For women who feel worse around their menstrual cycle, or whose problems increased when they entered perimenopause in their 40s, estrogen and progesterone deficiency may be driving sugar cravings.
In a woman’s earlier years, these cravings are more likely to manifest as premenstrual syndrome (PMS, with associated progesterone deficiency) with severe irritability around their periods.
In your mid-40s, as estrogen levels drop, estrogen or progesterone deficiency often produces increased sugar cravings, fatigue, moodiness, and insomnia around your periods, as well as decreased vaginal lubrication.
For men, testosterone deficiency associated with andropause can also cause sugar craving along with other severe problems. Depression, decreased libido, decreased erectile function, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, or high cholesterol can suggest testosterone deficiency.
Interestingly, supplementing with bioidentical natural testosterone (by prescription) has been shown to help all of these problems.
Standard blood testing for hormonal deficiencies will not reveal the problems until they are very severe, sometimes leaving people deficient for decades. Eliminating the sugar addiction and other problems caused by low estrogen, progesterone or testosterone is essential.
Natural therapies, such as edamame (soybean pods) or black cohosh (Remifemin), can be very helpful for treating estrogen deficiency symptoms naturally. When they are more severe, natural bioidentical hormones can be helpful.
PMS symptoms can be markedly decreased by taking vitamin B6, 200 mg a day; magnesium, 200 mg a day; and Evening Primrose oil (or borage seed oil), 3,000 mg a day for three months. Then the dose can often be lowered.
Bioidentical progesterone can also help in severe cases that persist after three months of the nutritional treatments above.
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