Androgens is the collective term for the ‘steroid’ hormones: Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and Androstenedione, being the 3 primary ones but there are others. Although they are the dominant hormones produced by men and regulate and control the male reproductive system women also produce small amounts if these androgens. Their primary role is the regulate and control aspects of male development including the changes which occur through puberty and the activity of the primary male sex organs essential for reproduction. Androgens are anabolic steroids, meaning they help to stimulate the growth of tissues and muscles, without them, the body cannot effectively grow. They are also the precursor of all oestrogens.
Even though the Androgens are more of an issue for male health, they can play havoc in we women too!
In order to keep things simplistic, we’ll refer to the common androgen disorders – deficiency or excess as Testosterone, but collectively we know this as an androgen imbalance, only Testosterone is the most common of the hormones within the Androgen group.
This is not something that is super common in women, compared to men, or compared to the more common hormonal imbalances experienced by women – Oestrogen, Progesterone, Thyroid and Cortisol problems being far more evident, however with all hormones, from what we have learnt, we know they all work collectively together, helping each other out, so absolutely when you system is stressed, over run by a GIT infection, nutritionally depleted or your all burnt out, your testosterone can also take a hit.
TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY IN WOMEN
The major causes of a testosterone deficiency are linked to Adrenal dysfunction or a shotty thyroid, but overall if you are depleted and missing key vitamins including zinc and essential fatty acids which are crucial for the production of testosterone, there can always be issues.
Symptoms of LOW Testosterone:
TESTOSTERONE EXCESS IN WOMEN
High amounts of testosterone specifically is not that common in women and is generally only caused by the use of synthetic hormone replacement therapy which includes testosterone or anabolic steroid use, however other causes include tumors on the pituitary gland and issues with your adrenal glands. What is unfortunately becoming more and more common in women is a condition called Poly cystic ovarian syndrome, which is explained in a lot more detail in weeks to come, however it is associated with Androgen excess which affects your bodies ability to ovulate.
Symptoms of EXCESS Testosterone: