I’m a Greek/Cypriot girl so have struggled with excessive hair growth ever since I was little but in the last few months, I began to notice hairs appearing in new places. Additionally, my skin flared out with spots really bad and I am usually someone who gets complimented on my clear skin often.
I have recently been out of work for some time now and assumed the stress of lack of income was the cause for the skin but then I decided to look at my body a little closer. My blood sugar levels kept spiking. One week I was in total control of my food, the next I wasn’t. I’ve also always had fat on my lower belly, so started to add everything up.
I had been tested for PCOS when I was younger but never followed up the initial doctors appointment (I will now after all this research I’ve carried out). One thing I do remember from when I had my hormones checked was a mention of testosterone in my body. Now, don’t be alarmed ladies. We all have a mixture of hormones in our bodies that are usually balanced and if not, you’ll start to notice your body being a bit different like I did.
I decided to research into causes of high testosterone in women. From which, I discovered the symptoms were:
Testosterone is elevated around ovulation cycles if you are menstruating which can lead to hormonal acne breakouts commonly around your jaw or chin. If you have PCOS you may be suffering from breakouts like these most of the time. (If you suffer from acne, my brand new program, 50% off this week, Clear Skin Unlocked: The Ultimate Guide to Acne Freedom and Flawless Skin, could be a great resource for you).
2. Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Having irregular menstrual cycles creates a hormonal balance allowing testosterone to become dominant or recessive. Another reason you may be having irregular menstrual cycles could be stemming from PCOS.
3. Blood Sugar Swings
Insulin encourages the ovaries to produce more testosterone.
4. Low Libido
Your testosterone levels can be high but if your other primary sex hormones are not balanced, then high testosterone will not result in higher libido.
5. Male Pattern Balding and Hair Growth
Another sign of high testosterone levels in women is male pattern balding and hair growth.
Now, 1,2,3 and 5 were kind of normal people traits. I thought maybe it was because I was due on my period, or stressed about work, or had lots of sweat on my face at the gym that created this skin flare. BUT THEN I realise point number 4 was about low libido. If you know me, I am the horniest woman alive but for the past month, I’ve had absolutely no sex drive at all. It’s really unusually for me, really.
So, this is what I found out via paleoforwomen:
What happens when you workout and afterward
During the course of any kind of strenuous activity — whether more in the vein of endurance / cardio or in high intensity weight lifting — the body burns through its glycogen stores. Glycogen, in essence, is a form of sugar. It’s stored in the muscles. It’s one of the body’s favorite fuel sources for exercise. Athletes almost always start a demanding workout with full glycogen stores. Otherwise, they will have less fuel for their efforts and will perform less than optimally.
Fitness specialists recomment that after a workout that depletes muscle glycogen (so after about one hour of higher intensity), you eat a meal composed of 3:1 carbohydrate:protein. When you do so, insulin and growth hormone levels rise, and testosterone levels fall. This boosts muscle building while at the same time maintaining healthy hormone balance. Cortisol levels appear to stay the same after you eat. For women, luteneizing hormone levels also stay the same . This demonstrates that it is not hormone levels in general that fall when you eat post-workout, but testosterone levels specifically.
Moreover, it seems as though post-work-out feeding reduces muscle soreness, too.
Testosterone is important for a lot of functions in the female body. Excess testosterone, however, is not. Excess testosterone causes infertility, poly cystic ovarian syndrome, acne, male pattern hair growth on the face and body, hair loss on the top of the head, and diminished libido.
I eat really well but not in a good timely manner. I have a habit of staying out the house once I am out i.e going to the gym, then going shopping, then meeting friends etc and not returning home until I am done with my day. THIS IS BAD. In the last few months, I’ve completely upped my exercise and know I need to go back to the doctors and check my hormones again.
Knowing about my imbalance of testosterone actually puts me at ease too. I carry all my fat in my lower stomach, whereas women tend to carry their fat in their thighs (think pear shape). I used to hate my body so much and constantly ask myself why I couldn’t ever get rid of this fat and why no other girls had it and because of that, I built unhealthy habits to try and fix it. Now that I am more educated, I feel a lot better about my body and know what works and what doesn’t.