With aging and stress, you can develop a hormonal imbalance that can cause weight gain. For most people, a decrease in hormone production starts from 40 to 50 years, but it can start earlier.
Initial symptoms can be subtle, but they can only get worse if not attended to. As hormones shift, you may start to notice muscle loss and rapid weight gain. And while you may be determined to shed the extra weight and stay fit, your body may not respond to diet and exercise because the hormone balance is off.
While this can be frustrating, hormone therapy solutions can restore the balance necessary for a healthy life. While there are split views about the effectiveness of hormone therapy, you need to understand the facts before you make a decision.
Hormones Affect Body Weight Regulation
Produced by the endocrine glands, hormones are vital chemicals in your body that guide various systems' functions. Typically, various hormones affect how your body regulates weight, and a decline in hormone levels can lead to weight gain. Here are some of the hormones associated with weight regulation:
- Thyroid- Regulates metabolism and low amounts are associated with low metabolism and decreased ability to burn calories.
- Estrogen- A decline triggers lower metabolic rates and increased fat accumulation.
- Cortisol- Often produced in large amounts when you're under stress and high levels promote fat storage.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)- Regulates metabolism and fat storage; therefore, decreased amounts lead to weight gain.
- Testosterone -Inhibits fat storage and low levels lead to fat accumulation in the abdomen.
- Pregnenolone- Regulates other hormones to ensure optimum systems functioning.
What Causes Hormone Imbalances
Your hormones can get out of balance for several reasons, and while hormone production often declines with age, it is not the only reason. Having a demanding, fast-paced career, unhealthy diets, lack of enough rest and health conditions can cause mental and physical stress, which eventually affects your hormonal system.
Your body interprets some of these stressors as threats and responds by producing cortisol to protect you. But if you are constantly stressed, it will be hard for your body to satisfy the high demand for cortisol. Often, the body starts converting available progesterone to cortisol, and this can lead to estrogen dominance.
Naturally, endocrine glands produce fewer hormones as you age, but they can also produce exact amounts at slower rates. For instance, the onset of menopause comes with declined levels of estrogen, while andropause triggers a gradual decline of testosterone.
Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss
Hormone therapy can help restore the balance of your hormones and reverse unwanted symptoms like weight gain and chronic fatigue. Most importantly, it also helps your body hold off most serious health conditions that come with low hormones.
Hormone therapy is based on synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones. The former are prescription medications, while the latter are molecularly similar to hormones produced by your body. Initially, synthetic drugs were the most preferred hormone therapy solutions; they have become less popular. This is after some clinical trials reported underlying health risks. While both methods can be effective, studies show that bioidentical hormones are more effective, safer, and have few undesirable side effects.
Treatment varies depending on individual conditions and requirements. For most men and women looking to lose weight, testosterone therapy may be the primary focus. However, women may need additional therapies, including estradiol.
How Hormone Therapy Works
Hormone therapy can make a huge difference in your body functions and overall wellbeing. This process involves a review of your medical history before running tests to assess hormone levels. Depending on the test results, a personalized therapy is designed to provide exact amounts of hormones needed in your body. This approach is essential as it helps avoid the occurrence of health conditions linked to excess hormones.
Typically, you can notice the difference within a few days, but peak absorption of hormones takes about 4 to 5 weeks.
While hormone therapy can restore optimal body functions, it's not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and diet. The therapy is meant to help your body regulate weight and quickly respond to weight loss measures. And since your body has slowed down on hormone production, stopping hormone therapy can trigger a rebound weight gain. Before you stop, discuss with your therapist about appropriate diet and exercise measures to maintain a healthy weight.
Hormones play a critical role in weight regulation, and a decline in production levels can jeopardize weight loss efforts. When diet and lifestyle changes become inadequate for stubborn weight gain, hormone therapy can be your best shot for getting back in shape.
However, most therapy solutions work in tandem with weight loss diets and workout regimes. Besides, healthy habits can go a long way in reducing other health conditions related to hormone imbalance. For more information regarding bio-identical hormones and HRT, please visit https://varmedicine.com/
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