How To Balance Ghrelin Levels
If you have a sneaking suspicion your ghrelin levels are in need of some TLC, here are a couple of ways to balance them:
- Eat adequate amounts of protein. Protein helps you feel full and should be consumed with every meal. Studies show how eating protein promotes healthy ghrelin levels.
- Avoid sugar as much as possible. As you can see by now, consuming too much sugar disrupts hormonal balance, making weight loss seem an impossible feat. Be sure to read labels. If an item contains high-fructose corn syrup, dont buy it. A 2013 study published in Nutritional Diabetes shows how high-fructose corn syrup is one of the primary culprits of imbalance when it comes to hormones and weight gain.
How Do Our Hormones Affect Our Weight
From a young age, our hormones enact the changes that bring us from young girls to women. During puberty, estrogen is responsible for depositing body fat to our chests, hips, thighs, and butts. It is common for young women to gain about 15 pounds during puberty.
After puberty, our hormones need to stay balanced to promote a healthy cycle each month. Imbalances in hormones can lead to other issues outside of the reproductive system, including unexplained weight gain.
Imbalances in hormones can lead to other issues outside of the reproductive system, including unexplained weight gain.
Will I Gain Weight During Hormone Replacement Therapy
Patients experiencing signs of hormone imbalances, especially those in their 30s experiencing signs of early menopause or andropause, may consider hormone level testing at Dallas Cosmetic Center in Dallas, TX. Board-certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Otto Huertas has expertise in treating patients of all ages and helping them understand the causes and treatments of hormonal imbalances.
Individuals considering hormone replacement therapy as an option to balance hormones are often concerned about gaining weight on HRT. However, while some patients experience water retention in the first months of treatment, long-term weight gain is not a side effect of HRT.
Below, well look at how to address your bodys hormonal needs and improve your quality of life without letting a fear of weight gain hold you back.
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What Are Hormones And Why Do They Impact My Weight
Hormones control metabolism, where fat is deposited, overall appetite, and weight balance. The most effective way to get hormones back on track, stop the scale creep, and return to a healthy weight is to correct hormonal imbalances with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy . BHRT is made from yams and is identical to the hormones our body naturally makes. Once hormones are back in balance, weight loss can begin.
Hormone regulation is complicated because the bodys hormones are all interconnected. The bodys hormone systems must all work in harmony and continually rebalance in response to physical and emotional events in your life. Peri- and menopause are the phases where women will experience huge drops in hormone levels. Those drops are normal, but the symptoms of low hormones can be debilitating and lead to lifelong medical complications.
Menopause weight gain, or also called hormonal weight gain, is a struggle that very few talks about. At the age of 40, most women dont want to think about menopause but meanwhile, the hormones that regulate weight are spiraling down. Ignoring what is happening is not a method to prevent weight gain. Weight loss after 40 is possible. By understanding the true source of weight gain, women can shed excess weight and prevent further weight gain ultimately helping women to feel happier and healthier.
How Estrogen Replacement Therapy Can Help With Belly Fat During Menopause
Recent studies show that menopausal women on hormone therapy tend to have less body fat, especially visceral belly fat. Because estrogen affects how your body distributes fat, low estrogen levels can contribute to gaining fat in your belly area. However, estrogen replacement therapy can help your body redistribute this fat to different areas on your body, rather than your abdominal area. This is a key benefit of estrogen therapy, as belly fat specifically increases your risk for many negative health consequences.
In addition to fat redistribution, estrogen replacement therapy may help add to a healthy exercise regimen. Researchers have found that menopausal hormone replacement therapy may help the effects of exercise on body fat. Additionally, estrogen replacement therapy can help you feel well enough to exercise regularly. Therefore, if you have symptoms of menopause that interfere with your life and also notice youre gaining more belly fat than you used to, talk to your hormone doctor about your options. In many cases, hormone replacement therapy can help you feel better and improve your overall health.
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Exercise And Diet Are Still Important For Midlife Health
But before you run to your doctor to ask for hormonal therapy, the authors note that the effect on weight loss is pretty small, so its not a replacement for other lifestyle changes, like exercise. In fact, to reap the benefits of a lower BMI, women had to be currently on hormone therapy. After stopping, the women instead rebounded by gaining fat, the study found.
Does Cancer Treatment Cause Unwanted Weight Gain
So, what causes involuntary weight gain in some cancer patients? And what can patients and their physicians do to counteract this unexpected side effect?
We spoke with integrative medicine specialist Wenli Liu, M.D., to learn more. Heres what she had to say.
What are the most common causes of involuntary weight gain during cancer treatment?
There are actually several, but the biggest is probably steroids. These are prescribed to prevent inflammatory and anaphylactic reactions to chemotherapy, to reduce swelling in patients with brain tumors, and as a cancer-fighting agent used to treat cancers such as lymphoma/myeloma. The downside is that steroids also act as a major appetite stimulant, which can spur overeating.
Another common cause of involuntary weight gain is hormone-suppressing treatments, such as those received by patients with breast cancer or prostate cancer. Hormones have a tremendous effect on metabolism. Hormonal treatments for breast and prostate cancer can result in involuntary weight gain.
The third example is fear: the fear of losing weight. Sometimes, patients are so afraid that theyll become emaciated or unable to eat that they force themselves to do so while they still can, even when theyre not losing weight at all. Over time, that can lead to weight gain, too.
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What Is Hormonal Belly
In a condition in which the ovaries or adrenal glands produce too much of the male hormones, common symptoms are irregular periods, acne and unwanted weight gain, belly fat included. To avoid this, studies have been conducted to confirm the link between hormone replacement therapy and weight loss.
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Why Weight Gain Often Happens After Menopause
What is it about menopause that makes it so hard to keep off the weight? It’s likely a mix of factors related to menopause and aging.
The impact of estrogen. In animal studies, estrogen appears to help control body weight. With lower estrogen levels, lab animals tend to eat more and be less physically active. Reduced estrogen may also lower metabolic rate, the rate at which the body converts stored energy into working energy. It’s possible the same thing happens with women when estrogen levels drop after menopause. Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a woman’s resting metabolic rate. This might help slow weight gain. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight.
Other age-related factors. As women age, many other changes happen that contribute to weight gain. For example:
- You’re less likely to exercise. Sixty percent of adults aren’t active enough, and this increases with age.
- You lose muscle mass, which lowers your resting metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.
- The rate at which you can use up energy during exercise declines. To use the same energy as in the past and achieve weight loss, you may need to increase the amount of time and intensity you’re exercising, no matter what your past activity levels were.
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Pros & Cons Of Weight Loss During Menopause
Maintaining or reaching a healthy weight is advisable at any stage in life, however, there are important factors to consider when losing weight during menopause. Extreme weight loss, such as that often seen during yoyo dieting, can lead to a loss in bone mineral density . It is therefore very important to get healthy in the right way and to take the necessary steps to aid bone health with nutrition and supplements. You can read all about how weight impacts menopause symptoms and bone health here.
Are you struggling with menopause or worried about perimenopause symptoms? Get in touch today to book an appointment with one of our doctors and find out how bio-identical hormones can make a difference for you. Dont forget to too, for all of the latest news, advice and information.
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Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle
Now that we have a better understanding of how menopause affects a womans body, it is good to note that weight gain is a natural process that occurs more commonly as you age. While there is no current scientific proof that hormone therapy increases your bodyweight, going through menopause will undoubtedly influence the body. Maintaining a healthy diet and work-life balance with daily exercise can help you feel better and keep your body in its best condition.
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Progesterone And Insulin Resistance
Both too much and too little progesterone can impair your bodyÃ¢s blood sugar regulation.
During a healthy pregnancy, progesterone and other hormone changes decrease the motherÃ¢s sensitivity to insulin. This insulin resistance helps elevate blood sugar levels and ensures that your body delivers enough nutrients to the growing fetus.
Without a fetus to feed, high progesterone can also cause hyperinsulinemia, meaning it increases the amount of insulin present in the blood. Too much insulin could cause your body to convert even more blood sugar for storage as fat. This is why you may have more food cravings, feel more hungry, and have a more difficult time losing weight during the luteal phase of your cycle when progesterone is highest.
However, low progesterone can also mess with your insulin response, another reason to work closely with a doctor to confirm any hormonal hunches. Low progesterone is linked to PCOS, which is associated with insulin resistance. Excess estrogen can lead to insulin resistance as well!
PCOS is complex, but it is important to clarify that weight loss wonÃ¢t cure PCOS and your weight gain didnÃ¢t cause it. ItÃ¢s important to monitor weight to understand the hormonal and metabolic influence, but too often doctors hyperfocus on weight and often shame women about it. PCOS causes weight gain. Addressing the factors of PCOS is what is important.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Affect Weight Loss In Women
In addition to having less abdominal fat, the same study found that women undergoing HRT were almost one whole point lower on the body mass index scale, and they had nearly 3 pounds less of fat mass.
In other research, estrogen has shown signs of controlling body weight. And yet, more evidence suggests estrogen hormone therapy increases a womans resting metabolic rate, which may help slow weight gain.
Stillwatching what you eat and exercising go a long way in helping you manage your weight during and after HRT. Healthy habits can help reduce the other symptoms of menopause, so grab a friend and take a walkjust get moving!
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Increased Risk Of Gallbladder Disease
Gallbladder disease is a range of conditions that adversely affect the gallbladder and its functions. These conditions include gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, bile duct blockage, and gallbladder infection. The gallbladder is responsible for storing the bile the liver produces before it moves into the small intestine to aid in digestion. Bile is released from the gallbladder into the duodenum through the sphincter of Oddi. However, when something is causing constriction of this sphincter, the bile will stay in the gallbladder too long. This mechanism is the cause of gallstone development. Progesterone is a hormone that causes the sphincter of Oddi to relax, allowing for the normal flow of bile into the duodenum. The use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can cause an individual to have an increased risk of gallbladder disease. This increased risk occurs because abnormally high levels of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen can cause progesterone levels to drop. This decrease can cause constriction of the sphincter of Oddi. Subsequently, bile is stored in the gallbladder for extended periods, resulting in the formation of gallstones.
Get more information on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy side effects and risks now.
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, its time to take steps to reverse this trend.
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Roles Of Other Factors In Weight And Girth Changes
shows the mean change in weight from baseline to the last measurement of PEPI participants by treatment assignment in subgroups defined by age, ethnicity, smoking status, alcohol intake, and physical activity. Included in this table are P values from regression analyses for assessing relationships between weight change and each baseline characteristic. Of the factors besides treatment assignment, only age , overall physical activity , leisure physical activity , and work physical activity had statistically significant univariable associations with weight gain. Similar analyses were performed for hysterectomy status, years since menopause, and prior postmenopausal hormone therapy, which did not have statistically significant associations with changes in weight or girths.
The forward regression algorithm used to develop a multivariable predictor model indicated that hormone treatment , older age , and greater activity were each independently associated with less weight gain. In addition, an independent negative association of weight gain with alcohol consumption was of marginal statistical significance in the multivariable model. Ethnicity, hysterectomy status, time since menopause, smoking status, prior hormone therapy, and individual activity domains were not significantly associated with weight gain after controlling for these other factors.
Mean changes in waist and hip girths for participants grouped according to baseline characteristics
Take Charge Of Your Body
Every woman will experience some physical changes when estrogen levels decrease during menopause. The number and intensity of these changes will differ with each individual. Weight gain is a major effect of a drop in estrogen.
With some effort and determination, you can gain some control over these changes and how they affect your body and mind. Try a new healthy diet. Move your body around regularly. Push yourself every day to counteract the effects of decreased estrogen levels. When you do, you will reap the rewards of your efforts!
To learn more about getting your body back on track, download our free e-book. Then give us a call and set up a free consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable team. Theres no better time than now to take back control of your body!
When youre ready to make a change, download our free e-book. Then give us a call to set up a free consultation. Let us guide you toward a better tomorrow!
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Learn More About Hormone Pellets And Weight Loss Today
Now that you understand the connection between hormone pellets and weight loss, you may want to know whether this treatment is right for you. We can help!
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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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.