The sex hormones that is. The sex hormones are not called that because of the act. They are called that because they determine gender. In essence, they have a lot to do with your personality. They should be called the personality hormones. They have a lot to do with how happy, how active and how loving you are. Oh, and they do have a lot to do with the act.
STEP ONE : THE SEX HORMONES
I searched the eyes of the audience looking for those that connected with mine. If their eyes are communicating with mine, they were the chosen ones. Decades ago I discovered that I could not speak to an entire audience at one time; I had to speak to individuals. The eyes that connected with mine were the ones I would usually see again.
I know that the reason you are here today is discover what all the fuss is about. I will do my best to answer the question you want answered this evening.
How did we rid ourselves of the menacing symptoms that being hormonally challenged caused; such as the weight gain, the inability to lose that weight, the lack of sleep, the loss of energy, the loss of drives for sex, success and fun? Oh, and don’t forget about the bouts we had with anxiety and mood swings.
I wasn’t wearing a sport coat this evening, which I prefer to wear at most of my lectures. In the old days, I wore a suit when I spoke; today its jeans and an untucked shirt. What has society come to when the pair of jeans and the untucked shirt is the suit of the past?
In the back of the room I see Vicky wearing her new black dress, which accentuates her curvaceous body. She oozes a combination of sweetness and sexiness. Every time I look at her, even after all these years, I still get chills. Seeing her reminds me that I have yet transcended from flesh to spirit as a being.
The Pretty Hormone
Let’s start our discussion about the sex hormones with estrogen. Vicky and I have a love hate relationship with estrogen. According to our medical textbooks, estrogen is “the hormone that makes a woman a woman.” The reason it is considered a woman’s hormone is because it is the hormone that makes us pretty; it makes us have pretty skin, pretty hair, and pretty breasts.
We strongly disagree, not about estrogen making you pretty, but with it being a woman’s hormone. We tested men’s estrogen levels several times a day at our clinics and an older woman can’t touch an older man’s estrogen level. That’s why men as men grow older they become bitches. I’m sorry, I mean grumpy old men.
If your man used to be the life of the party, but now he fights you tooth and nail to not go to a social event, and then when he gets there he finds a chair in the corner and falls asleep. You most likely have yourself an estrogen dominant male.
Estrogen is made in the ovaries of women and the testes of men, and in small amounts in our adrenal glands. But in today’s society, our excess fat becomes our primary source of estrogen production. Fat, especially abdominal fat, becomes a hormone producing gland. And of course it produces all the wrong hormones.
The first step of The HOPE Protocol concentrates on balancing your sex hormones to eliminate estrogen’s dominance over the other two sex hormones. The one statement I want ruminating in your mind is that Fat Makes Estrogen! Estrogen Makes Fat! Fat makes Estrogen! Estrogen makes fat! The fatter we become, the more estrogen we produce. ESTROGEN IS A VERY STRONG FAT STORING HORMONE!
When we speak of estrogen, we are speaking of the three strongest estrogens, estrone, estradiol and estriol, otherwise known as E1, E2, and E3 respectively. There are numerous weaker estrogens, in fact, scientists are discovering new estrogens yearly.
Estrone, also called E1, is what I call the ugly estrogen. I know that is mean. It is the estrogen that we have too much of as we age. It is kind of like mercury is a fish. The longer the fish lives, the more mercury it has in it. That is why you are suppose to eat young fish. The more fat the fish has the more mercury it has. That is why you are suppose to eat lean fish. Mercury stores within the fish’s fat. As men and women age, we accumulate estrone. The more fat we have the more we accumulate estrone. Estrone is both a carcinogenic and a fat storing hormone. It is very rarely, if ever, recommended as a supplement. You can visually diagnose estrone accumulation by examining the skin. The skin will lose its smoothness. It will look lumpy.
Estradiol, E2, now that’s the pretty hormone. The problem with estradiol is that it becomes the dominant hormone. When it is dominant, it is carcinogenic and fat storing. It is the second strongest fat storing hormone in our bodies. When it is the dominant hormone, your personality will change. You will not be yourself. It becomes dominant in so many different ways. The primary reason is that we have more fat than we used to have. Fat makes estradiol and it uses the other two sex hormones, progesterone and testosterone, to make estradiol.
Estradiol not only comes from our fat, but it comes from our environment and diet. Many plastics, pesticides, fertilizers, lotions, shampoos, soaps, etc have estrogen compounds within them. Soy is estrogenic and if you eat processed meats, like hamburgers, lunch meats, and hotdogs, soy is used as a filler.
Even if you have gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy, you can still be estrogen dominant, remember our excess fat makes estrogen, we consume estrogens within our diets and we come into contact with synthetic estrogens from our environment. When you go through menopause or have had a hysterectomy, you only lose about 40 to 60% of your estradiol. You lose 80 to 90% of your progesterone and testosterone. We will dedicate an entire lecture on estrogen dominance later. The primary symptoms associated with low estrogen are hot flashes and night sweats.
As I mentioned earlier Vick and I have a love hate relationship with estrogen. The love comes about because estrogen is the best anti-aging hormone out there. We want high estradiol levels, but it must be balanced with the other sex hormones. When you see actresses look better in their forties than they did in their twenties, think E2.
Estriol, also called E3, is what I call the vagina hormone. It is the estrogen in-charge of lubrication. When it decreases, you will have vaginal dryness. It also causes the vaginal wall to thin. This will cause intercourse to be painful. Because of the thinning of the vaginal wall, you will begin to have incontinence. You will lose urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh. This thinning will cause more bacterial and fungus infections. Estriol is a very weak estrogen. We like this estriol because we can treat hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and other vaginal symptoms without creating estradiol to become even more dominant. It takes 60 moles of estriol to match the strength of 1 mole of estradiol. What that means is that it takes 60 molecules of estriol to match 1 molecule of estradiol.
You can use estriol to fill the receptor sites and block out the estradiol. It is a great way to treat estrogen deficiency symptoms without making you gain weight and have moodiness. Where E1 and E2 have associations with cancer, E3 has been shown to have anti-cancer effects. It has been shown that women with breast cancer had reduced urinary excretion of estriol. It has also been observed that women without breast cancer have naturally higher estriol levels, compared with estrone and estradiol levels.
I pause and take a walk across the small stage. I see Vicky in the back of the room talking to Shannon. She looks up and clicks the monitor’r remote. The next slide appears.
The Happy Hormone
Low levels of progesterone can cause more problems than we can shake a stick at. I have just mentioned estrogen dominance. We will spend some time on that in our next class. Let me refine its definition a bit more. Estrogen dominance is not caused so much by estrogen being too high but by progesterone or testosterone being too low. In fact, we want estrogen to be high. We just want it balanced with the other two sex hormones.
I call progesterone the “Happy Hormone.” The reason is that women with high levels of progesterone are in present time. When you are in present time, you are not fearing the future or regretting the past.
Mom was high in progesterone, still is. If I was getting a cookie, she would scream, ‘Dave, get out of that cookie jar!’ I was three rooms over. She was in present time. Now Dad, he could be watching television. I would get up and go get a cookie, then another, then another, then another, and then he would say, ‘hey, when did you get home?’ I never left.
People with happy go lucky attitudes usually have high progesterone levels. They are more romantic, more compassionate and more loving than those with lower levels.
Women start having problems with decreasing progesterone levels when they are in their thirties or after the birth of a child, especially after the birth of their second child.
Low progesterone levels are the primary cause of what physicians call the triad of female psychoses— sleeping disorders, anxiety and depression. Men with low levels of progesterone are just called ass-holes.
I avoid looking at Vicky. She gets upset at me when I curse on stage. I smile knowing that she is waiting for me to look her way. I don’t.
The Drive Hormone
Let’s move onto testosterone. It is easy to know if you have high or low testosterone levels. If you have high levels of testosterone, you will have a high sex drive. If you have low testosterone levels, you will have a low or no sex drive.
I pause and look through the audience. I see numerous men look at their wives with that look. There are a couple of woman that look at their men with that look also. Loss of sex drive is ubiquitous among men and women that are hormonally challenged. I continue.
Testosterone is all about drives. Men and women with high testosterone levels are always thinking about the goal, the result. In fact, testosterone is the opposite of progesterone. Where progesterone is all about being in present time, high testosterone individuals are rarely in present time. That’s why men can’t find the milk.
“Honey! I thought you bought some milk!”
“There’s no milk in here.”
“Yes there is.”
“It’s right in front of you.”
And it is. Men can’t find the milk because their mind is on work, the garage, the car, the project, the goal.
High testosterone individuals just want to get there. Remember how Daddy would say, ‘you better take a pee now, because we’re not stopping until we get to Disneyland.’ It doesn’t matter if the Grand Canyon or the biggest ball of yarn is between here and there. He isn’t stopping. In fact, he could care less about Disneyland. Once he gets there he beats his chest and tells himself he is the man. His family is at Disneyland!
Low testosterone levels are also associated with excess abdominal fat, otherwise called beer bellies, depression, loss of physical strength, low self- esteem and low self-confidence.
People with high levels of testosterone have high drives for sex, pleasure of any kind, and success. They will usually have flat bellies, be full of enthusiasm/motivation, have muscle strength, self confidence, sometimes to the point of arrogance, high energy levels and are goal driven.
We have found that the more abdominal fat one has the less testosterone they have. One of the reasons is an enzyme called aromatase. It converts testosterone into estrogen. And we can’t say this enough. Estrogen makes us accumulate fat in the abdominal fat stores and this excess fat stores causes an increase in the aromatase enzyme that converts more testosterone into estrogen and so on and so on. When you increase your testosterone levels, it will mobilize your belly fat out of its abdominal storage areas and utilize it to make more muscle.
I walk over to a stool to where there is a bottle of alkaline water. I drink some. It’s still cool. I look over at Vicky and she points her finger at me. She hasn’t forgot about my curse word. I smile and say to myself ‘life is wonderful.’ I point at the monitor. She smiles and clicks the remote. Her teeth glisten as if they were made from pearls.
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