She snaps at you at the least provocation, or worse, without rhyme or reason. She complains a lot even on a pleasant, sunny day. At night, when you’re all set to spend a quiet, cozy evening with her, she shuts off like a spent light bulb and rejects your sweet gestures.
Yes, your lady is grumpy and boring in bed. What happened to the sweet girl who made a room light up with her smile, the one you looked forward to spending a wonderful, quiet night with?
Before you start WWIII at home, consider: She could be a victim of lopsided hormones. You see, the levels of estrogen and progesterone, the main sex hormones in women and an essential part of the menstrual cycle, fluctuates day by day. Shifts in the estrogen-progesterone balance can cause lots of problems—from something as harmless as mood swings, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and low sex drive, to something as scary as cancer.
The two hormones have antagonistic properties as well as complimentary effects on the body. You need a balance of both for optimal functioning.
For instance, estrogen causes fluid retention while natural progesterone is a diuretic (not the synthetic progestins though). Estrogen gives more energy (more excitatory, sympathetic stimulation) while progesterone causes more tranquility (more inhibitory, parasympathetic stimulation).
An imbalance of these two hormones could explain different conditions associated with perimenopause, menopause or the aging process of women in general.
A lack of progesterone (with corresponding estrogen dominance) can cause weight gain, anxiety, headaches, swollen or tender breasts, and mood swings.
Meanwhile, a lack of estrogen can cause hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, poor memory and vaginal dryness.
But toxins in meat, food heated in plastic containers, and even statins or drugs which lower cholesterol, can destroy the natural order of things in the body.
Food heated in plastic or water in plastic containers produces chemicals that act as xenoestrogens, which mimic natural estrogens, and induce processes that lead to illnesses, including cancer.
Doctors who prescribe statins may please patients by lowering cholesterol levels. But this comes at a price.
Cholesterol is the parent molecule from which sex hormones (and hormones like cortisol and aldosterone) are derived. If you lower cholesterol too much, you’re effectively lowering sex hormones, too.
To make matters worse, testosterone levels drop as men and women age. This natural process, combined with a drug-induced drop in testosterone, can be dangerous. Besides causing lower libido in women, low testosterone could cause fatigue and lack of motivation.
Young and old alike are prone to headaches, which can make them grumpy and boring in bed. One of the main culprits is a low progesterone supply. This feel-good hormone balances body fluids and promotes sleep (which lessens headaches), among others.
How to solve the problem?
A plant-based diet prevents the nagging signs and symptoms linked to menopause. Studies show that women who eat more meat (nonorganic) tend to have more hormonal imbalance.
Consider the caveman
I recommend a “Paleolithic” or “caveman” diet consisting of meat (organic, free-range preferably), vegetables, poultry, eggs, fish and fruits.
One should avoid grains, sweets and artificial caffeinated drinks.
Cruciferous vegetables (eaten lightly steamed) like broccoli, spinach, kangkong, bok choy, cauliflower and kale (among many others) help the body metabolize hormones better (preventing it from forming harmful estrogens).
Yam and soy-based products like tofu can also do the trick.
A caveat, though. Too much soy (refined soy products specifically) could harm the thyroid gland.
To play safe, opt for bioidentical hormones, which are called such because their structures are identical to what our bodies produce. We conduct a thorough history and physical, direct and functional tests and prescribe bioidentical hormones a trained pharmacist can compound.
But we are very much behind in compounding bioidentical hormones tailor-fit for a person’s needs—his/her nutritional status, metabolic/genetic characteristics. We address a person’s overall health (with greater focus on prevention), send lab tests abroad for analysis if needed, study the results, and prescribe TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes), nutraceuticals and bioidentical hormones.
The author is an internist and has been practicing integrative medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He is medical director of R3 Medica Health Institute, tel. 5701787, 5856420 and 0917-5446228. He is also a consultant at Medical City Department of Wellness and Aesthetics. You may also check his website www.r3medica.com.