Why I chose testosterone replacement therapy
Many people have asked me why I chose testosterone replacement therapy. I had been experiencing perimenopausal symptoms starting in my 30’s, with weight gain, foggy thinking, almost depression-like symptoms that had gone on for years. I knew I needed to lose a little weight and make some changes with my nutrition, so I started to do what I call “eat intuitively.” I pay attention to how I feel when I eat certain foods. It worked for me and I began feeling great. I knew that if I ate bread or pasta I would get sick and the next day wake up with a “food hangover.” I became much more in tune and aware of all my food choices, felt great, and was in a good place nutritionally.
It was June 2009 when I went in for my first hormone replacement therapy appointment. I was told my total testosterone level was 28 and it was recommended I be put on a testosterone regimen. At the time, I was 43, had just completed my first sprint triathlon, was training for my second, as well as a half marathon. I was at an ideal weight with 24% body fat. I decided to go with their recommendations, which they advised to continue this regimen every three to four months. And so, it became a part of my perimenopause proactive health plan.
But then, by December of 2010, my testosterone levels were 437! And I had been experiencing serious mood swings, I was losing my hair, but grew hair on my face, and my sex drive was off the charts.
A wonderful resource for any woman moving through what I call “the rite of passage,” is the book, The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. Recently I was listening to the audio version of the book and it came to the chapter on androgens. (testosterone) She describes it as, “the hormone that inspires motocross, wrestling and bar fights.” She goes on to explain, “Too much testosterone is associated with mood problems, such as depression and anxiety, weight gain, and what we call sexual issues. Women with higher testosterone levels have been shown to have a greater appetite for risk.”
As I was listening to this chapter, all of a sudden, I started to hyperventilate, I was gasping for air, I could not breathe, let out this loud noise, collapsed to the ground and burst into tears. She was describing what I had experienced for three years. I just sat on the ground and sobbed. I thought to myself, how did I ever go through what I did? How am I still here today?
This is an excellent resource for all women although I don’t agree with her view on testosterone levels. She states an ideal total testosterone level for a woman is 100 to 130. This contradicts what the reference levels guidelines are and poses the question, who sets the guidelines? Doctors? Medical Associations? Laboratories?
More on that later…
Love & Miracles,
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