The More Medication Myth
You may have heard that thyroid hormones can be used to lose weight, even in people without thyroid disease. While synthetic thyroid hormones have been used this way in the past, research has shown that most people gain all the weight back once they stop using them. Worse, being on thyroid hormones unnecessarily can result in serious side effects.
For people who are already using levothyroxine, increasing the dose above whats needed can lead to more weight loss, but its usually not significant and those pounds are often gained back once the dose is decreased again.
This is also an unhealthy way to lose weight, as an increased dose is also associated with adverse reactions, including heart issues, insomnia, headaches, menstrual irregularities, and skin rash.
How Hormones Change Before And During Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy is the process of administering medication with female hormones. This medication is intended to replace the hormones that the body stops producing when a woman enters menopause.
When a woman enters the perimenopause stage, her progesterone levels start to decrease while her estrogen levels may wildly fluctuate. While theyll eventually trend downward, in the short term, they may be completely erratic and even fluctuate significantly throughout the day.
This is a miscommunication between the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and ovaries that results in fluctuating estrogen levels. Declines in progesterone tend to occur more steadily, over time.
As women enter the later stages of perimenopause, estrogen levels decrease. Once a woman enters menopause, her estrogen levels drop even more.
These changing hormones are responsible for many of the symptoms women experience, including hot flashes, changes in the menstrual cycle, headaches, depression and weight gain.
HRT seeks to stabilize the hormone levels so that symptoms are lessened and women are able to maintain a healthier, happier life. Fluctuating hormones are linked to higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that indicates youre hungry.
Low estrogen levels impact the bodys ability to recognize when its full. Women may eat more calories than needed simply because their bodies havent indicated that theyve had enough.
You Have ‘odd’ Symptoms
You may be sweating more than you usually would, growing hair in places you never did before, or you may simply find yourself angry and irritated a lot more than usual. You could have dry eyes, are having trouble sleeping or have noticed your hair getting thinner. With so many hormones regulating processes in the body, it is no surprise that a number of physical and emotional symptoms can be attributed to changes in hormone levels.
While this may seem vague, these subtle changes can add up and provide much insight to health professionals to help determine what may be going on. Pay attention to the little changes in your body, because no one knows your body like you do.
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K Eating At Odd Times
When one eats late night or skips lunch and eats it very late, the bodys metabolism goes haywire and body gains weight. A perfect schedule is essential to maintain healthy weight.
All these causes of weight gain must be looked at to determine the real cause behind excess weight. Only then it can be successfully cured. You have to make lifestyles changes, cure medical conditions, follow healthy lifestyle or maybe get medical advice.Thus, weight gain has many causes and it is possible to lose weight. Find out what is your cause and work it out accordingly.
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What You Can Do: Stop Overeating The Foods That Cause Insulin Resistance
How do we ensure our insulin levels remain balanced? First, we need to stop eating too much. Its a known fact that overeating leads to insulin resistance, especially when we eat too much food thats no good for our bodies and minds. When we eat too much sugar, too much fast food, and too many processed carbohydrates, insulin goes haywire. These elevated insulin levels lead to weight gain and low-grade inflammation. A 2010 study published in the journal Diabetes found that even eating too much of these foods in the short term leads to insulin resistance and weight gain.
You may also want to restrict carbohydrates in your diet. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, a low-carb diet prevents metabolic syndrome and the insulin resistance that causes it. Other findings show drinking green tea, consuming omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, and eating adequate amounts of protein all help balance insulin levels.
Estrogen And Weight Gain
Estrogens responsible for increasing fat storage at the hips and thighs, providing the hour-glass shape. Progesterone, when working in unison with Estrogen, normally halts the storage of fat around the waist, but factors can come into play that interfere with this harmonious partnership.
Stress can have a negative impact on progesterones action. It leads to weight gain around the belly that is very difficult to shift due to your progesterone levels being significantly lower than your Estrogen levels.
High levels of stress have been shown to negatively impact progesterone. Therefore, if you find fat accumulating around your waist, you may want to work at reducing any stress in your life and help keep progesterone levels in check.
Since Estrogen levels decline in a womans later years, which leads to the negative effects associated with menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats many of my clients think that, surely, having an excess of Estrogen is a good thing.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. If you would like to know more about the delicate balance of Estrogen and progesterone here is a good article.
When you are Estrogen dominant, the positive effects that progesterone has on the body are blocked. This happens because Estrogen overstimulates both the brain and the body.
Effects such as calmness and easing fluid retention are the two major, wonderful benefits of progesterone that are sadly missed by any Estrogen dominant, high-strung, bloated, stressed woman.
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Follow This Eating Pattern
Eating plenty of colorful vegetables and fruit along with heart-healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts as well as fish and vegetarian proteins appears to be one of the healthiest ways to promote weight loss and prevent chronic diseases. It may also make your cells more sensitive to insulin, reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In particular, oily fish contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce insulin resistance, a risk-factor for Type 2 diabetes.
Having healthy fats in your meals and snacks triggers the release of hormones that help you feel more satiated, which can support weight loss.
Obesity Hormones As A Risk Factor For Disease
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and several types of cancer, and with decreased longevity and lower quality of life. For example, the increased production of oestrogens in the fat of older women who are obese is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk, indicating that the source of oestrogen production is important.
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Youre Losing Your Hair
If your increased abdominal weight gain is coinciding with an accelerated rate of hair loss, your hormones might be to blame. Specifically, thyroid hormones help to regulate your body weight as well as your hair growth so an underactive thyroid could be the culprit of hormonal belly if youre experiencing issues with both simultaneously.
Because the relationship between metabolism, thyroid hormones, and weight is complex, the exact mechanism by which thyroid hormones cause weight changes isnt entirely understood. The most simple explanation is that when your thyroid isnt producing enough hormones, your metabolic rate slows down, reducing the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis, and often contributing to weight gain, particularly around your midsection.
However, it isnt thyroid hormones alone that play a role in how much energy your body uses. Thyroid hormones work synergistically with a number of other hormones, proteins, receptors, and chemical messengers in the body making it a layered process with other downstream effects on inadequate thyroid levels such as fatigue, hair loss, constipation, and 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.
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What Are Hormones And Why Should I Care
Hormones are signaling molecules that carry information all over the body for it to function properly. Everything from your mood, emotions, hunger, to larger more complex processes like reproduction are controlled by the endocrine system.
The endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones.
There are so many hormones constantly sending messages it can be hard to keep track however, the more you know about specific hormones the more you can take an active role in controling your weight.
Hormones That Affect Weight Gain
The main hormones that control weight gain and weight loss are:
- Thyroid hormones
Were going to look at each of these hormones more closely in just a moment.
But before we dive in, its important to remember that these hormones are not BAD.
They are our allies and they play very important roles in the body.
However, when theyre out of balance, theres a ripple effect that can cause rapid weight issues.
So, with that out of the way, lets look at how each of these hormones impact our weight.
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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.
What Are The Stages Of Hormonal Change For Men
For men, andropause is a slow decline of normal testosterone levels, which begin to lower by about 1% every year around the age of 40. Because the decrease in testosterone production is slow slow, many men do not exhibit any obvious symptoms of andropause for nearly a decade after onset. Andropause is traditionally marked by low T, which features symptoms such as low libido, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, mood swings, and more.
How Common Is It for Men to Gain Weight During Andropause?
On average, middle-aged men gain about 19 pounds during the onset of andropause, which can be a significant cause of concern for overall health. Weight gain is one of the more common symptoms of andropause and most men will experience some about of weight gain during late adulthood.
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Do Hormones Affect Your Ability To Lose Weight
When it comes to losing weight, conventional wisdom emphasizes the calories in / calories out approach. In other words, the thinking used to go, as long as you burn off more calories than you take in, you should be trim and healthy in no time.
However, that approach ignores the fact that calories are attached to foods with significantly different chemical structures and impacts on your body. It also ignores that your body may not be equipped to burn off calories because your hormones are out of balance.
At Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center in Allen, Texas, our health experts take a holistic, whole-body approach to weight loss. That includes examining your hormones and correcting imbalances with hormone replacement therapy .
Do You Ever Find Yourself Saying This
- No matter how much I exercise or eat right, I cant lose this excess weight.
- As Ive been getting older, my metabolism has slowed and I keep gaining weight.
- Once I lose the weight, the fat comes right back to me.
If you can relate to the above, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
As a Nurse Practitioner, and a Doctor with experience in weight management and bioidentical hormone therapy, I can tell you firsthand that your weight affects your hormones and, on the flipside, your hormones affect your weight. So, which came first? The chicken or the egg? Its kind of hard to tell, but there are things you can do to help both at the same time and lead to a leaner body and put your hormones back into balance. Even if youre going through menopause, you can help relieve hot flashes, weight gain, and other symptoms of menopause by changing your diet.
First, its helpful to know what hormones are, what role they have in the body, and what the major players are.
So, what are hormones? And how to balance your hormones to lose weight? Hormones are chemical messengers that are made in the body and are responsible for almost every bodily function. We cant survive without them! Without hormones, we would never experience hunger and may possibly starve to death. Without hormones, we wouldnt be able to make babies and mankind would end. Crazy, isnt it?
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Can Hormone Therapy Help Me Lose Weight
Weight loss is not as easy as magazines, late night infomercials, and Instagram influencers want you to believe.
There are so many reasons why your body may be packing on extra pounds. It could be a change in your diet, decreased levels of activity, or it could be evidence of a less obvious issue like hormone imbalance.
Studies show that men and women alike struggle with weight gain and are desperate for holistic solutions that really work.
If you are sick and tired of wasting hours sweating on the elliptical or counting calories without success, then youve come to the right place.
Address The Cause Not The Symptoms
When your clients ask you about hormones and weight loss, help them understand the difference between symptoms and causes.
Many hormone imbalances are symptoms of weight gain, which triggers proinflammatory responses that affect the bodys output of insulin, cortisol, thyroid hormones, estrogen, testosterone and many other hormones. To lose weight, your clients dont need to balance their hormones with fancy supplements, detox diets or medication.
They can achieve success by adopting an integrated wellness plan and addressing lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep and chronic stress. At the end of the day, compliance is king. Ultimately, as clients move along in their weight loss journey, finding a fitness strategy they can maintain over the long term is the key.
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