Men can be so confused when it comes to women. Perhaps, you have noticed that many men are not particularly tuned in to the complexities of the female universe. Especially when it comes to emotions which may, at times, appear somewhat unpredictable…or even chaotic.
Well, most women don’t understand why they can be topsy-turvy. So, in case you missed the ever popular “Birds and Bees Lecture” as a teenager, below is an updated hormone chart (lower left) and an Urban Princess Blinged-Out Chart with corresponding emotions (lower right).
What if this is what a guy hears throughout a monthly cycle…PARTAY! LOVE ME! DO THIS & THAT FOR ME! SEX NOW! DON’T TOUCH ME! I HATE YOU! WAH-BOO-HOO! HUG ME! CUDDLE-CUDDLE! Honestly, we can give an array of contradictory messages. And you know they are wondering: “How many women are stuffed in that one body?”
Beneficial info? Understanding the body ‘s natural rhythms creates an opportunity to leverage your strengths. Upswing? Date time or great time to make a presentation or throw a party. Downswing? During low energy…read, maybe clean, organize, research, write a business plan.
NOTE TO SELF: When it comes to mixed signals, maybe we give as good as we get.
Youth sees 20=30=40=50=60 in terms of having the same resources to accomplish whatever whenever. This is a falsehood of mythical proportions as there are times when no amount of positive thinking or more exercise will exorcise a problem and result in a ‘back to normal.’
So many changes happen between 35-45 and two very common experiences are brain fog and fatigue. Being able to distinguish and pinpoint cause as related to exhausted adrenals, educed hormone production, and/or thyroid issues can be hugely advantageous in terms of knowing how to fix and where to fix.
This information is important to you because some (many) physicians do not acknowledge, test or treat the above biological dysfunctions. “You’re getting older so live with it” is not that a woman juggling home, spouse, children, homework, soccer practice and dance classes work wants to hear.
Below, is a Low-Thyroid Symptom Chart for your reading pleasure. Next Blog: Sexual Performance
NOTE TO SELF: A basic understanding of ages and stages can be your best friend, girlfriend.
“Common Knowledge isn’t all that common.”
Common Low-Thyroid Symptoms Compiled by
Jim Hrncir, RPh, Las Colinas Pharmacy & Wellness
- Weight Gain
- Hair loss- Outside Eyebrows
- Low Basal Body Temperature
- Cold Hands and Feet
- Intolerance to Cold
- Scalp Hair Loss
- Dry Skin
- Decreased Memory & Concentration
- Weak or Ridged Nails
- Puffy Eyes- Swollen Eyelids
- Muscle Weakness
- Low Blood Pressure
- Fluid Retention
- Decreased Sex Drive
At my age 37-ish annual physical when my physician asked if I had any questions, I responded, “You know, doc, could I have a low-thyroid condition? My brain is foggy, I have a little problem remembering things and if I look at a cupcake, I gain five pounds.
He looked at me in what seemed a fatherly fashion and said, “Why don’t you let me be the doctor besides, it’s not your job to diagnose.” Okay, well, he wasn’t the one running 3 miles at lunchtime to maintain a decent weight while everyone else feasted on greasy hamburgers topped off with frothy shakes. Not to mention consuming vast quantities of caffeine, sugar and diet soda in an effort to drum up a little more brain action in order to keep my job.
Five years, forty pounds later, and desperate for answers, I was referred to a physician whose first words were, “At the medical school I attended, we were taught to listen to our atients. She validated my concerns then started with Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) but added Free T-3 and Free T-4 which encompasses not only release of thyroid hormone but also subsequent uptake. For example, if there is an iodine deficiency, TSH may be released but not utilized. My new physician understood the relevance of a broader scope. Ding-Ding-Ding!
The results came back again “low normal” and symptoms again were ‘so not normal.’ Starting on a low dose, she adjusted medication until cognitive function and energy were on track. There was a spring in my step again and the low grade depression of the past 12-years was gonzo…it was time to get back to conquering my known universe!
NOTE TO SELF: Neva, neva, neva give up.
“Common Knowledge isn’t all that common.”
In my late teens, Rosa looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’re not beautiful but there is something about you that attracts people. I can’t quite put my finger on it.” Huh.
Now you have to understand she was always direct so I didn’t take offense. As I trusted her, her truth gradually became my truth and ultimately my brain morphed ‘unattractive’ into UGLY…and for decades I saw UGLY every time I looked in the mirror.
Decades later, my friend brought up the same subject out of nowhere. You’re kidding, right? After a pause I said, you’re entitled to your opinion. As it happens other people think I am beautiful not that it matters. Please don’t mention it again.
A week later, Rosa called apologizing profusely. She confessed that she had felt very ugly as a child and was jealous of me. Wow.
Some days, we sail through life happy as a clam and other days, not so much. Some days, we feel like we might lose control and other days, we lose it…completely. I hate losing control.
One day while studying the female ‘monthly’ cycle in premed biology, the stars aligned and OMG…the chemistry of my biology made total sense! And yes, there can actually be a cause and effect. Below, is the ever so infamous Blinged-Out Hormone Chart with associated emotions.
To oversimplify: As estrogen ramps up to release a monthly egg, it gives a girl a flirty-flavor. It then gives way as progesterone takes the lead and a normal woman can feel like superwoman on steroids. At the end of the cycle (when we were told we couldn’t get pregnant) there is a tricky little estrogen spike – triggering romance and possible pregnancy…IF an egg is released. Surprise!
From flying high, we hit the depths of despair, lose our cool, hate ourselves, and maybe have a little cry. Did you know that crying helps the body to release excess hormones? Good to know! Finally, an oxytocin low puts us back in cuddle mode helping the body to replenish this feel good hormone.
The point is when overcome by circumstances, especially when they have a name (like Hubby or Jr.), it never hurts to check the cycle, breathe and think before taking a proverbial swing. This can prevent cataclysmic mate-bashing, berating an innocent child or saying something at work that they will never forget and you will always, always regret.
NOTE TO SELF: Tune into your ‘stuff’ and own it.
We make decisions in our 20’s that we have to live with in our 30’ and 40’s. This is important because as a 20-Something, we have the ‘whiz and vinegar’ to conquer the world – not realizing that physical, mental and emotional momentum gradually slows down and what’s left doesn’t always take us through the day or even make it to supper and bedtime with kids in tow.
From 35-40, aging can make us feel like a little fatigue so we self-medicate with caffeine, diet sodas and sugar. We get up each morning, organize the kids, grab the mirror, look ourselves in the eye and chant, “I think I can, I think I can….” And we can and we do…but there are more effective ways to embrace midlife so that 40-45 does not become a crash and burn scenario.
A medical doctor once mentioned the signs of aging typical for 50-Somethings were showing up in 30-Somethings…including impotency…WHAT?! There are just times when your “I think I can, I think I can” stops working because it has less with which to work. We are made to be resilient in times of stress. Adrenal Glands release adrenaline to bridge the gap between what we have and what we need in terms of energy to get the job done. If they don’t get sufficient R&R, well, they can wear out. Adrenal depletion impacts estrogen, testosterone and thyroid which affects – you guessed it – sex drive, career drive, weight and brain fog.
You know you’re pushing the envelope with this amazing work-horse of a gland: when you can’t seem to fall asleep because your brain won’t stop, only to wake up tired with no bounce-back…and eventually, if even a long weekend doesn’t bring you back online…it’s time to pay attention.
There are things that happen to you on the outside that you cannot avoid no matter how much you try to carry on. What you can change is how you choose to respond, and how you take care of yourself so you can face life with a full tank of gas.
NOTE TO SELF: A full tank of gas is always good.