Yet another miracle ‘cure’ for the menopause symptoms has hit the headlines. Testosterone preparations are being promoted all over social media and have many women believing it’s the answer to their prayers.
It’s touted as the missing piece of the jigsaw. I beg to differ and so do concerned doctors.
Business is booming in private clinics as women clamour for the latest magic bullet to get them through this phase in their life. But there are side effects if you end up using too much. These include thinning hair, acne and voice breaking.
In spite of these potential problems, it’s no wonder women are desperate to find something to alleviate the very long list of symptoms they experience on and off over the average 4-year perimenopause. Plus, many women continue to suffer after menopause, which is officially 12 months after the last menstrual cycle.
And the jury is out on whether testosterone treatments do anything other than improve libido. The following was in the Mail on Sunday article:
“In all cases – apart from libido the data is unreliable and shows no benefit” says Professor Davis. There is enough data on general well-being to say there’s no benefit to mood. A trial looking at women with major depression found no evidence of benefits. She adds “For cognitive function, bone and muscle, which we’re particularly interested in, the available data consistently shows no evidence of benefit with clinical trials or from observational studies. At the moment, on this evidence base you’d be prescribing on a whim. It’s misleading to suggest there are other benefits we have no idea.”
With 10 years of nutrition and my own observational studies and seeing clients with a range of health issues you start to notice patterns. And the pattern that screams out to me is that many of the symptoms ascribed to the menopause in women, happen in men of a similar age. Especially decreased libido.
How can this be? Men can’t be going through the change, so what can be the cause? Testosterone is declining in men at this life stage too. So, I’m going to throw my hat into the ring and say that it’s due to something other than menopause.
Well, as it’s me writing this, you know full well I’m going to put it down to food. I am firmly going to tell you it’s specifically down to insulin resistance in response to refined foods.
Why do I think this? Well, having studied for my diploma in the management of diabetes it became apparent to me that people that are never diagnosed with diabetes are still suffering with the same chronic health issues. Men and women, overweight or slim are dealing with many ailments which tend to manifest after 45.
By this point their bodies no longer cope with being fed with refined foods that are hailed as healthy but are, instead, loading up blood sugar which has to be met with an insulin response. The worst culprits are bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Doesn’t matter if they’re brown versions either they are mainlining sugar into the bloodstream all day long and in the end, insulin no longer gets it into the cells to bring down the glucose levels.
As insulin is a master hormone, when it becomes imbalanced, remaining high with every meal, it interferes with your entire endocrine (hormone) system. Hence the drop in testosterone and the exacerbation of problems that would occur with or without the perimenopause.
I am fully aware that women have other fluctuations going on, the decline in oestrogen definitely occurs, but as a woman 4 years into my perimenopause I can tell you that I only experience undesirable symptoms when I veer off the optimal diet. Occasionally I throw caution to the wind and eat bread, pasta and sugar in one form or another, and back come the palpitations, low mood, brain fog and achy joints.
The optimal diet isn’t even tricky to stick to. It’s foods we were born to eat. Foods that occur in nature that have grown in the sun. Meat, fish, dairy, nuts, eggs and vegetables with the fat that grows with them, tastes good and provides all of the nutrients your body requires to build and repair you for every phase in your life.
And it works out a hell of a lot cheaper than these fad treatments.