Originally published in Comfort Zone Newsletter: May 2008.
During a course I was recently teaching for HSPs we were discussing whether we are more sensitive to our own hormones. While I have no empirical data on that, it has always seemed to be the case with sensitive women–that they are very affected by natural monthly shifts, oral contraceptives, changes at menopause, and hormone replacement medications.
Then a man brought up his own experience of “male menopause,” and how depressed, fatigued, and ill at ease he had become in the last year–something unfamiliar in himself. He saw a doctor wise enough to check his testosterone level, which was low. Taking additional testosterone, beyond what he was producing in his own body, made him feel tremendously better.
I am not advising that you take testosterone, certainly not without a doctor’s advice. HSPs have an intuitive sense about “tampering with nature,” and there is very good reason for caution. Further, we should each research and study a question like this before making a personal decision. But if you are truly suffering due to reduced hormone production, as this man was, or if you think you might be, then I’ll say something for the pro side.
We have already tampered with nature by increasing our life expectancy through all sorts of unnatural measures such as vaccinations and dietary refinements that humans in the past could not have made. If we are going to live longer, we will want everything to function well as long as possible. A natural level of hormones has been keeping you healthy all of your adult life. Yes, you can manage with lower levels. You can also manage being fatigued and depressed. But maintaining that natural level (with an eye to any new studies about hormone supplementation) seems worth considering as a way to be strong at eighty, ninety, or a hundred.
Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias said to a roomful of women in a beauty parlor, “There’s nothing natural about beauty after twenty.” I have my own version of this: “There’s nothing natural about health after forty.” Around forty we may have to begin adding to our body what it no longer produces for itself or takes from the food we eat. It seems reasonable that HSPs would be more affected by drops in natural levels of anything and to anything that would restore those levels.
Of course beauty, like health, needs to imitate nature as much as possible. But there is an art to learning from nature what makes for health rather than simply ignoring the negative effects of the passage of time. So think twice about only doing what is natural–like aging and dying.
If you want to know more about “male menopause” search for the term on the internet and choose a reliable website to find the specific information you need.