Whenever I say the word, “hormones” people think I am going to send them back to high school biology class or that I’m going to say something embarrassing. I often have to call hormones the “H” word to make everyone feel comfortable.

The fact is hormones are chemical messengers that flow through our bodies all the time! From our head to our toes, from our brains to our bones to our organs to our skin, when our hormones are in good shape, they help our bodies work properly and help us feel our best. 

Here are the top five misconceptions I hear about hormones:

Myth: Only Teenagers and Women Going Into Menopause Deal With Hormone Changes

Reality: Women’s hormones change almost every day between puberty and menopause. Men’s hormone levels also change throughout the day, every day after puberty. In both men and women, our hormone levels decline as we get older.

Myth: Hormones Are Only About Sex

Reality: Nearly every single process in the body involves hormones. Yes, there is estrogen and testosterone, but we all also have thyroid and adrenal hormones, which affect our energy, brain sharpness and mood.

Myth: It’s Hard to Tell How Your Hormones Are Doing

Reality: Simple blood tests can give at least a snapshot of how your hormone levels are doing. Other tests, such as saliva and urine testing, can also help measure your hormones.

Myth: If My Lab Tests Are Normal, It Can’t Be My Hormones

Reality: Next to every lab test result is a “reference range,” which most people, even doctors, take to mean the “normal range.” Not true! The range is a calculation of where most people measure on that test. If you are barely in the bottom of the range or the top on some tests, you might be “normal” but not at an optimal level for your health and longevity.

Myth: Hormone Therapy Causes Cancer

Reality: I am passionate about dispelling this myth. Most people are aware of information indicating when women replenish estrogen and progesterone, or men replenish testosterone, they will have an increased risk of cancer. This can be true if there is already a cancer present, but science shows when the right doses and forms of hormone therapy are used, not only is the risk of developing cancer not increased, it can be decreased.

Don’t be afraid of the “H” word – hormones! You can measure them and get them into balance to feel your best, so you can do your best.

By Dr. Liz Lyster