Testosterone is commonly associated with men, yet what many people don’t realize is this hormone is critical to a woman’s energy and vigor. Women need the right amount of testosterone to feel their best. As a woman, when your testosterone levels are low you could feel sluggish, have a low sex drive, and even experience frustrating mood swings.
I like to tell my patients to think of testosterone as a vitality hormone because when your levels are low, your overall energy drop too. Functions of testosterone in your body include creating blood cells, boosting your libido, maintaining muscle and bone mass, causing even fat distribution, and aiding in brain function.
The symptoms of low testosterone can range from mild to severe. One thing is for sure, when your levels are off, you won’t feel quite like yourself!
12 Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women
The 12 most common symptoms of low testosterone in women are:
- Low sex drive
- Inability to enjoy sex
- Inability to lose weight or unexplained weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Hair loss
The fortunate thing about finding out you have low testosterone is there are many things that can be done to correct the situation. If you relate to any of these symptoms above, you can try some of the natural testosterone boosters below or be tested with your functional medicine doctor and consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Top 7 Natural Testosterone Boosters for Women
There are many ways you can get your body to naturally produce more testosterone. Whenever you can get the body to naturally correct any hormone levels, it’s better for you in the long term. Here are my seven favorite natural testosterone boosters for women:
- Exercise – This is one of the best ways to increase your testosterone levels. Try incorporating some heavy weight training into your workout routine because it appears to be better at raising testosterone levels than cardio.
- Incorporate these testosterone boosting foods –
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Whey protein
- Beef liver
- Eat more healthy fats – You need fats to create hormones. All too often women eat low fat diets, which can really throw off all hormones levels because it messes with synthesis.
- Reduce stress levels – Stress can cause your testosterone levels to drop significantly. In turn this can seriously impact your overall quality of life. You hear this piece of advice in nearly every ‘get healthy list,’ it’s time to take it seriously.
- Eliminate sugar – Cutting sugar from your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. It’s highly addictive and more damaging to our bodies than we’ve ever realized. In fact, have you seen the headlines about how the sugar industry has hidden how bad it is from the public over the last 50 years? You can read more about that in my article – Sugar’s Secret: How an Industry is Hurting Our Health.
- Get better sleep – Research has found that getting better sleep can increase testosterone in men and I suspect this is the same in women. Your body uses the time while you’re sleeping to complete important recovery and repair processes. When you skip out on sleep, your body can’t spend that precious time doing things like building hormones.
- Lose weight – Your body fat percentage affects how your body makes hormones. When you’re overweight you produce less testosterone and other hormones are affected as well.
If after trying these natural testosterone boosters you don’t notice any difference, you might want to consider hormone replacement therapy, which can be done with a functional medicine doctor.
Hormones exist in a delicate balance in the body. When you choose bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, you should be sure to do so with an experienced doctor who knows about balancing all the hormones involved. You can’t simply start taking testosterone without considering how it directly impacts the other hormones in your body.
You can read more about this in my Woman’s Guide to Healthy Hormones – Everything You Need to Know.
Your Testosterone Levels Drop as You Age
In general, most of your hormones will drop as you age. Especially as you go through peri– and full menopause, you’ll experience a complete restructuring of hormones. Other things that can cause your testosterone levels to drop more quickly as you age include:
- High stress
- Poor nutrition
- Being overweight
- Not exercising enough
- Certain medications
Think of your hormones as an orchestra, when one changes tune everything must follow suit or the whole symphony will sound off. When one hormone shifts, every other hormone must rebalance.
This is a major benefit of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. With the help of your doctor, you can work to establish balance. Women especially benefit from this support as their bodies are constantly restructuring hormone balance throughout their lives.
Testing for Low Testosterone as a Women
Many people don’t realize that low testosterone in women is common and frequently overlooked. Even doctors who aren’t familiar with bioidentical hormone replacement therapies often mistake the symptoms of low testosterone for other conditions.
If you’re experiencing low energy, sex drive or just feel as though you’ve lost your spark, I urge you to make an appointment with a functional medicine doctor to have your hormone levels tested. We’ve come so far with the development of bioidentical hormones and it’s exciting to see how a simple treatment can make such a drastic impact in the lives of women.
If you aren’t in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I recommend checking the Institute for Functional Medicine website.