Tuesday 20 December 2016

Marla Ahlgrimm | Sex Hormones

Marla Ahlgrimm
The endocrine system manages every hormone in the body, including all of the sex hormones, which naturally diminish with age. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, waning sex hormones, especially in women, can affect energy levels as well as sexual pleasure and overall feelings of well-being. In the following Q&A, Ahlgrimm answers questions about the functions of the most common sex hormones.

Q: What is estrogen and why is it so important to women’s growth and development?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Though estrogen occurs in both men and women’s bodies, it is one of the main hormones in a woman’s reproductive system. The three forms of estrogen, estriol, estrone, and estradiol, each have different functions. A deficiency of any of these can cause severe health conditions, including osteoporosis, chronic dry skin, mood swings, systemic inflammation, and fatigue.

Q: Which hormones are related to the menstrual cycle?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Levels of both estrogen and progesterone change depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle. Progesterone is commonly considered a counterpart to estrogen and helps encourage estrogen-driven growth of the uterine lining during fetal development. When these two hormones are out of balance, women may experience symptoms including headache, bloating, irritability, and possibly uterine fibroids.

Q: Do women have testosterone?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Though associated with masculinity, testosterone is vital for women’s health, in small amounts. A testosterone deficiency in women can cause fatigue and decreased libido.

Q: What is the most common steroid hormone in the human body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), which is the precursor to estrogen as well as testosterone. DHEA is released by the adrenal glands and has a profound effect on cognitive abilities and emotional health. DHEA works to decrease fat, maintain cardiovascular function, and support healthy bone development. Excessive DHEA can cause dermatological problems and liver dysfunction.


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