Did you know that your sex hormones are made from cholesterol? It’s a surprising fact to most. Here’s how:
Cholesterol is what we call the parent hormone – it’s the backbone on which progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and your estrogens are made from.
Why should you care?
The conventional view of cholesterol is that it’s bad. Period. You’re told if your cholesterol is high, you need to take cholesterol lowering medication to get it down to prevent a heart attack and/or stroke.
Most people even avoid eating healthy fats in fear it will make them fat. The truth is you need healthy fats in your diet to give you the building blocks for hormonal balance.
There’s more to cholesterol than the bad rap it has…
If your cholesterol is too high, here are the most common reasons:
- Low thyroid function – your thyroid is the mater of your metabolism. When it slows down, cholesterol builds up.
- High stress – your body will actually increase the production of cholesterol so it can make more cortisol when you’re stressed
- Sedentary lifestyle – moving that booty is still the #1 way to keep cholesterol in check and metabolism high
- High intake of processed foods – too much junk and the wrong kinds of dietary fats leads to elevated cholesterol
- Too many dietary carbohydrates – too much sugar just gets converted to fat and taxes your liver, leading to a high level of cholesterol and triglycerides
- Smoking – this nasty habit causes a lot of inflammation in your blood vessels; underneath everything, inflammation is the reason cholesterol starts to build up
If you’re on a cholesterol lowering medication or not eating the right kinds of fat, your cholesterol might actually be too low! If that’s the case, you won’t have the backbone to make any sex hormones.
The truth is that you NEED cholesterol for hormonal balance, through all life stages. If you’re struggling with anything from fertility to menopause, cholesterol needs to be considered as a piece of the puzzle that is you!
So what’s a girl to do?
Test and treat. Find out what’s really going on with your cholesterol, blood sugar control and hormones. From there, we can address and adjust the exact reasons your cholesterol is too high or low and optimize sex hormone production.