If you’ve ever found yourself caught in the whirlwind of your own hormones, you’re not alone. Your hormones are practically responsible for everything––from the way your mind functions to how your body behaves––a small change in them can have a ripple effect on everything else. The one main culprit behind these fluctuations are androgens. Categorised as sex hormones, androgens are the reason why you hit puberty and play a major part in your reproductive growth. When we say blame it on the hormones, we actually mean blame it on this fella’. Now, both genders produce androgens, however it is more prevalent in males rather than females. And when this particular hormone goes high in women, it can stir up various issues in your body. So what exactly do androgens do and how can one lower them? Let's dive right in!
Androgens In Women
Testosterone is one of the main types of androgen responsible for the ‘male’ like activity in your body, including the growth of hair in pubic and underarm areas for females. Androgens are produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands, and they can sometimes overproduce or underproduce the hormone, resulting in an imbalance or disorder. If you’re wondering why exactly is this hormone being given so much importance? Well. it’s mainly because androgens in women are required to produce estrogen, drive sexual desire, and so many other factors.
What Happens When Levels Are High?
The symptoms of high androgen levels are quite obvious. Remember when we told you that it’s responsible for hair growth too? Well, one of the most obvious symptoms is an increased amount of abnormal facial hair and excess body hair. Too much testosterone can trigger body and facial hair growth, but ironically it can also trigger hair loss too. Weird right? Other than that, you will also notice a change in your skin, particularly, in any acne breakouts. Those who experience high androgen levels, also experience oilier skin than usual. This often results in acne that goes beyond the usual. Besides the physical aspects, high androgen levels can even alter your menstrual cycle, lower your sexual drive, and even impact your regular mood.
How To Lower Androgen Levels?
While the balancing act does require medical intervention (especially, if you’re dealing with conditions like PCOS), there are everyday, natural ways in which you can lower your androgen levels. Here’s how:
#1 - Add Vitamin D to your diet (and your lifestyle)
Did you know that vitamin D is extremely important for the functioning of your organs, especially for your ovaries and gut. By increasing your vitamin D intake through supplements or your diet, you’ll be able to lower testosterone levels and manage your PCOS.
You can do this by spending a good amount of time each morning for about 10 to 20 minutes outside in the sun. Do it early in the morning, as the sun’s rays post 8am can be rather damaging to the skin and body.
Food to reduce androgen levels
Consume foods such as oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms, that are high in vitamin D, and are a great addition to your diet if you’re looking to hike up those vitamin levels.
#2 - Exercise
Exercise, especially weight training according to a 2016 study, has proven to reduce high androgen levels in females. It is advisable to hit the gym and workout out with weights approximately 2 to 3 times a week.
#3 - Consume Prebiotics
Gut health is directly linked to your ovulation, and other things like skin, hair, and stress levels. By consuming prebiotics, you’re restoring gut health which in turn helps with your testosterone levels. Since high insulin levels are also associated with high androgen levels, by consuming prebiotics you help support healthy blood sugar levels in your body.
#4 - Try Out Wellness Teas
Teas such as peppermint or spearmint have anti-androgen effects and can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS too. Cosmix's What Women Want mix has superfoods and adaptogens like Shatavari which can help balance your hormones and impact of high androgen levels in your body.
High androgen levels can be a task to deal with, especially if you’re battling something as serious as PCOS. And while nothing can be ‘fixed’ permanently, there are ways in which you can lower androgen levels, and manage your reproductive health.