Book Review – The Secret Female Hormone by Kathy C. Maupin, MD, and Brett Newcomb, MA, LPC
Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy
Dr. Kathy Maupin suffered greatly from the loss of testosterone when she had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy due to endometriosis. Replenishing with testosterone pellets has literally given her back her life. She writes passionately about what she and her patients have experienced when testosterone is restored. One of her goals is to enlighten other physicians about her practice model with the hope that more people get access to testosterone.
Dr. Maupin observed positive effects in many aspects after treating her patients for testosterone deficiency, including the following:
Loss of Libido
“Sex is science and not magic,” as Dr. Maupin asserts. Restoring testosterone relieves the loss of interest in sex, the loss of wanting to be touched, and the tendency to create grocery lists in your mind rather than enjoying intimacy. You can get it all back with testosterone restored.
Fatigue is at the top of the list of complaints that brings women in to see a physician. There are many causes for fatigue, including low testosterone. In addition, other complaints that contribute to fatigue (such as depression, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and loss of interest in exercise) can be triggered by low testosterone as well.
Sleeplessness related to a testosterone deficiency occurs when there is a loss of deep sleep and dreaming, wakefulness in the early morning hours, and waking up feeling fatigued and not restored. Insomnia typically first occurs after the age of 35, just as testosterone levels start to drop.
Testosterone is responsible for the secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine, which helps mood, energy and focus. There are many other hormones involved in the manifestation of depression. Investigating hormone deficits, including testosterone, is essential for treating the problem at its core.
Testosterone can cross the blood brain barrier and modulate the activity of the hypothalamus. Headaches may occur when the hypothalamus fails to produce its usual hormone stimulation. Often, other hormones deficiencies are also involved with migraine headaches.
When testosterone decreases, muscles shrink and less oxygen is delivered to the surrounding tissues. A “scarring” occurs in the connective tissue, leading to dimpling of the skin known as cellulite. Restoring testosterone can reduce cellulite.
Estrogen is well-known for improving memory, but testosterone also crosses the blood-brain barrier. Testosterone not only improves neurotransmitter production, it can also increase the number of brain synapses and brain cells.
As testosterone levels drop, exercise becomes more and more of a chore. The very thing that can increase testosterone production becomes more difficult. Testosterone increases blood flow to the muscles, increases uptake of the amino acid building blocks to restore tissue, and even helps clear out lactic acid, which is responsible for the pain in muscles experienced after overexertion.
A testosterone deficit may not be the only cause of dry eyes, but dry eyes become more prevalent as testosterone drops with aging, and this is especially common in women. Dr. Maupin found that systemic treatment with testosterone pellets often relieves age-related dry eye syndrome in her patients.
Although we most often think about estrogen deficiencies in relationship to loss of bone, Dr. Maupin writes that nothing helps restore bones as well as estrogen and testosterone used together. They are both powerful bone-building hormones.
Testosterone can help reduce deterioration of the joints and balance overstimulation of the immune system, decreasing inflammation.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Lupus
This autoimmune disease is twelve times more prevalent in women than men. Dr. Maupin found that treating testosterone deficiency halted progression of the disease in her patients.
This autoimmune disease is also more prevalent in women. It is characterized by attacking the blood, and forming fibrotic and scar tissue. Testosterone helps relieve the scarring by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels.
This autoimmune disease presents when the myelin sheath, which covers nervous system tissue, is attacked and damaged. Because testosterone can help modulate inflammation, it can help stop the progression of the disease or put it in remission.
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Both of these syndromes arise from a disordered immune system. Testosterone can help modulate both diminished and excessive immune system activity, and can be a key component in the treatment of either condition.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Both estrogen and testosterone can have a dramatic impact on stopping the progression of these diseases. Early treatment seems to be a key factor of success.
This is the medical term for the muscle and tissue wasting and frailty that we associate with aging. The question facing Dr. Maupin was: Could intervention with hormones in the very elderly make a difference? Little is understood about first using hormones in the 80s but Dr. Maupin found, to her delight, that testosterone restoration could make an astounding difference in quality of life.
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Dr. Maupin writes that testosterone restoration can stop the progression of insulin resistance and forestall the development of diabetes.
Both estrogen and testosterone restoration can help protect the vascular system against the damage that leads to plaque build-up and ultimately a stroke.
The Secret Female Hormone is a treasure about the very positive effects of identifying and treating testosterone deficiencies. Dr. Maupin is extremely excited about the results she sees in her patients in her clinical practice. Information is often presented in a theoretical fashion, but backed up with real life results. Unfortunately, many practitioners would not even consider that a testosterone deficiency could be involved in many of the diseases listed above. Perhaps after reading this book, they will.
In my opinion, the one thing this book falls short on is an emphasis on the importance of progesterone, especially in women who have had an oophorectomy. Progesterone has more than one target organ (the uterus); there are progesterone receptors throughout the body. Like testosterone, progesterone is a powerful neurosteroid and anti-inflammatory. Progesterone is a hormone that is usually produced abundantly in the adrenal glands and independently by nervous system tissue. Achieving a balance in hormones should always include the consideration of progesterone as well.