Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Addison's: Addison's & Testosterone Deficiency in Women

Introduction"Testosterone is the major biologically active androgen in women, derived in approximately equal amounts from the adrenal glands and the ovaries..." Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2006;2(8):432-433
I AM NOT A DOCTOR, I DO NOT PLAY ONE ON TELEVISION. Everything written here is my interpretation of medical literature. Sources will be provided and linked throughout the post. Only make changes to your medical routine with the permission of your physician.
Do not trust anything I have written here.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Print out journal articles and take them to your doctor so he or she can give you the most up to date treatment possible. Doctors don't have time to read up on every hormone deficiency there is so help your doctor out by giving him/her the most up to date information!
Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies. Men's androgen deficiencies are well documented and treated. You can probably even get your testosterone level tested and get a prescription if your hormones are not right. Women are not generally as lucky and it impacts their health in very negative ways. My opinion here but because we don't have a penis and testosterone deficiency has no outward signs such as loss of erection for women, it's not very important to doctors.

A woman's testosterone deficiency are often ignored or even discounted by doctors. Although women do not produce the quantities of testosterone that men do, it's a very important hormone for a women's quality of life. I will describe the symptoms of androgen deficiency in women, causes, testing and lab ranges, treatment and journal abstracts and relevant links (linked throughout the post).

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency in women
    • DECREASE IN MUSCLE MASS
    • DECREASED BONE DENSITY (OSTEOPOROSIS OR OSTEOPENIA)
    • FATIGUE
    • LOSS OF SEX DRIVE
    • DEPRESSED MOOD
    • ACHY JOINTS
    • CHANGES IN FEELINGS OF WELLBEING
  • Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2006;2(8):432-433
    • DIMINISHED SENSE OF WELL-BEING
    • PERSISTENT, UNEXPLAINED FATIGUE
    • DECREASED SEXUAL DESIRE, RECEPTIVITY, AND PLEASURE, IN A WOMAN WHO IS ESTROGEN REPLETE AND IN WHOM NO TOHER SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTING FACTORS CAN BE IDENTIFIED


Causes of testosterone deficiency in women
Come on ladies!!!!
Most of us have at least 2, if not 3, of the major risk factors for testosterone deficiency!
Testing and Lab Ranges
  • Testosterone, Total
    • Testosterone, Total, Serum

      Age Male
      (ng/dL)
      Female
      (ng/dL)
      1-5 mo 1-177 1-10
      6-11 mo 1-10 1-10
      1-5 y 0-10 0-10
      6-7 y 0-20 0-10
      8-10 y 0-25 0-30
      11-12 y 0-350 0-50
      13-15 y 15-500 0-50
      Adults 241-827 14-76
  • Testosterone, % Free
  • Testosterone, Free
Reference IntervalReference Interval - Updated January 15 2008


Female:
  • 20-59 years: 0.0-2.2 pg/mL
  • >59 years: 0.0-1.8 pg/mL
I'd like to note that lab ranges and optimal ranges are two totally different things. Optimal ranges allow a patient to feel the best that she can feel. Lab ranges do not.
According to Screaming to Be Heard, the optimal serum testosterone levels need to be 40 to 60 ng/dL but can vary quite a bit (even below the range) in women.

Treatment
  • First off, why be treated for low testosterone?
  1. You deserve to feel well, QUALITY OF LIFE IS IMPORTANT
  2. Osteoporosis is not fun or healthy. It is not acceptable for a doctor to NOT test your testosterone levels if you have osteoporosis. If your doctor refuses to test these hormones, find a new doctor.
  3. If you have Addison's disease and/or have had a hysterectomy, you don't need any more fatigue than you've already got
  4. If you're on corticosteroids, weight and wellbeing can be a constant challenge
  • What are my treatment options?Methyl testosterone - testosterone that is created in the laboratory and put into a pill. Generally commercial doses (created by pharmaceuticals) are made for men and too high of a dose for women. Taking testosterone orally increases potential for liver problems. Microionized testosterone. Skin cream. Skin gel. Sublingual tablets. Vaginal suppositories.
  • The formatting is all screwed up and I can't fix it, sorry.
  • You will need to speak to an educated medical professional, your pharmacist and a compounding pharmacist to determine the best testosterone delivery for you.

Post a Comment