What Are The Stages Of Hormonal Change For Women
Women begin to experience the hormonal changes associated with the cessation of ovulation about eight to 10 years before menopause truly sets in, which means that menopause is a slow process.
Premenopause and Perimenopause
For many women, the first stage of menopause happens between ages 30 and 40, with the primary symptoms being cycles that become less regular and hot flashes during the night. Perimenopause is a more substantial stage where the symptoms of hormonal changes become more pronounced. In particular, perimenopause includes faster depletion of estrogen levels however, women are still capable of becoming pregnant during perimenopause, although fertility rates are likely lower.
Menopause and Postmenopause
Menopause is the full suspension of the ovulation cycle, meaning women no longer have any periods because their bodies do not produce enough estrogen to ovulate. Menopause is marked by hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbance, sexual dysfunction, and more. Many women are surprised to learn that postmenopause, which can occur for over 10 years after the onset of menopause, features a continuation of these symptoms.
Which Stage Features the Most Potential Weight Gain?
Do: Eat More Protein And Fat
Wait a minute. The way to slim down is to actually eat MORE of something? Yes, and Ill tell you why.
Protein and healthy fats help keep blood sugar stable. This, in turn, helps us remain in fat-burning mode for a longer time, and keeps inflammation to a minimum.
So, when you get those afternoon cravings, reach for things like an avocado with lemon juice, veggies and hummus, or a hard-boiled egg with almonds.
Your Low Testosterone Levels Are Slowing Down Your Metabolism
You are confronted with an astounding number of toxins each day, including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, and about six different synthetic hormones in meat. Toxins are lurking in face creams, prescription drugs, processed foods, your lipstick, the linings of tuna fish cans, the fire-retardant materials in couches, and even the air you breathe. The list goes on.
Many types of these toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and industrial chemicals, behave like estrogen when absorbed in the body. Experts believe that our increasing exposure to toxins helps explain why so many girls are entering puberty earlier and why many boys exhibit feminine characteristics such as developing breasts. Xeno-estrogens, as these particular toxins are called, have been associated with an elevated risk of estrogen-driven diseases like breast and ovarian cancers and endometriosis.
HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT
All this fake estrogen overwhelms your body’s testosteronewhich is vital for hormone balanceand contributes to estrogen overload. Testosterone contributes to muscle growth, which in turn supports metabolism. And, as we already know, estrogen overload raises insulin insensitivity. The combination adds pounds to your frame: A study from Sweden published in the journal Chemosphere showed that exposure to a particular type of pesticide called organochloride was linked to a weight gain of 9½ pounds over 50 years.
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Putting The Risks Of Hrt In Perspective
Media reports on the WHI results may have given people inflated fears of hormone replacement therapys risks, the doctors say.
For example, the Womens Health Initiative results showed that combined hormone replacement therapy seems to increase the risk of breast cancer by 33%, Schiff says. Thats a serious increase. Still, the risk to any one woman is not as high as it sounds, Schiff says.
According to the WHI, without hormone therapy, 3 of every 1,200 women aged 55 to 59 will develop breast cancer this year, says Schiff. With hormone therapy, 4 out of 1,200 will. Its a 33% increase, but the absolute risk is still very, very small.
Shuster points out that other behaviors like drinking two glasses of wine a night also increase breast cancer risk by a similar amount.
Women who take estrogen alone a treatment only available to people who have had a hysterectomy appear to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who take progestin and estrogen together. In a 2006 JAMA article, researchers from the Womens Health Initiative found that after about seven years of treatment with estrogen, there seemed to be no increased risk of breastcancer.
However, estrogen-only therapy may have long-term risks. A May 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found using estrogen-only therapy for 20 years or more showed increased risk of developing breast cancer.
So Who Needs Hormone Replacement Therapy
As HRT is being re-evaluated and new evidence is coming in its difficult to know who should get hormone replacement therapy and for how long.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that HRT should be used in women who have severe menopausal symptoms.
Estrogens are the best agents we have for the relief of menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of sexuality, says Schiff. Theyre also a good treatment for menopausal symptoms that are often not recognized: Difficulty sleeping, stiffness, joint pain, and mood changes.
But for disease prevention lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and most cases of osteoporosis the FDA still does not recommend hormone replacement therapy.
We have other ways of cutting the risks of heart attacks and strokes, Schiff tells WebMD, including better diet, exercise, and other medicines.
Will HRT ever again be used as prevention for these serious diseases? Only time and research will tell. The experts remain divided.
I believe that studies in the next few years will support using hormone therapy in younger women for prevention, says Shuster. But we dont have all the information yet.
Can You Combine These Supplements
While you will want to speak to your physician about combining these supplements, as a general rule of thumb, you may be able to combine one or more of these supplements into your daily intake. For example, because pregnenolone supports DHEA, you may be able to take both of these supplements at the same time.
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Use A Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are very important to the health of women. However, they do also play an important role in female weight loss, as they can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Studies have shown that women with high-quality gut flora are less likely to be overweight or obese, because their bodies metabolize food more efficiently. In fact, research has linked obesity in humans to an imbalance of healthy versus unhealthy bacteria in the body. And this is why probiotics can help.
Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, help to maintain and support a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract. This is very important for weight loss because your body needs proper levels of good bacteria- which helps you lose weight faster than without it!
Give your body the gift of a probiotic supplement every day to help you lose weight and keep it off.
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Getting Past The Weightloss Enigma
When it comes to the subject of losingweight and keeping it off, people tend to forget women are different from men.When men want to lose weight, they dont have so many hormonal issues holdingthem back.
Discussions and advice about weight lossnormally focus on diet and exercise. Theres nothing wrong with that. Gettingyour diet right is the first step to weight loss success and exercise alwayshelps.
The problem is, its all too easy tooverlook the hormonal issues that can play such a big part in keeping womenfat.
Our bodies produce more than 50 different types of hormone. Some of them have the task of regulating appetite and metabolism. Both of which play a role in weight gain and weight loss.
Nevertheless, dont make the mistake ofgoing too far the other way and blaming everything on your hormones. Thats aspointless as saying youre just big-boned.
Regardless of the various hormonal issueswomen can face, its still important to take a responsible attitude and startmaking healthy lifestyle choices.
Hormone Therapy May Help Fight Insulin Resistance Metabolic Syndrome And Other Risks
The finding of this study adds to growing knowledge of how hormonal therapy may avert certain health risks. Preclinical data has shown that either surgical menopause or declines in estrogen accelerates fat accumulation, primarily visceral, or abdominal, fat. This increase in abdominal fat has been shown to be associated with insulin resistance and higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, both of which increase the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society . Previously, in the Womens Health Initiative, hormone therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of abdominal fat and new onset diabetes with fewer heart events for women who started hormone therapy between 50 to 59 years of age, she continues.
Hormonal therapy is used to treat vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, plus vaginal dryness, problems with sexual function, and urinary symptoms, as well as preventing bone loss and fractures, the NAMS spokesperson points out.
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Facts About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy has been the topic of numerous conflicting reports over the past few decades. Some clinical trials suggest that HRT poses an increased risk of certain health conditions, while other studies demonstrate this therapys effectiveness in relieving symptoms associated with menopause and reducing the risk of diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease. If youre considering hormone replacement therapy, its important to understand the facts so that you can make an informed decision.
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Shelly: I Feel Like My Young Self Again
I began suffering from all of the classic symptoms of decreased hormone levels fatigue, trouble sleeping, unexplained weight gain, foggy brain, low libido and was miserable. I started to receive Bioidentical hormone replacement pellets and it changed my life. I cant imagine going through the rest of my life without them. I literally feel 25 again and over the first year of receiving the pellets I lost 20 pounds! The staff at Dr. Scintas office is friendly, accommodating and professional.
Im going to grow old gracefully and continued hormone replacement will forever be part of my routine. There is absolutely no reason to suffer from the symptoms of decreased hormone levels. get a consultation today!
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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.
Other Exercise Tips To Help Ensure Success
Before you begin exercising:
- Talk to your doctor about a new exercise program. Choose activities you enjoy so you’ll stick with your workouts.
- Find an exercise partner to help you stay motivated.
- Buy supportive shoes — the right ones for your activity.
- Pick a start date and start.
After you begin exercising:
- Allow at least 10 minutes to warm up before starting to exercise rigorously. To do this, choose an activity that gently works major muscles.
- Before you work out, stretch the muscles that will absorb most of the shock of your exercise routine.
- If you have any new pain while exercising, stop and let your doctor know.
- Gradually boost the distance, length, or intensity of your workout.
- Mix it up. Do different exercises to keep from getting bored and to keep your body challenged.
For the best fitness results, combine your exercise efforts with good nutrition. Here are just a few tips:
- Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
- Stay away from processed foods.
- Keep a food diary, or explore programs for your computer or apps for your cell phone, to help you watch how many calories you eat.
- Don’t eat too late in the evening.
- When you eat out, take half the serving home.
- Eat smaller amounts but more often.
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The Truth About Hgh For Weight Loss
Can human growth hormone help you burn fat and build muscle?
Can a naturally occurring hormone that promotes growth and development be a dieters dream come true? The quest for an easier weight loss solution has some people taking human growth hormone in pills, powders, and injections.
A few small studies have linked HGH injections with fat loss and muscle gain. But the changes seen were minimal just a few pounds while the risks and potential side effects are not. And experts warn that HGH is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss.
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.
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Weight Gain After Hysterectomy: Why & How To Reverse It
Hysterectomy surgery often demands the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes along with the uterus. Of course, the professionals try to spare at least one ovary, especially for the women who havent hit menopause yet.
Hysterectomy with the removal of ovaries, especially if the woman has not reached menopause, leads to faster weight gain. Lets discuss the causes and remedies for this sudden change in detail.
Your High Estrogen Levels Are Expanding Your Fat Cells
Although estrogen is responsible for making women uniquely women, its 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.
Heres 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 youre 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.
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Thats 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.
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Advice From Your Primary Care Physician
If you have tried traditional doctor approved methods for weight loss and still havent seen any improvement, then it may be a sign your lack of results is caused by a hormonal imbalance.
The good news is, once you get an assessment and understand how hormones work, youll realize that you do not have to suffer the many symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances.
Multiple studies prove that hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is an effective method for rebalancing your hormone levels and getting your life back to normal.
The first step to reducing stubborn fat on your waistline is to learn the facts. Then you can decide if hormone therapy is the right choice for you.
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How Exercise Helps With Weight After Menopause
The more active you are, the less weight youâre 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 didnât exercise. And exercising while youâre in the process of losing weightâ as well as after youâve lost it â may be critical to maintaining weight loss.
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