Why Am I Putting On Weight And Why Is It So Hard To Take It Off
If you are putting weight on easily and having a hard time taking it off, you should know that hormonal imbalances affect weight-loss and weight gain and could be part of the problem or maybe even the whole problem. In fact, some hormonal imbalances can make it down right impossible to lose weight!
Plenty of people attempt various diets and exercise programs with the intention of taking off any excess weight. Sometimes it can be frustrating when results are not forthcoming, which can end by giving up all together. What many people dont realize is that there can be many underlying health issues which impede weight loss attempts. Not only that, but these same issues can actually be the cause of the weight gain in the first place, in addition to poor diet and lack of exercise.
Hormone imbalances and other deficiencies can very likely be the reason. We frequently get phone calls from patients who are desperate for help because the pounds keep packing on no matter what they do. Unfortunately, many of them have sought help from their doctor, only to be told that they just need to eat less and exercise more, period. This not only leads to feelings of shame, but also helplessness and can be quite demoralizing.
How To Keep Estrogen At Optimal Levels
To balance estrogen levels naturally and prevent the weight gain that happens with an estrogen imbalance, youll want to do the following:
- Commit to a regular exercise routine. Many studies, including this 2012 one, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, explain how exercise lowers estrogen levels in obese women.
- Eat your fiber. Fibrous foods help decrease elevated estrogen levels.
- Eat veggies in the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy. Anything green and leafy is always a good idea, too!
- Reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with our natural hormones. Avoid plastic containers, cans, or water bottles made with BPA. Never microwave plastic.
- Choose organic foods when possible, and choose phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products.
- Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which uses plant-based hormones identical to those produced naturally by the human body to keep hormones balanced.
Belly Fat And Persistent Weight Gain
Because hormones are connected with your weight, imbalances in hormone levels can make it more difficult to lose weight.
Dr. Natasha Turner on the Doctor Oz Show said that any hormonal imbalances will make it difficult to lose weight. For example, high levels of estrogen, cortisol, and insulin along with low testosterone and DHEA can cause you to put on extra belly fat.11
In fact, researchers from Harvard say that having excess abdominal fat can also disrupt your hormones even more. They found that excess fat around your belly can also produce hormones that can affect your health.12
The European Thyroid Journal also reported that low thyroid hormones slow down metabolism and can lead to weight gain.13
There are many great ways to lose belly fat naturally. For example, certain foods can help to shed a few inches from your waist while other foods should be avoided, or you can try some my 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.
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Most Everyone I Saw Seemed To Just Want To Write My Complaints Off To Age
It makes sense, to an extent. While I was only in my mid-30s at the time, Im a woman with a complex hormone-driven condition. Ive had 5 major abdominal surgeries, each one hacking away at my ovaries.
Early menopause has always been something Ive anticipated, and the doctors I saw seemed to see me as being on that death march as well. Since theres a link between decreasing estrogen levels, menopause, and thyroid issues, I understood why my doctors seemed so convinced that that was what was going on.
I just wasnt ready to simply shrug and accept this as to be expected. I wanted some sort of solution for relieving the symptoms I was experiencing especially as I continued to gain weight I didnt feel Id earned.
That solution never came. But eventually, the weight gain stagnated. I still couldnt seem to lose weight I tried, I tried so hard but at least Id stopped gaining it.
Its here that I should probably acknowledge a painful truth: I spent 10 years of my youth, from age 13 to 23, struggling with a pretty severe eating disorder. Part of my recovery has involved learning to love the body Im in, whatever shape it is. I try really hard not to focus on my weight or on the numbers on the scale.
But when youre inexplicably gaining weight, even though you feel like youre otherwise doing everything right, its hard not to notice.
Youre Eating Processed Healthy
Excess salt and sugar are often hidden ingredients that are both inflammatory and causes of excess weight gain. Just because its at a health food store and its gluten free or low fat or natural, DOES NOT mean its good for you. It can take a long time to get over this, because packaging with the words natural and healthy can be very persuasive and misleading.
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High Blood Sugar Levels
Its normal for blood sugar levels to rise when you eat high-carb foods. But you may have insulin resistance if your blood sugar levels are always elevated.
Insulin is the hormone that helps transfer blood sugar into the cells. The cells tend to become insulin resistant when exposed to too much insulin for long, this leads to high blood sugar.
High blood sugar levels can cause weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
How Can Weight Gain Caused By Hormone Imbalance Be Treated
A hormone imbalance at the root of weight gain can be treated in a number of ways however, women should start by making healthy lifestyle changes, including:
A healthy dietTaking exercise Sleeping for at least
However, if women are concerned that their weight gain is having a serious effect on their health, they should visit their medical practitioner. Obesity that begins with hormone imbalance is a dangerous disease that can have many unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Both women and men should avoid carrying too much weight around their waist. A doctor is often able to advise ways to treat a hormone imbalance and control weight gain. Click here for more information about treating weight gain caused by hormone imbalance.
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Obesity Hormones As A Risk Factor For Disease
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and several types of cancer, and with decreased longevity and lower quality of life. For example, the increased production of oestrogens in the fat of older women who are obese is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk, indicating that the source of oestrogen production is important.
Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression
A hormonal imbalance can cause you to experience mood swings and heightened anxiety just before your period or during the menopause.
Estrogen levels constantly fluctuate during the reproductive cycle. Researchers from Harvard found that women with low estrogen levels are more prone to feeling the effects of emotional stress. They found that in clinical trials, higher levels of estrogen helped to calm the fear response helping you to be less fearful.8
Other studies have found that fluctuations in the hormone cortisol and hormones produced by the pituitary, hypothalamic, and gonadal glands can cause depressive symptoms. Researchers found that low levels of the cortisol hormone were found in women who have fibromyalgia and symptoms of depression.9
If you suffer from mood swings and anxiety during the menopause, you can find some helpful advice in my article on 10 herbs and supplements for menopause. If depression and anxiety is a result of hormonal imbalances, then you can help relieve these symptoms naturally by trying some natural treatments for depression after consulting with your doctor.
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The Negative Impact Of Hormone Imbalance And How We Can Help
Hormones help regulate many of your bodily functions. They help you sleep through the night, have babies, grow hair, grow your body, metabolize food, and keep you warm, to name just a few functions that rely on hormones.
If your hormones are imbalanced, this imbalance can have a significant impact on your body, mind, or mood. Everyone has imbalances on occasion like during times of intense stress or, for women, just before or after a menstrual period. Women also experience imbalances during pregnancy, perimenopause , and menopause.
Hormone imbalances usually happen when your endocrine glands, which produce and release hormones, are out of whack. The improper functioning of your endocrine glands can be brought on by many things including:
- Certain medications
Addressing the causes directly is the first step in balancing your hormones.
What Are Hormones And What Do They Do
Hormones are the tiny messengers in your body that carry information through your bloodstream to all the other parts of your body. They tell organs and tissues what to do, how to do it, and for how long.
Hormones are the responsibility of your endocrine system, which is a vital part of your overall health. They work efficiently, but slowly, so it may be difficult to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones affect processes like your metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood, and reproduction.
Weight gain is the most obvious and common sign of a hormonal imbalance. Weight fluctuations are normal, but if youve gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, we at Balance Hormone Center can help.
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What Treatments Are Available For Teen Hormone Imbalance
Treatment will vary according to the hormones involved and the severity of the imbalance. In many cases, supplements and lifestyle changes can offer relief from symptoms.
At Coyle Institute, we understand how scary it can be for a parent and a teen to experience a health issue such as hormonal imbalance. If you suspect your teen has a hormonal imbalance, a simple saliva test can be the first step to getting to the root of the issue.
Key Takeaways About Hormonal Weight Gain
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Natural Remedies And Supplements
There are many nutritional supplements on the market that claim to treat menopause and hormone imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.
Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, though.
Some people find that yoga helps treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.
You can also make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. A
The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:
- upper back
Acne is often associated with pubescent hormonal changes, but theres actually a lifelong relationship between acne and hormones.
Being Tired All The Time
Hormonal imbalances like high cortisol, low testosterone, and hypothyroidism can make you feel tired all the time.
Its normal to feel tired after a long day but if you wake up tired, your hormones could be unbalanced. However, tiredness can be a sign of many other health issues. Instead of guessing, see a doctor and find out what the problem might be.
The Negative Effects Of Hormone Imbalances
For most women, their hormones return to balance after they get their periods or when theyre less stressed. But sometimes hormones remain out of balance, and the effects can be troubling. Some signs you may be experiencing a hormone imbalance are:
- Irregular periods
- Hair growth where it shouldnt be growing, like on your face
- Thinning hair
- Excessive sweating and hot flashes
- Changes in sex drive
Hormone imbalance symptoms can have a life-changing effect on your well-being. Fortunately, once detected and diagnosed, the problematic symptoms can be alleviated.
Balance Your Hormones For Weight Loss
There is a strong connection between hormones and weight gain. When hormone levels increase or decrease, a chain of events occurs. Your body forgets its full, the metabolism slows, and your weight increases.
Thankfully, hormonal weight gain is treatable. Our team strives to assist men and women struggling with hormonal imbalances. Contact us to learn more about our hormone and weight loss treatments.
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What Causes Low Progesterone
Because the ovaries create progesterone after releasing an egg, a woman who is not ovulating will likely experience progesterone deficiency symptoms. Missing cycles can result from hormonal birth control, hypothalamic amenorrhea, PCOS, over-exertion, or post-birth control syndrome.
Progesterone levels can also decrease in response to menopause, stress, hypothyroidism, PCOS, overproduction of prolactin. Even with adequate progesterone, elevated estrogen levels can still throw off that balanced ratio, leading to symptoms of too much estrogen, not enough progesterone.
Low progesterone symptoms can also include:
- Insomnia or sleep disturbance
- Mid-cycle spotting
Hormones Tell Our Cells What To Do
Our hormones, which reside within the endocrine system, are responsible for many inner workings of the body. Different hormones correspond with different cells. Together, they work to govern a myriad of bodily functions: regulate stress, balance metabolism, maintain healthy weight, regulate appetite and cravings, prevent depression, and much more.
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Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance can be the result of a variety of risk factors. Though both lifestyle and diet can contribute to hormonal imbalance, it often develops from illness.
Issues with the thyroid or adrenal glands are a very common catalyst for hormonal imbalance. Thyroid conditions can affect the production of certain hormones. Hypothyroidism, in particular, is linked to significant weight gain. The weight gain and obesity that often comes with hypothyroidism is a result of hormonal imbalance.
Other causes of hormonal imbalance include:
Progesterone Helps You Sleep Better
If you can’t sleep or you don’t get good quality sleep, hormone balance may be to blame. Progesterone is one compound released by the ovaries that helps you sleep. Low levels may make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. A small study in postmenopausal women found that 300 milligrams of progesterone restored normal sleep when sleep was disturbed. Estrogen levels decrease in perimenopause and after menopause. This may contribute to night sweats and hot flashes, which often disrupt a woman’s ability to sleep. See your doctor if you believe an imbalance in hormones is contributing to sleep problems.
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Side Effects Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT may be recommended for the following conditions:
- Increased risk of vertebral and hip fractures
- Retaining fluid
- Tender breasts
Depending on the prescribed type of HRT, women may end up with a higher chance of developing endometrial or uterine cancer. Its best to discuss the risks of each form of HRT with your doctor.
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Hormone Imbalance: What Are The Symptoms And Treatments
When youre browsing social media or watching TV, you may have come across ads telling you to ask your doctor to check your hormones as the first step toward diagnosing and relieving a troublesome set of symptoms. Its true that hormone imbalances can be associated with many problems, such as period problems, unwanted hair growth, fertility struggles, weight gain, and even difficulty sleeping. You should absolutely talk to your doctor about these things. But you may be surprised when your doctor tells you that they cant just give you a hormone check.
A hormone check sounds simpleafter all, we check cholesterol to get a handle on our heart health. However, your doctor cant just give you a hormone test because a single test to check all your hormones doesnt exist.
So if there isnt a simple hormone test, how does your doctor discover hormone imbalances? And how can you learn what could be causing your symptoms?
Lets look at problems caused by hormone imbalances and how your doctor could potentially determine which hormones may be responsible for your symptoms.
How Imbalanced Hormones Disrupt Sleep Patterns
Your hormones regulate every system in your body, including digestion, metabolism, reproduction, cardiovascular, temperature, sexuality, growth, and yes, sleep patterns.
In particular, if you have too much of the hormone cortisol coursing through your body, it can cause a serious case of insomnia. Cortisol comes from your adrenal gland and increases when youre stressed. So if youre suffering from anxiety, are worried about a situation at work, or are dealing with too many responsibilities, its not just a mental health issue its a physical problem.
If imbalanced hormones are interfering with your ability to sleep, it could lead to weight gain.