It’s a common misconception that hormones only really affect adolescents, pregnant women, those going through menopause, and aging adults in their late 60’s and above. But the reality is that it impacts everyone—men and women—and as early as in your late 30’s.
For instance, did you know that testosterone levels in men typically decrease about 1% every year after age 30? Or that women begin experiencing menopausal symptoms as early as 15 years before menopause even begins? For women in their late 30’s, both testosterone (Yes, women create testosterone too. In fact, women create it in a greater proportion to estrogen than their male counterparts!) and progesterone decrease. Then estrogen levels plummet during menopause, leading to various symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
Hormonal fluctuations are far from insignificant. They deeply impact our physical well-being, from energy levels to weight management. And their effects extend beyond the physical. Emotional and cognitive changes affected by hormones can strain relationships, lower job performance, and even challenge our self-image. Imagine feeling perpetually drained, irritated, lacking energy or motivation, not sleeping well, struggling with brain fog and focus, gaining weight or having trouble losing weight even with a healthy diet and lifestyle…and you just can’t snap out of it. You can blame it on your circumstance (recently having had a baby, a stressful job, raising kids, aging, an injury) and think there’s nothing you can do about it. But more often than not, many of these symptoms are tied to your hormones. AND IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
That’s why finding out your hormone levels is important. There are several safe and effective treatments to uplevel your hormones as you get older. For example, creams and pellet injections offer different modes of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Creams can be applied directly to the skin for localized relief. Pellets, which are implanted under the skin, release hormones slowly, providing steady levels for months. It’s essential, however, to approach these options with professional guidance, as one's hormonal needs are unique.
A few key things to remember:
- Trust your gut and know that it’s not all in your head. If you’ve been feeling “off”, it’s most likely your body trying to tell you something about your health and may be hormone-related.
- Find out your hormone levels (e.g. testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, thyroid, insulin), which is as easy as a blood test. Knowing is truly half the battle and a very important first step!
- Invest in your health and make informed decisions based on the many options out there.
- Live your best life. I have been so excited and energized by seeing so many of my patients tell me that hormone therapy has changed their lives—they’re working out every day, losing weight, sleeping deeply, waking up energized and motivated, sex drive is back, and they say they haven’t felt this good in many years.
So here’s to living better!