Monday, May 27, 2024

What Hormones Can Make You Gain Weight

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Can An Endocrinologist Help With Weight Loss

Hormonal Weight Gain Causes (and How to Lose It!)

An endocrinologist can very often help you reverse weight gain that is associated with hormonal imbalances. Potentially useful interventions include lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet modification, or stress management, as well as treatments such as testosterone or thyroid hormone replacement. Medications may be able to help with weight gain-related symptoms such as increased appetite, or to moderate excessive hormone levels.

Insulin Resistance Leads To Leptin Resistance

Insulin resistance can have a domino effect, causing other changes in the body that make it even more difficult to lose weight.

Consistently high levels of insulin, which can happen because of a drop in estrogen at menopause, can cause high levels of leptin. Leptin is an important hormone that helps regulate appetite.

If a woman has consistently high levels of leptin, her body doesnt recognize fullness signals as easily. This makes it difficult to control appetite and can make you feel hungry all the time.

Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can be the result of a variety of risk factors. Though both lifestyle and diet can contribute to hormonal imbalance, it often develops from illness.

Issues with the thyroid or adrenal glands are a very common catalyst for hormonal imbalance. Thyroid conditions can affect the production of certain hormones. Hypothyroidism, in particular, is linked to significant weight gain. The weight gain and obesity that often comes with hypothyroidism is a result of hormonal imbalance.

Other causes of hormonal imbalance include:

  • Age

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How Does Birth Control Make You Gain Weight

While there may not be significant weight gain due to birth control, some individuals report gaining weight while using the pill, especially when first starting the pill.

In the past, birth control formulas included higher levels of hormones, leading to instances of weight gain. Today, much lower levels of estrogen are used.

An increase in estrogen levels can cause a person to retain water. Therefore, the combination pill is more likely to cause weight gain because it contains estrogen. However, this fluid retention may be minimal and should dissipate within a few months.

Gaining weight while taking birth control may be attributed to other factors unrelated to the pill, including:

  • Changes in eating habits or diet
  • Level of exercise
  • Increase in muscle mass or body fat
  • Fluctuations in routine
  • Underlying health conditions

A study that examined progestin-only pills have revealed that after six months to one year of use, participants gained less than 5 pounds. Ultimately, a significant change in weight is not expected with birth control.

These Hormone Tests Will Give You A Clear Insight Into Your Well

What Hormones Actually Make You Gain Weight

You’ve tried each and every trick in the book to lose weight but it all seems in vain. Especially if you are a woman–you are bound to be more vulnerable to slow metabolism, food cravings and hormonal changes throughout your life. So everything from PMSing to pregnancy, menopause to daily stress could take you through a variety of ups and downs, courtesy your hormones.

Research has also revealed that appetite, weight-loss, metabolism and female hormones are all closely linked. So, if you can’t find a happy solution to your weight gain, it is probably because of your skewed hormonal balance.

Therefore, you may want to get these 6 hormones tested before losing all hope:

  • Thyroid: Hypothyroidism is responsible for weight gain in women. The most common symptoms could include sudden weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and constipation. Weight is the result of decreased metabolic rate of the body which is deeply affected by the thyroid hormone.
  • Insulin: The hormone insulin is the one produced by beta cells in the pancreas which is primarily responsible for the regulation of fat and carbohydrates in the body. Insulin allows the body to use glucose, and high levels of insulin could also lead to weight gain.
  • Cortisol: It is a hormone that is released when you are stressed or are sleep deprived. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to weight gain, majorly in the abdominal area. It therefore triggers food cravings and you end up munching on junk food more than you would have otherwise.
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    How To Keep Estrogen At Optimal Levels

    To balance estrogen levels naturally and prevent the weight gain that happens with an estrogen imbalance, youll want to do the following:

    • Commit to a regular exercise routine. Many studies, including this 2012 one, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, explain how exercise lowers estrogen levels in obese women.
    • Eat your fiber. Fibrous foods help decrease elevated estrogen levels.
    • Eat veggies in the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy. Anything green and leafy is always a good idea, too!
    • Reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with our natural hormones. Avoid plastic containers, cans, or water bottles made with BPA. Never microwave plastic.
    • Choose organic foods when possible, and choose phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products.
    • Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which uses plant-based hormones identical to those produced naturally by the human body to keep hormones balanced.

    How Much Weight Is Considered Normal To Gain During Your Period

    It’s not uncommon for the scale to swing, regardless of having a period or not, explains Charis Chambers, MD, a gynecologist in Houston. “An average adult has weight fluctuations of up to five pounds in a single day, so it is safe to say that weight changes within that range are normal,” Dr. Chambers sayson your period or not.

    But PMS can make it more likely that you will experience these weight fluctuations, says Dr. Chambers, who adds that bloating and weight gain are some of the physical symptoms associated with PMS.

    So how much weight gain is normal? Many women typically see around two to six pounds of weight gain around their period, but every body is different. You may notice that your clothes feel tighter and bloating around your abdomen, arms, legs, and breasts, says Jodie Horton, MD, an ob-gyn in Oakton, Virginia, and the chief wellness advisor for Love Wellness. But fear not period weight gain caused by water retention usually goes away about three to five days after your period starts.

    Period weight gain usually goes away about three to five days after your period starts.

    Though if you’re experiencing rapid or persistent weight gain, it’s best to speak with a doctor who can determine if there are other issues at play besides your period. Dr. Chambers also recommends seeking medical advice if you feel like your PMS symptoms are beginning to interfere with your life.

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    Can Bioidentical Hormones Cause Weight Gain What You Should Know Before Starting Bhrt

    Patients seek bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for a multitude of different reasons. Perhaps you feel sluggish, fatigued, or unmotivated. Maybe youre experiencing hot flashes. Or perhaps youve run up against a wall when it comes to weight loss, and youre wondering if hormones have something to do with your inability to lose weight.

    Bioidentical hormones can be a powerful contributor to weight loss for some individualsthough that isnt their primary purpose. In fact, because hormones heavily impact metabolism, minor weight fluctuations are a common side effect that patients experience when starting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. If youre determined to lose a few unwanted pounds, the possibility of medication-induced weight gain could be a major concern.

    So, can bioidentical hormones cause weight gain? Possibly. It might take a while for you to find the right dose of hormone medications and reach equilibrium, especially if your hormone levels arent being monitored appropriately by a qualified practitioner. But with proper maintenance and a comprehensive treatment plan designed to meet your unique needs, BHRT is more likely to help you reach a stable, healthy weight than to put on pounds. An expert hormone health practitioner will be able to provide you with the customized medication, diet, exercise, and stress management strategies you need to alleviate your symptoms and promote overall well-being.

    Reasons You’re Gaining Weight That Have Nothing To Do With Food

    Hormones and Weight Gain in Perimenopause and Menopause

    If you’re dealing with unexplained weight gain, these are some common causes that aren’t about calories.

    There are many reasons you can gain weight that have nothing to do with food.

    Sometimes weight gain is easy to figure out. If you’ve changed your eating habits, added more dessert or processed foods, or have been spending more time on the couch than usual, you can typically blame those reasons if you gain a few pounds. But sometimes figuring out why you gained weight is trickier than that.

    And while we’re living in unprecedented times, when stress levels are high and activity levels are lower due to quarantine and gym shutdowns, it’s normal to gain weight and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But sometimes weight gain is more complicated than that. Weight gain is often caused by more than just the calories you eat and exercise . The “calories in, calories out” approach is pretty dated when it comes to weight loss, so it makes sense that gaining weight is more complex than that too.

    If you’ve gained weight and are having a hard time pinpointing the cause, keep reading below for five reasons that could be to blame.

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    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 To Fix Your Hormones And Lose Weight

    Ive hit a stubborn weight-loss plateau, writes this weeks house call, even though I seem to be doing everything right, like eating the right foods and exercising. How can I overcome that obstacle?

    Ive discussed different reasons for weight-loss resistance in past blogs. Many obstacles have nothing to do with what you eat or how much you exercise. Instead, they involve things like nutritional imbalances, chronic inflammation, metabolic challenges, leaky gut, changes in your microbiome, environmental toxins and your genes.

    One huge but often-overlooked reason for weight-loss resistance involves hormonal imbalances.

    No contest: The monster hormone that causes weight gain, inflammation and chronic disease is excess insulin. Think of this hormone as your fat cell fertilizer! My new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, discusses how to naturally regulate insulin so you can shift your body from fat storage mode to fat-burning mode.

    At the same time, insulin isnt the only player other hormones also affect your weight and health. Three big disruptors are: thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. I discuss these hormones in-depth in The Blood Sugar Solution, however, lets briefly look at each of them here.


    Research shows hypothyroidism, or low-thyroid function, affects one in five women and one in ten men. Unfortunately, in over half of these cases, this condition isnt diagnosed.

    A common cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance.


    Sex Hormone Imbalances

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    What Are Hormones And What Do They Do

    Hormones are the tiny messengers in your body that carry information through your bloodstream to all the other parts of your body. They tell organs and tissues what to do, how to do it, and for how long.

    Hormones are the responsibility of your endocrine system, which is a vital part of your overall health. They work efficiently, but slowly, so it may be difficult to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones affect processes like your metabolism, sexual function, growth, mood, and reproduction.

    Weight gain is the most obvious and common sign of a hormonal imbalance. Weight fluctuations are normal, but if youve gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, we at Balance Hormone Center can help.

    Is There Anything I Can Do To Avoid Period Weight Gain Altogether

    8 hormonal imbalances that can cause weight gain

    Tbh, no, not really, but you can minimize it. The period weight gain caused by hormonal fluctuations is not entirely avoidable, but can be improved, says Dr. Chambers.

    One way to minimize your period weight gain is keeping an eye on what you eat while youre on and off your period. Theres a saying that you crave what you eat. Eating healthier in between menstrual cycles is just as, if not more, important than just what you eat while on your period, explains Dr. Chambers. Eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can help minimize calories and prevent excessive intake.

    She also recommends eating more frequent smaller meals, instead of infrequent larger ones, which can turn down your cravings for that greasy slice of pizza.

    Hormonal birth control can also help you mitigate period weight gain, says Dr. Chambers. Hormonal medications like certain types of birth control that prevent ovulation, will lessen hormonal fluctuations and thus lessen this type of weight gain/water retention. If getting on or switching your birth control method is something youre interested in, consult your doctor.

    But if all else fails, just wait it out. Weight fluctuation during your period is totally normal. But if youre really worried about it, check in with your doctor.

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    What Is A Hormonal Imbalance

    Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands and tissues, forming a part of the endocrine system.

    Hormones travel to all of the bodys tissues and organs through the bloodstream. They give messages to these organs, letting them know what function to perform and when to do it.

    Hormones help regulate a lot of processes in the body. Hormones manage appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, heart rate, sexual function, general mood and stress levels, and body temperature. Because they affect so many functions, imbalances in certain hormones can lead to uncomfortable symptoms.

    A hormonal imbalance occurs when a person has too much or too little of a certain hormone, such as insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, androgens, estrogen, or progesterone. Even slight changes can have a significant effect on your body.

    Track my period

    A range of symptoms can result from female hormone imbalance. Hormonal imbalance symptoms depend on which hormones or glands are not working properly.

    Some of the most common hormonal conditions in women cause the following symptoms:

    What Are Hormone Diets And Can They Really Help You Lose Weight Quickly

    As a registered dietitian, I have found that my clients are increasingly asking about books and programs that claim you can adjust your hormones with a diet to lose weight quickly and easily.

    Search for hormone diet and there are more than 30 recent books on the topic. The authors allege that the reason people over 35 struggle to lose weight doesnt have to do with eating too much or not exercising enough. They say its your hormones working against you.

    According to these books, you can trick your metabolism and feed your thyroid. They claim that all you need to do is eat the right foods and take the right supplements, and youll unlock the secret to lasting weight loss.

    But is there any evidence these diets work?

    In researching hormone diets, I found some that are sold at weight-loss centers, created by wellness experts who have no recognized credentials. They claim to promote rapid weight loss by affecting hormones such as insulin, which moves sugar from your blood into your cells cortisol, the stress hormone sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and thyroid hormones.

    So, do hormone diets lead to quick and easy weight loss?

    I dont know of any diet that will change hormone levels in a way that these hormone changes will be instrumental in promoting weight loss, Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, a professor of medicine at Tulane Universitys medical school, wrote in an email.

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    Does Hrt Cause Weight Gain

    While menopause and aging are undoubtedly associated with weight gain, you may wonder if the new numbers on the scale are the result of HRT. This is common many women assume that HRT and weight gain go hand in hand and that a few extra pounds are nearly inevitable while in treatment. If youve experienced menopause so far without weight gain but started to gain weight as soon as you started HRT, you may even be toying with the idea of stopping treatment altogether. But the relationship between HRT and weight gain is far from clear.

    Contrary to popular assumptions, most women experience no changes in weight as the result of undergoing HRT. A systematic review of 22 high-quality randomized clinical trials concluded that there was no significant difference in weight between menopausal women who were treated with HRT and those who were not. This suggests that you might gain weight as a result of menopause, but that undergoing HRT will probably not cause additional weight gain.

    Fixing Your Unbalanced Hormones

    Melatonin and Estrogen: How melatonin can help with hormonal weight gain, immunity, and detox

    Thankfully, there are many ways that you can fix your hormonal imbalance. Start by changing your diet to include foods that can help to boost testosterone and lower estrogen. Foods that are rich in vitamin D can help with that goal, and some of these foods include:


    Cod liver oil

    Also, make sure you cut out sugars and processed junk that can only increase your insulin resistance. Watch your carbohydrate intake as it is crucial in keep your weight at a good level.

    Next, reduce your stress levels so that your body isnt sending cortisol hormone levels through the roof. Deep breathing exercises are usually great to help with calming you down and lowering the production of this stress hormone. You also need to reduce the inflammation in your body as it triggers things like metabolic disorders and obesity.

    Try consuming more plant-based protein and add more leafy greens to your diet. Lastly, you cant go wrong exercising regularly. Exercise is a natural way that you can fix those unbalanced hormones. Things like strength training are excellent to balance things like estrogen and testosterone.

    Walking can help to ease your stress as well as burn fat. It can also improve your insulin sensitivity that can help with weight loss. Why not develop a routine and walk with a friend or your spouse in the cool of the evenings? It can be fun to explore nature and help your body at the same time.

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