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How To Balance Testosterone In Women – Part 1: Elevated Testosterone

Holistic Health

“Testosterone isn’t always on the top of our list when it comes to hormone balance, especially for women, but it’s an incredibly important hormone and one that helps us to feel energetic, motivated and strong.”


“While addressing your unique causes to elevated testosterone is the goal, there are some common action steps that will support women with elevated testosterone.”


How To Balance Testosterone In Women – Part 1: Elevated Testosterone 


Testosterone isn’t always on the top of our list when it comes to hormone balance, especially for women, but it’s an incredibly important hormone and one that helps us to feel energetic, motivated, sexy and strong. 


In my recent hormone series on the blog, I’ve discussed cortisol, progesterone, estrogen dominance and plant-based approaches for estrogen detox. With all of these hormones, either low levels or high levels lead to symptoms and imbalances. The same is true with testosterone in women; we want to take a goldilocks approach, not too much or too little testosterone, but just right. 


That’s exactly what we are going to dive into in this two part series: understanding both high testosterone in women and low testosterone along with action steps to address both cases. 


Today in Part 1, we are going to cover high testosterone. Keep reading to learn more about: 


Let’s get started!

Elevated Testosterone In Women With PCOS 


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common cause of elevated testosterone that I see in my practice.  (Click here to learn more about what is PCOS and PCOS diagnosis. And click here for PCOS treatment approaches.)


Hormones don’t operate alone and very directly influence one another. Insulin-resistance is common in PCOS; 50 to 60 percent of PCOS patients also have metabolic syndrome. Insulin is the hormone that moves sugar from the blood into your cells and when blood sugar and insulin are high, over time, the cells have a hard time hearing insulin’s signal. 


When insulin is high, ovulation is inhibited which leads to the irregular cycles common with PCOS. High insulin often causes high estrogen in relationship to progesterone (remember you need ovulation to make progesterone). High insulin also signals to the ovaries and adrenal glands to make more testosterone. With insulin, estrogen and testosterone high, both weight and fertility are impacted. And since fat cells can also make testosterone, it can be hard to break the cycle. 


It’s important to note that not all women with PCOS have high testosterone and it’s also possible to have high testosterone without PCOS, which happens frequently when coming off of hormonal birth control. Causes of elevated testosterone levels in women vary from person to person. This is why it’s so important to work with your practitioner and have hormone testing done so you can address your own, personal root causes. 

Signs And Symptoms Of High Testosterone In Women


The following signs and symptoms might be clues to elevated testosterone levels when compared to normal testosterone levels in women. 



If this pattern sounds like you, some testing will help confirm your suspicion and distinguish high testosterone from other hormone imbalances. 

How To Lower Testosterone In Women 


While addressing your unique causes to elevated testosterone is the goal, there are some common action steps that will support women with elevated testosterone. 






My hope is that this gives you some information and action steps for exploring your own hormones and what to look out for as far as testosterone. In part 2 of my testosterone series, I will cover low testosterone. Stay tuned!


References


  1. Karakas S. E. (2017). New biomarkers for diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry, 471, 248–253. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28624501/ 
  2. Nagata, C., Kabuto, M., & Shimizu, H. (1998). Association of coffee, green tea, and caffeine intakes with serum concentrations of estradiol and sex hormone-binding globulin in premenopausal Japanese women. Nutrition and cancer, 30(1), 21–24. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9507508/ 
  3. Dhariwala, M. Y., & Ravikumar, P. (2019). An overview of herbal alternatives in androgenetic alopecia. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 18(4), 966–975. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30980598/ 
  4. Briden, L. (2017). Period Repair Manual. 2nd Edition. 

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