Does Hrt Cause Weight Gain
While menopause and aging are undoubtedly associated with weight gain, you may wonder if the new numbers on the scale are the result of HRT. This is common many women assume that HRT and weight gain go hand in hand and that a few extra pounds are nearly inevitable while in treatment. If youve experienced menopause so far without weight gain but started to gain weight as soon as you started HRT, you may even be toying with the idea of stopping treatment altogether. But the relationship between HRT and weight gain is far from clear.
Contrary to popular assumptions, most women experience no changes in weight as the result of undergoing HRT. A systematic review of 22 high-quality randomized clinical trials concluded that there was no significant difference in weight between menopausal women who were treated with HRT and those who were not. This suggests that you might gain weight as a result of menopause, but that undergoing HRT will probably not cause additional weight gain.
The Link Between High Testosterone And Insulin Resistance
Theres a bi-directional relationship between high testosterone and insulin resistance.
In one direction, insulin resistance or high insulin can stimulate ovarian cells to make more testosterone. That happens with PCOS and menopause.
In the other direction, testosterone can cause or worsen insulin resistance. That happens with PCOS, menopause, and androgenic progestins.
There are two parts to the solution: 1) reverse insulin resistance and 2) lower androgens, which, in turn, can improve insulin resistance.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance
Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
Did you know that our hormones need balance as well?
Ah, balance. Many of us strive for it in our daily lives balance between work and play, spending and saving, the list goes on.
Did you know that our hormones need balance as well? In order to live and feel our best, balanced hormones are so important! Keep reading to learn more about hormonal imbalance.
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Weight Gain And Hormone Replacement Therapy
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Weight gain is one of the symptoms associated with many hormonal conditions such as menopause, low testosterone level, and other hormone deficiencies such as thyroid hormones deficiencies. Many people think weight gain and hormone replacement therapy are associated too. However, there is no evidence of that.
Getting To Know Ghrelin
You can think of ghrelin as your hunger hormone. Like leptin, it communicates with the brain in this case, telling your brain to eat. Every time your stomach becomes empty, it naturally releases ghrelin into your bloodstream. Ghrelin levels are lowest just after youve finished a meal. Theyre at their highest when the stomach is empty and youre ready for your next meal. This scenario is normal when a person is healthy and maintaining optimal weight.
An overweight person, on the other hand, will find that like the other hormones weve explored ghrelin levels are typically out of whack. In healthy individuals, ghrelin levels decrease in a way that satiates them and signals their brains to stop eating. But in obese individuals, ghrelin levels dont decrease enough after eating, which fails to send the brain the signal it needs to stop eating and feel satisfied.
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Why Are You Gaining Weight Hormones Might Be The Problem
If youre gaining weight, chances are poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are the reasons. But thats not always the case. A hormonal imbalance also can cause you to pack on the pounds.
Obesity continues to be an issue in the United States, bringing with it an increase in chronic health issues such as coronary heart disease and many forms of cancer.
When hormones are the culprit, losing weight poses additional challenges.
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Can Progesterone Cause Weight Loss
Progesterone therapy can be useful for weight loss if progesterone levels are unbalanced. Identifying triggers for weight changes can be hugely tricky, and its essential to work with a qualified practitioner to understand our bodies needs fully. Hormone therapy should never be used as a quick fix for weight loss, and its misuse can cause serious problems.
Remember, were working to understand our hormones, not blame them. Our hormones are a beautiful, complex system that cares for us in ways were still learning to understand.
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Managing Menopause: Tips To Help With Weight Gain Sex Hair Loss And More
Its something natural, but many people dont like to talk about: menopause.
Menopause is the natural end to the menstrual cycle, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. Some will experience menopause naturally, and for others, menopause will result from surgical removal of the ovaries, or because of medical treatments or genetic disorders that stop ovarian function.
The decline of those hormones in the body can cause unpleasant side effects ranging from night sweats to weight gain. No experience is the same. Some will have severe symptoms, while others will only experience mild changes.
The menopause transition doesnt have to be horrible. Because of the bothersome symptoms, often menopause is feared however, it shouldnt be. Its just a different phase of life. Menopause isnt good or isnt bad, it just is. And for those struggling with symptoms, they shouldnt be afraid to ask their doctor about treatment options. At the University of Chicago Medicine, a custom care plan is created for each individual based on their symptoms, medical history and personal preferences.
Here are answers to some common questions I hear from patients about menopause.
The Risks Of Weight Gain After Menopause
Many of the risks of weight gain are well known: high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, to name a few. Extra fat at your waistline raises these risks more. Unfortunately, a bigger waistline is more likely after menopause. If you now have a waist measurement of more than 35 inches, it’s time to take steps to reverse this trend.
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Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Hormonal changes due to menopause can contribute to hair loss. The most common causes of sudden rapid hair loss, or telogen effluvium, are stress and fluctuating hormones that occur during the menopause transition. Female pattern hair loss is also very common. It is more prevalent after menopause because hormones play a role. Underlying medical conditions, heredity and certain styling practices may also influence hair loss.
To help prevent hair loss, adhere to a well-balanced diet. Certain supplements may help. Also, be gentle to your hair and follicles. Avoid hairstyles that cause pulling. Minimize the use of direct heat on the hair and keep hair well-conditioned.Natural oils like argan oil, Jamaican black castor oil or olive oil may help. Over-the-counter products, such as minoxidil, or laser caps or helmets may provide some benefit. It takes up to four months for any of these treatments to work. If, after four months, there is no improvement, then its time to make an appointment with a doctor. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help some women with hair loss.
How Long Will It Take My Body To Adjust To Bhrt
The good news is that the side effects of BHRT usually improve over time. Its recommended you stay on your treatment for at least 6 months to get a clearer idea of whether or not its making a difference for you and if the side effects reduce over time.
Always talk to your doctor if symptoms are severe and persist longer than the 3 month mark. If it doesnt feel normal, your doctor will be able to talk you through it and come up with alternative treatment options.
Depending on your hormones, taking them with food, watching what you eat, and adding exercise to your routine may help. Stretching might ease cramping, and a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet might improve breast tenderness, for example. You could also try lowering the dosage and changing which type you take for added relief after three months.
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The Case For Ongoing Treatment
One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that in post-menopausal women estrogen supplements resulted in:
- Lower amounts of visceral belly fat
- A healthier body-mass index , and
- Increased lean body mass
Another similar study of the impacts of testosterone on men found that while the hormones clearly improved their metabolism and body fat metrics, when they stopped the therapy their bodies returned to the pre-treatment condition. Resuming therapy again resolved these issues and put them back on the track to optimal health.
This makes it clear that ongoing therapy is one of the most important keys to maintaining positive results.
Using Bhrt As Part Of A Comprehensive Weight Loss Plan
Weight gain is one of the most common complaints of both men and women during the natural aging process, and it can be truly frustrating to try to lose weight on your own. For many women, the intense symptoms of menopause are troubling enough without feeling concerned about hormone-induced weight gain. For men struggling with symptoms of andropause, the bodily changes that accompany dropping testosterone levels can be equally detrimental.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a powerful treatment that can help alleviate the symptoms of hormone change and imbalance. In some cases, it can also act as an integral part of a comprehensive weight loss program. With the right strategy, you may see dramatic results in how you look and feel, especially if you partner with an expert hormone health practitioner who can monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments along the way. Excellent practitioners, like those in the BodyLogicMD network, will set you up for success through an integrated combination of hormone medications and lifestyle changes that to help you achieve a stable and healthy weight.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases.
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Can Bioidentical Hormones Cause Weight Gain What You Should Know Before Starting Bhrt
Patients seek bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for a multitude of different reasons. Perhaps you feel sluggish, fatigued, or unmotivated. Maybe youre experiencing hot flashes. Or perhaps youve run up against a wall when it comes to weight loss, and youre wondering if hormones have something to do with your inability to lose weight.
Bioidentical hormones can be a powerful contributor to weight loss for some individualsthough that isnt their primary purpose. In fact, because hormones heavily impact metabolism, minor weight fluctuations are a common side effect that patients experience when starting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. If youre determined to lose a few unwanted pounds, the possibility of medication-induced weight gain could be a major concern.
So, can bioidentical hormones cause weight gain? Possibly. It might take a while for you to find the right dose of hormone medications and reach equilibrium, especially if your hormone levels arent being monitored appropriately by a qualified practitioner. But with proper maintenance and a comprehensive treatment plan designed to meet your unique needs, BHRT is more likely to help you reach a stable, healthy weight than to put on pounds. An expert hormone health practitioner will be able to provide you with the customized medication, diet, exercise, and stress management strategies you need to alleviate your symptoms and promote overall well-being.
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.
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Bioidentical Hormones: An Introduction
Bioidentical hormones have been building towards mass production ever since their inception in the 1930âs. They are now widely used as a treatment for symptoms of menopause.
These miracle hormones are produced in a laboratory. Extracts are taken from plants and engineered to replicate the hormones found in your body. They can be made up of lots of different hormones, like estriol, estrone, testosterone, and progesterone. Read on to learn about how bioidentical hormones work.
Obesity And Androgens In Men:
Testosterone should be measured in the morning when its serum concentration is at its peak and we recommend repeating an abnormal measurement for confirmation. Evidence indicates that testosterone deficiency in men induces increased adiposity and, at the same time, increased adiposity induces hypogonadism . It is known that obesity in men is associated with low total T and reduced SHBG levels . An obesity-associated decline in SHBG might partially explain the observed fall in T levels. However, an increased BMI is associated with a low measured, or calculated, free- and bioavailable-testosterone. In one study of 160 obese men, more than 40% of those with a BMI 40 kg/m2 had a free testosterone level below normal .
While the specific pathogenic mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are complex and not completely understood, obesity has been associated mostly with secondary hypogonadism and, in a minor degree, with primary hypogonadism . Male obesity-associated secondary hypogonadism has been attributed to multiple factors, including obstructive sleep apnea, development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and also the increased body fat mass itself with its multiple adipokines . Obstructive sleep apnea predisposes to MOSH since it reduces LH pulse amplitude and decreases mean serum levels of LH and T in men, and it may also cause disruption of the association between a rise in serum T levels and the appearance of first REM sleep .
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What You Can Do To Counteract Weight Gain
There are many things a woman can do to fight and win the weight gain battle. What works for one may not work for another, so trying out different solutions can result in finding the best methods for you.
- Change your diet to incorporate more whole foods, fiber and healthy fats.
- Try intermittent fasting to boost your metabolism.
- Reduce alcohol and processed sugar intake.
- Schedule 20-30 minutes of cardio and/or aerobic exercise, up to five days a week.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
There are many different methods you can try to discover what works best for you.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can also be an important component to maintaining a healthy weight. We have a team of BHRT specialists ready to answer your questions and get you back to feeling like yourself.
How To Lose Hormonal Weight Gain
Losing hormonal weight gain starts with finding the hormones affecting your weight. If you have an imbalance caused by an underlying medical issue, getting the right diagnosis and treatment will also be necessary.
Generally, any weight loss goal requires lifestyle changes that include the following strategies:
- A change in diet to reduce calories
- A daily program to maintain activity levels
- Behavior strategies to encourage commitment
- Adequate nightly sleep
Working with fitness professionals can help you find exercises for hormonal weight gain to target areas where you have excess weight.
Medications or hormonal weight gain supplements may also be advised. They can reset hormone levels, treat the effects of abnormal levels, or control underlying problems. Some common treatments include:
- Ovarian cyst surgery for PCOS
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Other Factors That Influence Hormones
Sleep, activity, and stress can also affect hormones that influence body weight.
Getting enough sleep is essential for optimal health. Not getting enough sleep is associated with hormonal dysregulation.
Sleep deprivation is linked to insulin and leptin resistance and hunger hormone derangement, which may lead to increased appetite, decreased fullness, overeating, and weight gain (
- improve the bodys sensitivity to insulin
- increase testosterone levels in men
- reduce leptin levels in people with overweight and obesity
- improve response of fullness hormones after meals
Controlling stress is important for healthy hormonal response as well. Chronic stress may alter the hormones responsible for appetite regulation, which may contribute to increased calorie intake and weight gain .
For this reason, managing stress is an important part of promoting optimal hormonal health and maintaining a body weight thats healthy for you.
Many factors may impact hormones that influence your weight. Following a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, staying active, and managing stress are evidence-backed ways to promote hormonal health.
Risk Factors Of Hormonal Weight Gain
There are many risk factors for hormonal weight gain. These are genetic and lifestyle factors that can contribute to the onset of hormone-related obesity. Genetics plays a role in hormones and weight. The likelihood of gaining weight and developing hormone-related diseases is higher in families that have a history of being overweight or obese. Sedentary behavior has been connected to hormone-related illnesses and weight gain.
Another risk factor that is associated with hormonal weight gain is age. With increasing age, there are fewer levels of sex hormones that you are exposed to.
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