What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone levels naturally change at various points during every persons life, including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and more. Additionally, underlying conditions, certain medications, and other factors can impact hormone levels. Because the hormones play such a major role in the regulation of so many important physiologic processes, hormone imbalance can cause a number of frustrating and disruptive symptoms, including:
- Weight gain
- Loss of bone and/or muscle mass
- Hair loss
- Low libido
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.
What Is Estrogen Dominance
First of all, lets get this out of the way. Educating yourself about WHAT is going on in your body and WHY will give you the direction you need to keep going.;
Estrogen dominance is a term thats become quite popular, but many dont truly understand what it means. Often we think dominance must mean too much, but this is not the case.
Estrogen dominance is simply an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, in favour of estrogen. This could mean that:
You have excessively high levels of estrogen
You have normal estrogen and low progesterone
You have low estrogen and extremely low progesterone
Therefore, it is possible for women of all ages to be estrogen dominant. There are 3 main estrogens, estradiol, estriol and estrone. For the purposes of this article, Im talking about estradiol- the estrogen that is most important throughout our lifespan. On the flip side, estriol is highest in pregnancy, and estrone becomes the dominant estrogen post-menopause.;
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How Low Estrogen Can Affect Your Body
Estrogen is a very busy hormone for women throughout their lives. Men have some too, but women have more. Estrogen is primarily active in reproductive development and health for women, but its role is far greater than that.
Estrogen is actually a group of sex hormones, each of them performing different roles in womens health and development. Estrogen helps make women curvier than men by making their pelvis and hips wider, and their breast grow.
Estrogen is part of your menstrual cycle, helps you get pregnant, and plays a role in helping you develop bones and grow hair. It also helps regulate your moods and impacts your brain development and structure.
Your High Estrogen Levels Are Expanding Your Fat Cells
Although estrogen is responsible for making women uniquely women, it’s also the hormone that can be the most troublesome in the fat department. At normal levels, estrogen actually helps keep you lean by goosing the production of insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. When estrogen gets thrown off, though, it turns you into a weight-gain machine.
Here’s how: When you eat, your blood sugar rises. Like a bodyguard, insulin lowers it by escorting glucose into three different places in your body. When insulin is in good working formnot too high and not too lowit sends a small amount of glucose to your liver, a large amount to your muscles to use as fuel, and little to none for fat storage.
If you’re healthy and in good shape, your pancreas produces exactly the right amount of insulin to have your blood sugar softly rise and fall within a narrow range . But when your estrogen levels climb, the cells that produce insulin become strained, and you can become insulin resistant.
That’s when insulin starts to usher less glucose to the liver and muscles, raising the levels of sugar in your bloodstream and ultimately storing the glucose as fat. Your fat tissue can expand by as much as four times to accommodate the storage of glucose.
Estrogen Dominance And Weight Gain
So whats the connection between having estrogen dominance and weight gain? Its pretty simple.;
Estrogen is partly responsible for keeping our metabolisms in good shape. It also helps to maintain fat loss in proper levels. Having too much can slow metabolism, as can having too little. So, youre more apt to gain weight, especially in the hips, thighs and back, as well as the belly. You might notice you started out as a pear shape, and have gained weight and now have an apple shape, with much of your weight in the belly area as time goes on.;
Beyond this, estrogen dominance negatively interferes with thyroid hormone. The thyroid is the main controller of our metabolism, and of estrogen dominance is slowing our thyroid, our metabolism will slow and we will gain weight.;
Many women with estrogen dominance also have some level of thyroid dysfunction.;
Types Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are several types of hormone replacement therapies available:;
Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy includes a synthetic form of estrogen. This form can increase your risk of getting endometrial cancer if you still have a uterus. Healthcare providers dont recommend using estrogen-only HRT if you have any of the following medical conditions:;
- Heart attack
Progestin-only hormone replacement therapy contains a synthetic form of progesterone. Your doctor may prescribe both estrogen-only and progestin-only HRT to decrease your risk of endometrial cancer. This form of HRT causes many of the same side effects as estrogen-only medication.;
Estrogen and progestin combination
This form of hormone replacement therapy provides you with synthetic estrogen and progesterone in one dose. It can be a good option for individuals who prefer to take their HRT all at once. Theres no estrogen or progestin HRT that leads to weight loss or weight gain.
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What Are 2020 Safer Analogs To Hormone Replacement Therapy And Weight Loss
The well-composed plan of HRT helps to prevent osteoporosis, controls body temperature, returns active sexual life, and works as a dietician. Hormone replacement therapy and weight loss reduce a patients food cravings and convert fat into energy. What are 2020 safer alternatives to hormone replacement therapy and weight loss for menopausal women?
How Estrogen Dominance Causes Belly Fat Bloating And Weight Gain
Learn how a liver detox can help you ease the signs and symptoms of high estrogen
Its super frustrating when youre doing everything right and you still cant lose your belly fat.
I get it! Ive been where you are. Even with a super healthy diet, staying hydrated, and moving my body I still struggled with stubborn belly fat. And then I learned about estrogen dominance.
I knew about low estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause, and how the changes in my hormones cause my body to change and trigger a range of side effects. But no onetold me about estrogen dominance or high estrogen and this impacts how I look and feel.
The last thing I want is for you to struggle with the symptoms of estrogen dominance. In this blog I explain estrogen dominance, give you the signs and symptoms of high estrogen, and share the 6 steps I followed to lower my estrogen, detox my liver, and ultimately get my sexy back!
If you have questions about estrogen dominance or want to connect with people like you who put a priority on health, make sure you join the and .
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How To Take Estradiol
Use;Estradiol ;exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that can lead to uterine cancer. To help lower this risk, your doctor may also want you to take a progestin. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis and have a mammogram every year while using estradiol.
If you need major surgery or will be on long-term bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using estradiol.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Reduce Exposure To Hormone Disruptors
Toxins are one of the most common reasons why hormonal weight gain occurs.
You see, toxins cause inflammation, which basically throws your body into a state of confusion.
The most common source of toxins is the food we eat.
Food toxins that contribute to hormonal weight include:
- Processed and genetically modified fats
- Processed sugar
- Processed meats
So, if you want to lose weight fast and reverse hormone-related weight gain, reduce your consumption of these foods and ingredients.
This single step will make a tremendous difference in your bodys ability to shed excess pounds.
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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.
Bioidentical Hormones Can Contribute To Weight Loss In Some Cases
Contrary to popular belief, bioidentical hormones are not an instant weight loss solution. These medications were designed to address symptoms related to menopause, andropause, or hormone disorders. Significantly, estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones are powerful chemicals that have far-reaching effects throughout the body. While certain medications may have an impact on your appetite or metabolism, theyre not designed to facilitate quick and easy weight loss.
The reason bioidentical hormones are so commonly equated with weight loss is that hormone imbalances can result in plenty of weight-related problems. Men with low testosterone and women with PCOS, for example, may experience stubborn weight gain that doesnt seem to respond to typical diet and exercise strategies. Hypothyroidism is another common contributing factor to weight gain.
In some cases, supplementing with the hormones your body needs can help your endocrine system function more effectively, improving metabolism and influencing gradual weight loss. But so many other factors influence your bodys natural resting weight. Indeed, diet and exercise are the most important factors for healthy weight loss in the majority of cases. As such, its important that you speak with a qualified medical professional to determine which factors matter most for your bodyand how they can be combined to help you feel your best.
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What Is The Best Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
While synthetic hormone replacement therapy has long been used to treat hormonal imbalance symptoms, Dr. Christy prefers the more efficient and natural benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of BioTE® pellets. Rather than using artificial hormone compounds, BHRT contains plant-based hormones that are structurally designed to mimic the bodys natural hormones. This allows for more efficient absorption and symptom control. Furthermore, the unique BioTE pellet delivery system offers a constant dose of hormones in order to avoid upswings and downswings in a patients symptoms.
Low Progesterone Can Lead To Weight Gain
A hormone imbalance, such as low progesterone, could potentially lead to weight gain as imbalances between estrogen and progesterone are one of the emerging causes of obesity.;
Healthy levels of progesterone support the thyroid which produces hormones to regulate your metabolism, or how quickly food is used for energy. If the thyroid is not supported and therefore cannot produce sufficient levels of hormones, your metabolism will slow down, meaning less food is burned for energy. Eating more food than you burn leads to weight gain.;
Sometimes, low progesterone can be a sign of estrogen dominance. This is because estrogen and progesterone must always stay balanced. So when estrogen levels abnormally high in comparison to progesterone levels, progesterone can appear low.;
If estrogen dominance is the cause of low progesterone, you could be at a higher risk of weight gain. As we mentioned earlier, estrogen is responsible for depositing more fat onto different parts of your body. If you dont have enough progesterone present to balance out the effects of excess estrogen, you may retain more fat cells than normal.;
If you dont have enough progesterone present to balance out the effects of excess estrogen, you may retain more fat cells than normal.
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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.
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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Estrogen Dominance And Mood Problems
Beyond weight gain, mood disturbances are a big light bulb that estrogen dominance may be contributing to your issues.;
When estrogen is in balance, we feel sexy, strong, confident and ready to take on the world. We are uplifted and pleasant to be around.;
When estrogen dominates over progesterone, this can lead to anxiety and depression, which may be seen even with low estrogen levels.;
Additionally, excess estrogen may have you feeling super irritable, or people may begin calling you bossy because of the way you act.;
These things dont have to be cause for using anti-depressants, but rather are a signal to bring estrogen and progesterone into balance naturally to restore your moods.;