Health Tips Blog
American Heart Month: How Hormones Affect Your Heart (In More Ways Than One)
By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on February 17, 2015
February is American Heart Month, which makes it the perfect time to talk about heart health, but not just as it relates to cardiovascular health. With a highly sexually charged film making headlines this month, it's worth taking a look at how heart health, or the lack thereof, may impact your love life. Indeed, hormones play a role in not only how healthy your heart is, but in the health of your sexuality as well. Let's take a look at how a hormone imbalance can negatively affect your physical health as well as your sex life.
There is no denying the intrinsic link between healthy levels of hormones, and a healthy sex drive (AKA libido). In women, a decline in estrogen and progesterone production over time can wreak havoc on a once healthy sexual appetite. From vaginal dryness to declining vaginal sensation, to atrophy; an imbalance of hormones can lead to a lack of desire for sexual intimacy, thus putting a strain on a relationship. However, a hormone imbalance may not only have an impact on your romantic or sexual life, it may also have a negative impact on your heart health.
Indeed, the lack of proper levels of estrogen in women may be linked to a greater risk for diabetes which is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease. Similarly, an imbalance in progesterone can cause blood pressure to rise. Elevated blood pressure is yet another risk factor for heart disease.
Similar links can be seen in hormone imbalances in men. There is an undisputed link between cardiovascular disease in men, and sexual dysfunction. More often than not, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol go hand in hand with erectile dysfunction.
So what can Southern California men and women who are experiencing a declining sex drive do, in order to improve libido, all the while preventing heart disease? The answer is obvious: balance the hormones.
Women will benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which has not only proven to enhance sex drive, but to have positive cardiovascular benefits as well. For example. Transdermal estradiol given to postmenopausal women has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes. In addition, micronized progesterone can help to lower blood pressure. An added bonus? Unlike oral HRT, transdermal bioidentical hormones provided by the California Center of Longevity and Functional Medicine do not increase the risk for dangerous blood clots in women.
Men in Southern California may begin to suspect their testosterone levels have dropped, when their sex drives begin to wane, or when their ability to achieve and maintain an erection diminishes. Hormone imbalances may also be to blame for deteriorating muscle mass. Testosterone replacement therapy has proven time and again to have a number of health benefits for men, including a greater insulin resistance, and coronary artery vasodilation-both of which reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Testosterone replacement therapy provided by the California Center of Longevity and Functional Medicine can also often reverse erectile dysfunction, with up to 40% of men reporting that testosterone replacement therapy has alleviated erectile dysfunction.
Southern California residents interested in learning more about hormone replacement therapy to enhance their sex drive, all the while helping to prevent cardiovascular disease are encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kurtz at the California Center of Longevity and Functional Medicine, based in Woodland Hills, CA. Call us today at 818.346.1440.
Dr. Allan Kurtz is a Board Certified Internist, specializing in creating optimal health and longevity for his patients. Dr. Kurtz has been in private practice since 1984. He is fellowship trained in Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, and The Institute for Functional Medicine.