Psychologists have long recognized that stress affects men and women differently. While some women tend to seek out social support while men are more likely to withdraw. So what does this effect have on the hormones during these times?
Initially, women have the same response to stress as men, leaving both of them somewhat vulnerable to the overproduction of cortisol and adrenaline says Dr. Joel Rosen. However, a hormonal difference between the two can result when the level of testosterone is higher in men before a stressful event because they seem to navigate better at least in the short term than women. This does not appear to be the case with women because their estrogen levels do not seem to make a difference in navigating stressful situations. He says this could be some key differences between men and women when it comes to stress.
Testing is Key To Identify Hormone Status
During stressful times women begin secreting oxytocin from the pituitary gland and this can help them scale back the production of cortisol and adrenaline, minimizing their harmful effects. In women, it’s a key hormone that promotes both maternal and social behavior and enhances relaxation. Men, on the other hand, also secrete oxytocin when under stress, but they produce it in lesser amounts than women do, and its positive effects are inhibited by male hormones such as testosterone. Dr. Rosen likes to use the Dutch Test when looking at hormones. He finds this test gives a more comprehensive picture of his client’s profile of sex and adrenal hormones. He notices when his clients are under stress this test helps provides a hormone picture for them to identify the hormonal levels in the body.
Many times his patients report the symptoms of depression, weight gain, insomnia, and abnormal cycles to name a few when they are undergoing stressful times. These symptoms can contribute to abnormal hormone levels or imbalances. For many people, who experience times of stress or illness cortisol is an important hormone that may become imbalanced. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands which lie on top of the kidneys. When cortisol becomes too high low-intensity exercise can help lower elevated cortisol levels. Stress can also impact both adrenal function and hormone levels. He encourages his patients to get acquainted with hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so they can be proactive with their health and get the necessary support.
Could Aging Be A Form Of Disease Which Effects Our Hormones?
Dr. Rosen has come to believe that in his own household that the timing of meals especially with the family is a huge part of keeping good health. He remembers growing up when he ate meals as a family and noticed they were more balanced and healthier compared to the hurried fast food approaches of today’s lifestyles. Also, he says there something to be said about going to bed at a certain time each night to keep to the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. He highly recommends David Sinclair’s book on longevity. In his groundbreaking book, Dr. David Sinclair, a leading world authority on genetics and longevity, reveals a bold new theory for why we age. He says, “Aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable. Dr. Rosen says read it for yourself and then decide.
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