Hormonal imbalances can significantly impact weight gain, and understanding hormones’ role in our bodies is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight.
Hormones are critical molecules released into your blood by the thyroid, pituitary glands, adrenals, and parathyroid. From there, hormones strongly influence various aspects of your health, including your appetite and metabolism.
When your body’s hormonal levels are out of balance, your body weight becomes significantly impacted. A hormonal imbalance happens when your body makes too much or too little of a specific hormone.
Some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalances include night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and menstrual cycle irregularities.
Let’s take a look at how different hormones play a role in helping or hindering your weight-loss goals.
How Hormonal Imbalances Affects Weight
One of the most common hormonal imbalances affecting weight is an underactive thyroid. Also known as hypothyroidism, this common hormonal imbalance rarely shows any physical signs and can come as a surprise.
Low levels of thyroid hormones can slow down your metabolism and cause weight gain. Are you feeling fatigued, more sensitive to cold temperatures, or dealing with dry skin? If so, it might be time for an evaluation to determine if hypothyroidism is the culprit.
Another hormonal imbalance that can affect weight is a condition called insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes. Symptoms of insulin resistance include high blood sugar levels, fatigue, and increased appetite.
On the other hand, some hormones regulate your appetite, letting your body know that it is time to eat, while others signal to your body that you have eaten enough and it is time to stop.
Known as the hunger hormone, ghrelin works by stimulating the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that lets your body know it is hungry. As a result, two proteins are produced by the brain that works to increase food intake.
Leptin is a hormone that has the opposite effect on your appetite. Secreted primarily by fat cells, the production of leptin causes you to want to eat less. Decreased sensitivity to leptin may cause you to eat extra calories and gain weight.
Cortisol is another hormone that affects your body’s ability, or lack thereof, to lose weight. When your cortisol levels are elevated regularly, weight gain will become a problem for you. This is because when your cortisol levels are high, your body responds by collecting fat in your stomach area. Your appetite increases, and you begin to crave foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Hormones That Are Altered Due to Weight Gain
Weight gain can alter hormones in several ways. For example, adipose tissue (fat) is an endocrine organ that produces hormones such as estrogen, which can lead to weight gain, particularly in women. Adipose tissue also produces other hormones, such as leptin and adiponectin, which regulate appetite and metabolism.
When there is an excess of fat, the body can become resistant to the action of insulin, a hormone that regulates the metabolism of glucose. This resistance can increase blood glucose levels, and the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate, leading to hyperinsulinemia. This can have many adverse effects on the body, including weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
In women, estrogen production becomes interrupted. This very commonly happens to women during menopause due to the natural hormonal changes taking place. During this time, women face a drop in estrogen levels which may cause less energy to be expended, along with a slow metabolism.
In men, their natural testosterone supply is weakened. Obese men are far more likely to have low testosterone levels than men of moderate weight.
When a man has low testosterone levels, this is associated with reduced muscle mass and increased abdominal fat. Along with weight gain, a man’s testosterone levels can deplete due to factors such as age and lack of a good night’s sleep regularly.
Therefore, weight gain can cause hormone issues, and hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain. It’s important to understand that weight gain is a multifactorial problem, and a comprehensive approach is necessary to understand the underlying cause and to treat it.
Implementing Lifestyle Changes to Find Hormonal Balance
Maintaining a moderate body weight is one of the most critical steps to bring all your hormone levels back into balance.
Medically monitored, our Clean Start Program is tailored specifically to your needs. Resetting your metabolism works with your hormones instead of against them. We help you unearth emotional eating patterns and give up unhealthy food cravings that sabotage your goals.
Getting quality sleep at night is another critical change to implement if you are ready to get your hormones back on track. When your sleep is compromised, your natural ghrelin levels kick in, and your appetite increases. Making sure you are getting enough deep sleep will also help your body replenish its natural testosterone supply, which is necessary for men.
To help control your natural cortisol levels, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly may help.
Another way to lower your stress levels and thereby positively affect your cortisol levels is to practice mindfulness. Adding meditation to your daily routine is a great way to bring your mind, body, and spirit into alignment.
The Estrogen Connection: Correcting it With BHRT
Maintaining healthy estrogen levels becomes less of a challenge when you work on managing your weight.
Eating right and beginning an exercise routine are good places to start. However, when it comes to getting your estrogen levels back in balance, thankfully, there is a natural way to make things begin to change for you.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is a way to replace your natural estrogen levels through plant sources. Using plant-based sources, this innovative therapy replaces natural hormone levels with an estrogen that mirrors your body’s production and can be effortlessly absorbed into the system. Put simply – it’s nature at its best!
Men deficient in testosterone sex hormone can also benefit from replacing it through our BHRT program. Deciding to replace testosterone with BHRT will not only aid in helping to shed extra pounds, but it will also improve lean muscle mass and improve your sex life as well.
We at Renew Health and Wellness hold the keys to a leaner and more balanced you. Contact us today so that we can specifically design our Clean Start program and BHRT treatments to meet your needs.