If you want a healthy heart, don’t miss this simple strategy
By Pamela Levin, R.N.
Do you need to make this one simple adjustment that lowers your risk of heart attack?
Use the checklist provided here to find out. By paying attention to one simple facet of your health, you can:
• increase your coronary artery blood flow;
• support production of the collagen that forms the connective tissue sac around your heart;
• stimulate the growth of your muscles and bone;
• support production of your red blood cell, therefore increasing oxygenation in all your cells;
• raise your ambition, confidence and sex drive.
To know whether this strategy is one you need to employ, check any symptoms that apply to you below:
• Loss of ambition
• Mild depression
• Feeling dull, sluggish, frequently drowsy (lethargic)
• Loss of libido (sex drive)
• Low energy
• Decreased motivation
• Increase in fine wrinkles
• Sagging skin especially on your face
• Chest pain
• Loss of muscle strength
• Diminished muscle tone
• Diminished serum free testosterone on saliva test
• Pre-menopausal /postmenopausal bone loss
• Symptoms increase in stress
Next, check to see if any of these conditions or situations apply:
• you are in the time following natural menopause ,
• you are post-surgical or chemically-induced menopause,
• you had chemotherapy or irradiation,
• you have premature ovarian failure,
• you are attempting to manage premenstrual syndrome,
• you have bone loss induced by taking cortisone drugs,
• you’re managing wasting syndromes secondary to HIV and/or malignancy,
• you’ve had GNRH-analog treatment of endometriosis, or
• you’ve had adjunctive therapy for rheumatoid arthritis or SLE
The more symptoms you’ve checked in either list above, the more likely it is that you have low testosterone levels.
How does this apply if you’re female? It turns out that testosterone, contrary to popular opinion, is not a male hormone only. In addition to being produced in male bodies, it is actually also produced by female ovaries and by female adrenal glands ( one third by ovaries and two thirds by adrenals).
In fact, testosterone is the hormone that triggers female sexual development during puberty and stimulates the onset of menstruation. After that, female testosterone levels naturally vary during the menstrual cycle, rising just before ovulation (and causing an increase in sexual desire at the same point when women are most fertile).
Your testosterone levels are likely to drop as you get older, especially if your adrenal glands aren’t working well. That’s because your adrenals are supposed to take over production of testosterone as your ovaries or testes involute during the midlife menopausal or andropausal shift.
Therefore low testosterone levels can be at the root of some heart problems, especially after this midlife shift. To summarize how that’s possible, consider that testosterone drives production of connective tissue – and that’s what your heart is made from. Low testosterone causes not just a sagging face and skin, but a sagging heart in which the valves don’t align properly.
Inadequate testosterone levels also mean you lose heart muscle, your heart loses connective tissue, your coronary artery flow is decreased, your red blood cell production drops off, and all that causes weakness and shortness of breath.
If any or all of this is happening to you, the easiest thing to do is not what you might think. No, don’t rush off to get a testosterone prescription. That’s hormone replacement therapy and requires careful medical supervision assuming it’s not contraindicated by other factors. Instead, support your adrenals, because if they are sufficiently supported, they will make testosterone according to the needs of your body.
And having your body make its own hormones is always the best choice. You won’t have to concern yourself with medical monitoring of blood or tissue levels because your body will do that job for you, automatically. And you won’t have any side effects.
Pamela Levin is an R.N., an award-winning nutritional journalist and author with 500+ post-graduate hours in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kinesiology. In private practice 42 years, she has worked extensively and effectively with female hormone issues and has shared her expertise with colleagues and lay audiences in 10 countries and four continents.
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