Men have testosterone, and women have estrogen, right? Right. And also wrong.
While it’s true that women have more estrogen than men, and men have more testosterone than women, both genders have both estrogen and testosterone. With age, levels of both hormones drop, in both men and women.
While the decrease in testosterone may be normal, it may also be due to adrenal insufficiency, a problem in the adrenal gland, where the hormone is produced. While there is not much research on decreased testosterone in women, it is known to cause the following:
- Loss of bone density
- Sleep disturbances
- Weight gain
Because these symptoms are common, and attributable to a variety of causes, a woman presenting with them will likely be evaluated for depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and thyroid disease, which are more common causes of the symptoms.
But what if a blood test does indeed reveal low testosterone? While it might seem obvious that testosterone supplementation is in order, there are few FDA-approved testosterone treatments for women. This is primarily because of their unpleasant side effects: hair loss, growth of facial hair, and a deepening voice.
Supplementation with the steroid hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is also produced by the adrenal gland, might be advised instead. DHEA is available over the counter, but the Endocrine Society advises against its routine use, since its long-term safety and efficacy have not been established, and its short-term side effects can be the same as the side effects of testosterone.
In cases where treatment is required, it is important for patients to be followed carefully to avoid excessive amounts of testosterone, a condition known as androgen excess. However, most cases of low testosterone are best treated, not with medication, but with therapeutic lifestyle changes such as stress management, eating a healthful diet, and getting enough sleep.
At Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, our care programs are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and interests of seniors and long-term care patients. We emphasize restorative care, maximizing each patient’s potential to regain and maintain function and mobility.
We foster an environment that is cheerful and enthusiastic, so residents truly relish and appreciate life.
Our outstanding Social Services team works hard to ensure that every resident thrives socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
We promote a culture of independence, crucial for emotional, social, and physical health. Residents are encouraged to choose their activity and meal preferences, and to perform tasks and activities as self-sufficiently as possible.
We carefully select, train and re-train our wonderful caregivers, who are especially sensitive to the needs of our long-term care patients. They treat residents with love, compassion, and dignity.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.