Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Libido and hormones

If one day you find yourself having hot flashes and night sweats, irritable and depressed for no reason whatsoever, disinterested in sex, experiencing chronic fatigue and joint pains, having panic attacks, and other new symptoms, which you did not have before, consult your gynecologist or endocrinologist right away. You could be entering that phase in your life called menopause and your hormones are no longer kicking in like they used to.

“What happened to the sex goddess I used to know?  I don’t know her anymore as she has turned into an ice maiden!” one exasperated husband told his wife.  That wife happens to be one of my BFFs, and as expected, I received a blow-by-blow account on her dwindling libido, and her other symptoms that are driving her mate up the wall. I recalled my conversation with Suzanne Sommers about this painful passage of life and what she did about it.  (Yes, Suzanne Sommers, the famous TV star-turned-writer on health and beauty.)  I happened to be seated between her and her husband during a three-hour dinner party in Shanghai and most of the conversation revolved around how she restored her sexiness through natural hormones. She explained that hormones have a massive impact on a woman’s body and daily life.  As a result, low hormone levels, which occur during major life changes, such as menopause and puberty, can unleash a host of unwanted symptoms.  This is why it is essential that women are informed by their doctor of the different hormones circulating around their bodies and how a change of hormone levels can affect them in a major way.

“I was so miserable as I had a host of unfavorable symptoms and my system was out of whack. I was only in my mid 40s, quite young to menopause, but it happened.  I was itchy, bitchy, sweaty, depressed, fatigued, I had zero libido, and feeling so unsexy.  I was so wanting to feel normal again so I did a lot of research work.  I did not want to take synthetic hormones.  I knew there are natural ways to heal the body.”

In her book, The Sexy Years, Sommers describes how she restored herself in a holistic way  meaning, body, mind and spirit  by taking bio-identical hormones, doing a lot of exercise, and eating healthy.
How do we know what hormones to take and what are bio identical hormones? 

In Manila, one can go to Dr. Marissa Torre, who trained in Germany and the US specializing in Preventive Medicine and Anti-aging Therapy.   I go to Dr. Marissa when I feel my immune system needs a boost.  She gives me an infusion of vitamins C and B complex and a treasure trove of other vitamins and I feel revitalized.  There are ladies who go to her for hormones, but before she prescribes them, Dr. Torre takes a hormone panel test through their saliva to determine what they lack. She sends the samples to laboratories in Australia or the USA for analysis.  Her approach is very individualized.  A precise dosage of natural estrogen, testosterone, progesterone or DHEA is created to meet their needs. This is what is known as bio-identical hormones. She explains that bio-identical hormones are manufactured to match the molecular structures of hormones made by your own body, and act in the body just like the hormones we produce. So it is also called natural hormones. They are compounded from plant extracts like yams, flaxseed, and soy. Bio-identical hormones are supposed to be better than synthetic hormones because they are natural and our bodies can metabolize them well, minimizing side effects. Synthetic hormones are quite strong and sometimes produce intolerable side effects. Furthermore, the compounded bio-identical hormones can be matched individually to a person’s needs which is not possible with mass-produced products.
When hormone levels are optimized, people typically have more physical energy and strength, greater mental clarity, improved clarity of sleep, increased libido, a more positive attitude, and look and feel younger...read more

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