, fatigue and more. Some other problems for men seem to occur when estrogen tends to be higher than testosterone.
Women need estrogen, progesterone, and some testosterone. As women go through perimenopause progesterone seems to be needed a lot and then when menopause hits, women need more estrogen. Some problems for women tend to occur when testosterone levels are higher than estrogen and progesterone.
And on top of all of our trials to balance our hormones, we also have to deal with environmental factors that play a role in men and women’s hormones. These are called “hormone disruptors”. They are pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals in our food, plastics, etc.
In women, the hormones can fluctuate throughout life, but many women have symptoms surrounding their menstrual cycle and menopause. “Because of the normal patterns of fluctuation during the menstrual cycle, women often experience physical symptoms which occur much less frequently in men. For example, migraine headaches occur almost three times more frequently in women and most often just before menses when the normal estrogen levels have dropped dramatically”(6).
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