Low Estrogen Levels And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection
Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain.
If your estrogen levels are low and its affecting your weight, speak with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on next steps. Its always a good idea to try to eat a balanced diet and exercise as often as possible. Talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan thats right for you.
Estrogen And Energy Regulation
Estradiol availability affects the regulation of enzymes involved in tricarboxylic acid cycle activity. E2 enhances the glycolytic/pyruvate/acetyl-CoA pathway to generate electrons required for oxidative phosphorylation and ATP generation to sustain utilization of glucose as the primary fuel source.
Lipoprotein lipase is a key-regulating enzyme for energy metabolism that breaks down plasma triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol. Estradiol modulates the activity of LPL wherein the promoter region contains estrogen response elements that interact with the estrogen receptor and inhibit mRNA expression in 3T3 cells and patients who are undergoing therapy with estradiol patches . The role of estrogens in mitochondria, which generate more than 90% of cellular ATP, must also be recognized. The mitochondria play an important role in the regulation of cell survival and apoptosis, and the respiratory chain is the primary structural and functional component that is influenced by estrogen activity . The protective effect of estrogen on oxidative stress is mediated by translocation for specific enzymes from cytosol that prevent mitochondrial ADN of oxidative attack by free radicals .
Can Progesterone Help You Lose Weight
Progesterone can help you lose weight if your levels are low to begin with, but its more complicated than a cause-and-effect relationship. Progesterone is especially helpful to control weight when estrogen dominance is the issue as the effects of progesterone tone down the influence of estrogen.
Its important to note that progesterone doesnt directly cause weight gain or loss but instead works to reduce the effect of other hormones in the body that may be causing weight gain.
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Managing Your Stress Levels
Stress also contributes to weight gain by triggering the release of adrenaline and cortisol . Initially, they make your appetite decrease as your bodys first flight response . However, with prolonged stress, cortisol remains in your bloodstream and increases your appetite, leading to overeating. This means extra calories.
Experts have discovered several stress-management interventions to help reduce stress-related weight gain. These include yoga, mindful meditation, deep breathing techniques, tai chi, brisk walks, or leisure activities .
Estrogen Dominance And Painful Heavy And Irregular Periods
Another big sign of estrogen dominance is period issues. Specifically, heavy, painful and/or irregular periods.
Having too much estrogen in relation to progesterone can stall or halt ovulation altogether. No ovulation = no period.
Excessive estrogen also builds up the lining of the uterus more than normal, and often results in heavy periods accompanied by clotting. Pain and menstrual cramping may also be severe with estrogen dominance.
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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.
Fatigue Dizziness And Lack Of Sleep
Estrogen deficiency can cause insomnia. This is because of its effect on the production of serotonin to help maintain good quality sleep. As a result, you will not have adequate time to get refreshed and in the end result lead to fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, depression, and an inability to concentrate.
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Lose Weight This Year With The Help Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
If youre determined to lose weight this year, you should know that diet and exercise arent always the answer. Sometimes you can diligently exercise and watch calories, yet still fail to drop those pesky pounds.
Your struggle to lose weight may be the result of a hormone imbalance thats sabotaging your efforts. Here at BioAge Health, weve helped many patients in Eagan and the Twin City area of Minnesota successfully lose weight by restoring their natural hormones.
As a board-certified bioidentical hormone specialist and weight loss specialist, Dr. Catherine Kodama works closely with each patient, providing support and exceptional help with hormone deficiencies that contribute to weight gain.
How Exercise Helps With Weight After Menopause
The more active you are, the less weight you’re likely to gain. A National Institutes of Health review showed that people who did aerobic activities every day for 10 or more minutes had 6 fewer inches around the waistline compared to people who didn’t exercise. And exercising while you’re in the process of losing weight — as well as after you’ve lost it — may be critical to maintaining weight loss.
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Hormones That Affect Your Weight
Your body is driven to maintain balance. This concept, called homeostasis, holds true for every system and process in your body because its the key to survival. Homeostasis ensures vital functions like your body temperature and blood volume stay within the specific limits needed for you to live.
Hormones have a key role in homeostasis, and when their levels are too low or too high they significantly impact your health. Several hormones actively regulate your weight. When their levels drop below normal, you gain weight.
These are some of the key hormones connected to your weight:
How To Test And Monitor Your Progesterone
Progesterone can be tested through blood or urine. Most blood tests involve a visit to a doctors office or lab, but there are a growing number of home options as well. Blood tests give a specific numeric value at the time of testing, but it only provides a snapshot rather than the bigger picture. Progesterone levels can vary greatly and have even been shown to fluctuate hour by hour.
With the Mira fertility tracker, measuring your hormone levels is easy and intuitive. Mira uses test wands to measure hormone concentrations in your urine. After inserting the wand into Mira, it reads your results and sends them to the Mira app, which graphs your exact hormone curve to give you insight into your menstrual cycle.
The app allows you to see your data over time, giving you a more complete picture of your levels rather than a one-time snapshot. You can use these results to determine if your progesterone levels are off and measure them over time.
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Symptoms Of Low Estrogen In Women: What Is Going On
Estrogen is a vital hormone that can be found in women and men. In women, it is responsible for maintaining the reproductive system and forming female features such as the development of breasts, enlargement of hips, and pubic hair. Ladies can monitor their impact when they have a menstrual cycle. Mainly, it is produced by ovaries. And, when the time comes to menopause, low estrogen symptoms start emerging and causing changes such as cessation of menstruation, ovulation. Accordingly, a woman can no longer bear a child. However, during the onset of menopause, estrogen still allows one to perform a reproductive function but only with the help of gynecologists who will appoint the correct treatment to prolong the first stage.
How To Get Cortisol Under Control
Tips for maintaining healthy, balanced cortisol levels include the following:
- Consider what relaxes you. Is it meditation? A walk in the park? A bubble bath? Engaging in a creative project? Find what relieves stress for you, and integrate it into your daily routine.
- Exercise regularly, and give yoga a try if its not already part of your workout regimen. The synchronized breathwork that accompanies a nice, flowing vinyasa routine calms the nervous system and reduces cortisol all while giving your body and mind a thorough workout.
- Listen to your favorite music. A 2011 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that patients who listened to instrumental music during surgery had lower cortisol levels than a control group.
- Get enough sleep at night. Have you ever noticed how easily stressed and anxious you become on days when youre sleep deprived? This happens because during a night of deep, restorative sleep, your body is working to balance all hormones, including cortisol. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine explored how sleep deprivation impacted helicopter pilots on a 7-day emergency medical duty. Findings suggested it was sleep deprivation not the act of emergency medical care that elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels.
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Is Getting An Iud Painful
Some women worry that IUD insertion is painful Dr. Stanwood says the experience varies for each woman. For most, its similar to a typical pelvic exam with a Pap test, but with a little more of a cramp, she says. For others, Im all done and they ask, Thats it? I didnt feel anything. Yet other women might feel more crampy. For most, its a procedure that takes about five minutes totalwith a few minutes of cramps that are worth it in exchange for many years of birth control.
IUD insertion is performed during a standard office visit. Some spotting is expected after and might last the rest of the day, Dr. Stanwood says. Women whove recently given birth have a particularly easy time with the experience, she notes. I like to let women who have recently delivered a baby know that they will have the least amount of discomfort in terms of insertion if they do it within a couple of months of having their baby, because the cervix tends to be open and the uterus isnt as bothered by it.
Dr. Stanwood jokes that, in general, it takes longer to talk to women about IUDs than it does to insert them.
Estrogens And Estrogen Receptors In Fat Metabolism
The hormones help integrate metabolic interaction among major organs that are essential for metabolically intensive activities like reproduction and metabolic function. Sex steroids are required to regulate adipocyte metabolism and also influence the sex-specific remodeling of particular adipose depots . In humans, the factors that control fat distribution are partially determined by sex hormones concentrations . Men, on average, have less total body fat but more central/intra-abdominal adipose tissue, whereas women tend to have more total fat that favors gluteal/femoral and subcutaneous depots . Weight and fat abdominal distribution differ among women of reproductive age and menopausal women . The decrease in estrogen levels in menopausal women is associated with the loss of subcutaneous fat and an increase in abdominal fat . The importance of estrogens in subcutaneous fat accumulation is evident in fact estrogen hormonal therapy in men also increases the amount of subcutaneous fat .
In humans, 17--estradiol is the most potent estrogen followed by estrone and estriol . The expression of genes that encode the enzymes in estrogen synthetic pathway such as aromatase and reductive 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases is critical for E2 formation . Protein products of several genes with overlapping functions may confer reductive 17-HSD activities in peripheral tissues .
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How Does Progesterone Affect The Body
So then, what does progesterone do in the body? Before determining what progesterone does, we must first acknowledge that like estrogen, progesterone is mostly known as a female hormone, but it is also present in men.
In men, the predominant type of estrogen aka estradiol works to help with controlling arousal and sex drive, erectile function and spermatogenesis . On the other hand, progesterone in men is mostly produced in the testes and is linked to the production of testosterone and spermatogenesis .
This, however, is not all what this hormone is good for. According to a 2004 review, progesterone affects the central nervous system in men by blocking gonadotropin secretion, sleep improvement, and effects on tumors in the CNS . It also has effects on their immune system, cardiovascular system, kidney function, adipose tissue, behavior, and respiratory system .
Does Progesterone Cause Weight Gain
While the hormone itself does not cause weight gain per se, progesterone interacts with estrogen in critical ways that can ultimately have an effect on your weight and cause weight gain.
It can be misleading to blame weight gain on progesterone alone, especially when other hormones are involved. In reality, when progesterone and estrogen levels are ideal, they form a natural balance in our bodies and regulate one another. When that balance is off, progesterone cant work like it should and other hormones are left unchecked, both of which lead to weight gain.
Menopause And Abdominal Fat
The hormonal changes we experience during menopause can affect how our bodies store fat. While age-related weight gain happens for both men and women, menopausal women specifically may start to notice more fat in their abdominal area. Estrogen levels help control how your body distributes fat. Declining estrogen levels during menopause can lead to accumulating fat in your belly. This not only affects many womens self-esteem but is also a risk factor for serious health complications such as diabetes and heart disease.
Your hormone doctor may recommend estrogen replacement therapy to help reduce your symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping. In addition to helping with these disruptive symptoms, it may also help with belly fat during menopause.
Other Than Estrogen Weight Gain What Are The Other Symptoms Of Estrogen Imbalance
Like weight gain, some signs and symptoms of high and low estrogen tend to look very similar. Due to this, you should avoid self-diagnosing as you may end up mistaking one problem for the other. Some symptoms that can be found in women from either low or high estrogen levels include :
- Breast tenderness
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Estrogens Control Of Central Nucleus Of Appetite And Satiety
Estrogen hypothalamic control of obesity. ER alpha in the brain regulates body weight in both males and females ER alpha in female SF1 neurons regulates energy expenditure and fat distribution ER alpha in female POMC neurons regulates food intake. POMC: proopiomelanocortin SF1: steroidogenic factor-1.
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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How You Know Your Estrogen Is Low
The symptoms of low estrogen can seem confusing when they first develop, because estrogen contributes to so many of your physical functions. You could see symptoms including:
- Mood swings or depression
- Disruptions in your menstrual cycle
- Painful or uncomfortable intercourse
- A decrease in your bone density
In addition to being uncomfortable to experience, low estrogen can also permanently damage your fertility. Get your symptoms checked out by a medical professional sooner, not later!
Once weve tested and confirmed your low estrogen, the care team at Morris Medical Center can get started re-balancing your hormones. With treatment, you can improve your quality of life and prevent the development of health issues related to your low estrogen.
Progesterone And Insulin Resistance
Both too much and too little progesterone can impair your body’s blood sugar regulation.
During a healthy pregnancy, progesterone and other hormone changes decrease the mother’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 won’t cure PCOS and your weight gain didn’t cause it. It’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.
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