...Better yet is your diet making any symptoms of existing medical conditions more noticeable? (Like hair on your chinny, chin, chin.)
While some things are genetic, other things are influenced by our diet. Sometimes it's a combination of things: you have a genetic predisposition so you need to be more mindful of your diet.
Food can one hundred percent affect our hormones, like sugar. However, if your hormones are causing unwanted effects like chin hair, what you’re eating could *more specifically* be contributing to an increase in testosterone.
While women’s health doesn’t speak about testosterone (T) as much as estrogen or progesterone, it plays a vital role in maintaining the status quo. Too little, or too much, can cause the body to become imbalanced, like sprouting hair in unwanted places.
At-Home Testing Could be Your First Step
If you’re concerned your hormones are causing some uncomfortable developments, we recommend speaking with a doctor. If you feel strongly enough and there's no obvious reason then requesting testing is an option.
To skip the initial visit to the doctor, try an at-home hormone test. The results of your test can be shared with a health care provider (a dietician or general practitioner).
Looking At Your Results
For testosterone test results, 0.5 to 2.4 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) is a healthy range for women. Meaning you could test within "range" but at the top of the allowance which could be more T than your body enjoys. Sort of like how the Cleveland Clinic points out everyone has their own baseline or “normal” temperature. (i.e., You may test for 2.3 nmol/L, but your body operates better at 0.6 nmol/L.) The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization, explains it like this:
“[...] it is difficult to know what is the right level of testosterone, and these ranges are often not agreed on by experts from different societies, countries or laboratories.”
And if that’s the case, even if it’s in the normal range it might be worth the effort to lower the amount of T (especially if you live with a condition that results in elevated testosterone, like type II diabetes, obesity, PCOS, or endometrial cancer.) Those who have trouble getting pregnant or have had a miscarriage may also benefit from lower testosterone.
Certain foods may naturally increase testosterone levels:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Now we’re not saying stop eating these foods. But if often you’re consuming anything from the list above, and seeing excess hair growth, headaches, acne, or an uptick in aggression—you may want to tone it down. You take a test like we mentioned earlier and speak with a doctor.
Food May Not Be The Cause, But It Plays a Part
It’s very likely these foods aren't causing unwanted body hair, but they may not be working in your favor either. Some women, begin to experience high T because of medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
If you fall within the normal range of acceptable hormone levels, but still feel a little out of sorts, we'd like to point you back to your diet. Food, after all, was the first medicine. Obliviously, we can't recommend holistic approaches replace professional medical care. However, if you’ve spoken to your doctor and they’re saying everything is normal, aka you’re not dying, it might be time to try a plant-based approach.
Your next steps could look like speaking with an Ayurvedic professional, or someone who can help you understand how to use food for overall wellness. A dietician or licensed nutritionist can also help you accomplish this.