When Should I See An Endocrinologist For Weight Gain
There are a wide range of hormonal issues that may cause sudden, unexplained weight gain. These include thyroid deficiency, declining estrogen , and polycystic ovary syndrome . Weight gain may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and heavy or painful periods. If you find yourself gaining weight with no apparent explanation or changes in diet or exercise, you should discuss this with your doctor. An endocrinologist can help identify hormonal imbalances by reviewing your symptoms and performing laboratory tests when necessary.
Why Take Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
If peri- and menopausal women dont address the hormonal root causes of weight gain and weight loss resistance, their weight goals will not be achieved. At perimenopause, women will experience a cascade of hormone imbalances. When one goes up, another one goes down.
What was once a symphony of hormones playing a pretty good tune suddenly becomes a screeching cacophony that can crescendo into a world of problems, including weight gain. By starting HRT, a woman can begin the process of repairing the imbalances of the hormones and can once again play in harmony.
What Is Hormonal Weight Gain
Weight gain associated with underlying hormonal imbalances. For men, hormonal weight gain can be caused by high stress or cortisol levels in the body. The heightened levels of cortisol may make the body go into survival mode and induce the production of fat cells which will cause a declining metabolism to store food for later use. For women, a specific estrogen hormone called estradiol decreases at menopause helps regulate metabolism and body weight. The lower the levels of estradiol may cause weight gain. Throughout a womans life, they may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs.
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Keep Track Of What Youre Nibbling On
Even if youre eating reasonably well, you can still be in a calorie surplus. Whether youre eating oversized portions, taking mindless bites while prepping family meals or grazing as part of a new work-from-home norm, all that noshing adds up. Tracking your food intake can be helpful. In one 24-week study, researchers found that time spent logging food intake was significantly linked to weight loss. If tracking your food sounds daunting, consider that by the end of the study, those who were still committed to tracking spent just 15 minutes a day doing it about what you might spend scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
Here four more ways to stay mindful about what you eat:
- Pay attention to when you start to feel content and stop eating at that point.
- Try to use a plate every time you eat and put your food down between bites.
- Reduce or totally eliminate digital distractions while eating.
- Ask yourself what youre enjoying about your food. Pay attention to taste, texture and temperature.
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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Can A Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain Is This The Root Of Your Weight Problems
Your hormones can have a significant effect on your ability to lose weight. They may mean the crucial difference between losing and gaining.
Can a hormone imbalance cause weight gain? Hormones are a part of your Endocrine system. Hormones play a crucial role in controlling your bodies metabolism and energy use. An imbalance or hormone disruption can lead to weight gain and an absolute inability to lose the weight, even when dieting.
Unexplained weight gain is probably one of the most obvious and distressing signs of having a hormone imbalance.
The weight gain can be very rapid and take you by surprise. If you havent changed your exercise or eating habits but suddenly find you have gained a lot of weight, hormone imbalances are a likely culprit.
There are a number of conditions which can disrupt your hormones and lead to weight gain. These include problems with your Thyroid. Estrogen Dominance and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome amongst others. Many of these problems can arise around Menopause or Perimenopause
Once you get your hormones working smoothly again you should be able to lose weight more easily.
Be Careful Not To Overexercise
You may be super committed to your goal of dropping a few pounds, but remember rest days are important too. “I see this mistake so often, and it backfires every time,” says Mirkin. “Your body perceives this as a major stressor on the body and your metabolism slows down to preserve body fat.” Craving a break? Take ityour bod will thank you.
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Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormone imbalances occur when there is an imbalance or deficiency of hormones in your body.
Because of the essential role of hormones in the body, side effects can significantly affect the quality of your life.
- reproductive cycles and sexual function
- mood and stress levels
Thus, a hormone imbalance can result on:
- an increased risk of disease
- problems sleeping
- craving for specific foods
- chronic pain and headaches
- mental health problems like anxiety and depression
- hormonal acne and hair loss.
Perimenopause and menopause create a hormonal imbalance. However, there are many natural ways to balance your hormones and improve the quality of your life.
A Dive In Estrogen Affects The Distribution Of Weight
This typically starts in the mid- to late 40s and doesnt change metabolism, but it does explain why you might have a new muffin top even if you havent gained a pound. But a fall in estrogen indirectly affects weight gain for one important reason: It has a strong impact on the ability to get a decent nights sleep.
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How Does The Stress Hormone Cortisol Sabotage Weight Loss
How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain? First of all, heightened cortisol is linked to overeating. Ever notice how you eat when youre stressed? A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher than normal cortisol levels were linked to overeating and weight gain. Another study links elevated cortisol levels to an increase in belly fat.
Hormones And Weight Gain After 40
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Hormonal weight gain in my forties has been a challenge for me, luckily with my background in nutrition and fitness Ive been able to control my weight and balance my hormones.
Some of you are probably experiencing weight gain and difficulties trying to lose weight. You may not even realize that it could be a hormonal imbalance. Therefore, I want to share what I have learned in hopes that it might help some of you too.
WHAT EXACLTY IS A HORMONE IMBALANCE
Having low progesterone and high estrogen. Both of these hormones have to be balanced to optimize your weight loss.
WHAT ARE ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE?
These hormones are secreted by the ovaries and contribute to a womans menstrual cycle and fertility.
Here are some of the effects of estrogen and progesterone.
HOW LOW PROGESTERONE / HIGH ESTROGEN CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN
Being estrogen dominant can cause fluid retention. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and can eliminate bloating and fluid retention.
APPETITE & SLEEP
CAUSES OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE
HOW TO REPAIR YOUR HORMONES
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Painful Or Heavy Periods
If you are still having periods, you may find that they are worryingly heavy or irregular.
Pain in the stomach, lower back or during sex can indicate you may have fibroids. Fibroids seem to be stimulated by Estrogen. Although non-cancerous, fibroids can impact your quality of life severely. Make sure you see you Doctor to get them checked out and treated.
Understand How Insulin Impacts Weight
Insulin is one of the most important hormones when it comes to weight loss and weight gain. Made by the pancreas, insulin is responsible for storing blood sugar, or utilizing it, depending upon your bodys needs of the moment. After you eat a large meal, a substantial amount of insulin releases itself into the bloodstream. It also enters the bloodstream as needed throughout the day, ensuring that blood sugar levels remain stable.
Another key function of this essential hormone is fat storage. Insulin decides how much fat to store, and how much to convert for energy expenditure. Chronically high levels of insulin can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance, which is linked to an uptick in blood sugar as well as continued elevated insulin levels.
Preventing this insulin imbalance is crucial, as it leads to weight gain, and eventually type 2 diabetes. When insulin levels remain high over an extended period of time, obesity and metabolic syndrome are often the unfortunate outcome.
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Prioritize Whole Foods Over Processed Ones
One of the most important things to do after 40 is to limit processed foods that are loaded with sugar, refined grains or unhealthy fats. These can not only contribute to weight gain but might also increase your risk for conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancers and dementia .
Make sure to eat more whole foods they provide the body with high quality nutrients that help you feel energized and can decrease your risk of chronic diseases later in life. Some of the best foods to eat during your 40s include:
- Whole grains like quinoa, oats, brown rice or buckwheat
- Lean meats like turkey or chicken breast and fish
- Fresh fruits and veggies
Cortisols Relationship To Sleep And Stress
We also need to focus on sleep and managing stress in order to keep chronic cortisol levels down.
- Sleep. Production of cortisol varies rhythmically throughout the day, being highest upon waking and declining to its lowest levels of the day at the time you typically go to sleep. Chronic, moderate sleep deprivation interrupts this diurnal cycle, causing end-of-the-day cortisol levels to remain high. Over time, elevated cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes. Elevated cortisol levels are of particular concern to menopausal and perimenopausal women, as the combination of high cortisol and low estrogen contributes to middle-of-the-body weight gain. Try to get eight hours minimum of sleep and go to bed by 10:00pm.
- Reduce and manage stress: Participating in a regular mindfulness-based stress reduction program offers significant reductions in cortisol and stress-related symptoms. Deep breathing and meditation also help to reduce stress.
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Key Takeaways About Hormonal Weight Gain
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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Reasons Why Women Gain Weight After 40
If you’ve hit your 40s then this may be familiar :
Suddenly you notice your paunch in your belly.
Your clothes feel tighter.
But you’re confused because nothing has changed. So why has your body changed?
Google has made us experts at everything. If we need an answer to a burning question all we have to do is look it up. Therefore, most of us are “experts” at eating healthy, we know what a good and bad habits are, and we know exactly what we should do for exercise.
How Do You Know If You Have A Hormone Imbalance
There are many hormones working together. They all play a part in your health. As result the symptoms of a hormone imbalance are wide ranging and your symptoms will depend on which of your hormones are malfunctioning. Your Doctor can run various tests to check your hormone levels.
Weight gain however is the most obvious sign of a hormone imbalance.
A hormone imbalance is likely if
- You have gained weight over a short period of time.
- You have gained weight whilst eating and exercising the same amount.
- You find you cant lose weight even if you diet and exercise.
.If you think that you may have imbalanced hormones, this online test is a helpful way to discover if this is what is causing your weight problems. It takes around 60 seconds and will give you a breakdown of what may be the problem from your symptoms.
Natural Ways To Balance Hormones After 40
If youre in your 40s or 50s and feeling sluggish, depressed, or not like yourself, it might be because of a hormone imbalance. I will share 15 natural ways to balance your hormones in this post.
As women, we may experience changes in estrogen and progesterone that lead to symptoms such as weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, or night sweats.
Its important to be aware of these changes and take steps to balance your hormones naturally!
Details About The Hormones Of Weight Gain
Estrogen: Estrogen is one of the two female sex hormones and is responsible for the beginning of puberty, the menstrual cycle, and when it drops, perimenopause.
Symptoms of low estrogen & progesterone
Insomnia and night sweats
Dry and sagging skin
At appropriate levels, estrogen can strongly regulate and reduce food intake which translates to weight. Too little or too much estrogen and weight gain often result. Replacing the decreased estrogen in a menopausal woman can likely reverse excess food intake.1
Estrogen and progesterone are called sex steroid hormones, and are involved in the metabolism, as well as the accumulation and distribution of fat.1 Estrogen regulates feelings of hunger, keeping the pace of the metabolic rate, and the accumulation and distribution of fat.1,17-25
The Stress Hormone Cortisol & Belly fat: Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. At too high of levels, it also causes belly fat or visceral fat deposits.10 Some people call it the fight or flight hormone. When the mind perceives stress, cortisol is released into the bloodstream. If too much cortisol is released, it can lead to overeating and weight gain, especially in the midsection.6
Cortisol has a direct interplay with other hormones related to weight, sleep, and feelings of mood. While some of the weight gains might be due to stress eating, cortisol will cause weight gain if too high. High cortisol is also linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings.14
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Load Up On Your Fruits And Veggies
Vegetables in particular are generally low in calories, yet still packed with vitamins and minerals, and you can eat them in large amounts. “These are rich in fiber which makes you feel full and they’re nutrient-dense,” says Dr. Peterson.
Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a nutrition and diabetes expert, adds that you can use fruits and veggies to help exercise portion control too. “If you aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, it can help you to reduce the portion size of the other foods while feeling just as satisfied,” she explains. “And since vegetables provide few calories, this strategy can reduce your overall calorie intake at each meal, helping to promote weight loss.
Develop A Set Of Stress Management Tools
As you reach mid-life, the pressures pile up. Just think of the typical stressors, like caring for kids and aging parents, facing financial burdens and dealing with the demands of a job. When youre experiencing stress, your body responds by releasing the hormone cortisol. If your stress diminishes, your hormone levels return to normal, but if youre experiencing ongoing stress from adulting, cortisol levels will remain high. This can set off a series of biological events that may lead to an increased appetite with more cravings and a propensity to store fat in your belly.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breath practice that involves deep inhalations and exhalations. It triggers the bodys relaxation response and can help lower cortisol levels. To practice, try setting aside five minutes several times throughout the day.
You can also try these stress-reducers:
- Participate in a Zoom yoga class.
- Use a weighted blanket when you sleep.
- Carve out a few minutes to think about what youre grateful for.
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