If you are feeling a drop in energy or having trouble sleeping lately, you could be at risk for a common health concern. (WKRC)
MASON, Ohio (WKRC) - If you are feeling a drop in energy or having trouble sleeping lately, you could be at risk for a common health concern.
There are lots of hormones in our body that can go out of balance, but if you are a woman and you've been stressed out or are taking certain medications, you may want to ask your doctor about one hormone women often don't discuss: testosterone.
We often hear about it as the hormone men boost to feel better, but if you've noticed unexplained changes to your skin, or moods that seem to match the dreary weather in winter, there's something you should know.
"It's a big myth out there that testosterone is just for men. In fact, when women are in their 20s, we actually have 10 times more testosterone circulating in our body than estrogen, so testosterone is a female hormone as well," said Dr. Amy Brenner.
Dr. Brenner is a women's health specialist who says this important hormone can influence a variety of things, including your mood, sleep, libido and overall well-being.
"With fatigue, aches and pains, recovery from exercise, skin health, bone health, so it has a lot of functions in our body," she said.
It's important to note you may not want to wait until you are feeling some of these symptoms to come in and see your women's health provider. You might want to track your hormones along the way.
"There are certain medications or lifestyle changes that can deplete testosterone. Otherwise, typically age is the most common factor where we see testosterone levels decline. Pain medications can affect it; cholesterol medications can affect it because that's where testosterone comes from is the cholesterol molecule," Dr. Brenner said.
If these are part of your history, you can be treated with testosterone in topical treatments, injections or even a pill.
Just like with men, there are blood tests and other ways to measure testosterone levels, but Dr. Brenner says, in women, it's generally more than one test that is recommended to get complete health and hormone results.