The Link Between Hormones and Your Weight
Could your body be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts? It doesn’t matter if you’re female or male, hormone imbalances often stand in the way of your success with diet and exercise programs, and the pounds you’re targeting remain in place.
The primary sex hormones, estrogen, and testosterone are linked to body weight, metabolism, and muscle formation. As you get older, falling levels of sex hormones can make it difficult to maintain or lose weight. Since you may be less active, too, the hormone burden is unwelcome.
At Dr. Kochert Pain and Health, we specialize in weight loss, a key component in the fight to provide you with optimal health at all stages of life. When you can benefit from weight loss, no matter the reason, add Dr. Carolyn Kochert to your weight-management team.
Age and hormone levels
Generally speaking, as you get older, hormone production tends to slow down, regardless of your gender. Women see a gradual decline in estrogen during perimenopause and menopause, as the ovaries stop production and reproductive ability ends.
Men don’t have an equivalent milestone event, but it’s normal for testosterone levels to fall as you age. The changes may not be as dramatic as what women experience, but many of the same symptoms emerge, even if in milder forms.
The effects of falling hormones on weight
Even when all other aspects of your life remain constant, altered hormone balance can create changes. When it comes to your weight, slowing metabolism is often a concern. Your diet and activity levels, which may have been perfectly adequate for health maintenance, are no longer enough to maintain a healthy body weight.
With lower levels of the primary sex hormones, your basal metabolism can slow down. That means your body conserves energy and burns fewer calories when in a resting state. So even though you feel like you’re eating the same way and keeping up the same activity levels, you end up gaining weight.
It’s not always sex hormones
While estrogen and testosterone are frequent culprits for weight gain, other hormones are involved with weight management as well. Excess body fat can affect the way your body uses insulin, and if you lose weight, it can improve your insulin sensitivity.
The hormone cortisol, a primary body response to stress, is also able to affect weight loss or weight gain, depending on other factors. Chronic stress and a poor diet that includes sugary, fatty, processed foods are the perfect combination to cause weight gain. Unfortunately, this combo is part of many patients’ lives.
Hypothyroidism is a hormonal condition that arises when the thyroid produces too little hormones, which can contribute to weight gain. Treatment with hormone replacement can help with normalizing weight in some cases.
Sometimes there’s no simple answer to the relationship between hormones and your weight. It’s certain, though, that when your weight-loss efforts become less effective, you need the expertise of experienced weight-loss specialists like our team at Dr. Kochert Pain and Health in Lafayette, Indiana.
Contact our office by phone or online to schedule your consultation to find out more about medically supervised weight loss and the advantages that it gives you over your current self-care plan.