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The concept of weight loss is simple: eat healthily, stay active, and lose the pounds.
Actually, this typically isn't the case.
While millions of Americans jump on a vegan diet to a paleo diet to a keto diet, something just isn't working.
It has nothing to do with willpower or laziness and everything to do with our hormones -- which is why an increasing number of people are turning to hormone therapy for weight loss.
The idea that our hormones play a major role in weight gain and weight loss isn't a new one.
There are stages, like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, that cause hormonal changes in a woman's body.
Each of these seasons are also known to have weight gain as a common side effect. So, it would only make sense that hormone therapy for weight loss would be a smart solution.
That doesn't mean that hormonal based weight gain is only a problem for women.
Hormones such as testosterone, insulin, DHEA, and leptin can all cause rapid weight gain, especially in the belly area. These problems are more likely to occur as the individual gets older, and the production of certain hormones may slow or in some cases come to a complete halt.
Estrogen and Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss
Recent studies have shown that lower estrogen states may actually speed up fat release. It has also been found that an increase in estrogen has an anti-cortisol effect, which explains why some women (and men) experience more fat stored around the belly then throughout the body.
This not only explains why women have a higher rate of weight gain during times of increased estrogen body but it also explains the frustrating manner in which men lose weight at a faster rate than women.
Now, this doesn't mean that all estrogen is bad. Specific estrogen compounds like 2-hydroxyestrone have helped prevent the growth of cancer tumors. What decides if estrogen will be harmful is the pathways it takes and the amount of estrogen within the body.
This is why testing is such a critical part of determining whether or not hormone therapy is the right treatment option to take.
Signs You May Need Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss
Weight gain that comes from a result of a hormonal imbalance is often subtle and doesn't give off many signs. Many men and women suffering from hormonal weight gain may experience the following:
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Noticeable sugar cravings that may increase during certain periods of the day.
- Fat deposits within the abdominal area more than in other areas of the body.
- Lower back pain from weight gain in the stomach
- Hair Loss
- Muscle Atrophy
- Mood Swings
Hormonal weight gain can occur while going through a transition such as puberty or menopause, or after adding a new form of birth control. This is why it's important to speak with your doctor before going on specific birth controls or menopause treatments. You want to make sure they don't make the problem worse.
To know for sure if hormone therapy for weight loss is right for you, try complete specific laboratory testing. Some doctors can narrow down which hormone is causing the problem, making hormonal therapy an easier process.
Hormone Therapy and Birth Control
While birth control can cause weight gain, it's important to keep in mind that birth control and hormone therapy are very different things. Often birth control involves an increase of estrogen which could have the opposite effect of hormone therapy for weight loss.
Hormone therapy and birth control consist of a combination of estrogen and progesterone. It's important to know, however, that the two affect the body in different ways. So if they contain the same hormones what makes them so different?
Birth control deals with very high dosages of hormones to prevent ovulation. Hormone therapy, however, works to restore the hormone balance to where it was before menopause. It can also help those suffering from an estrogen deficiency.
Many women also struggle to balance their hormones after getting off of birth control, in which case hormonal therapy can be a valuable tool. One study that measured weight gain in teenagers on birth control found that teens on the pill gained an average of 5.5 pounds while teens on the shot gained 6.6 pounds within a year.
How Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss Works
There are a number of areas in which specific hormones trigger weight gain.
Hormone therapy for weight loss may be used to control the amount of Leptin in our body, which is a hormone known for triggering our appetite. This is why its common to hear about women experiencing intense cravings during their period or when pregnant.
Leptin is also triggered by the amount of fructose our body takes in. It's recommended that fructose consumption stays in small amounts, unfortunately, very few people adhere to these guidelines. Once you have an overtake of fructose your body stores the sugar as fat, and triggers your leptin hormone which ramps up cravings.
It's not just hormones like estrogen and leptin that cause weight gain. Hormone therapy for weight loss can be used to target cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone.
While there are some emotional triggers for cortisol, (like depression, PTSD, and a high-stress job) specific chemicals can throw off the body. These chemicals include coffees, house cleaning products, and some GMO foods. Once the body begins to produce too much cortisol it will switch into "fight or flight" mode in which it stores excess fat for its own survival.
Hormones most commonly associated with men can also benefit from hormone therapy for weight loss. beleaguered testosterone has been found to slow down metabolism and an increase in the body thanks to some unnatural sources.
This hormone can be found in a number of toxins including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, and synthetic hormones found within meat sources.
Once absorbed, these toxins mimic estrogen within the body and can have similar weight gain symptoms. Symptoms are also known to include an elevated-risk of estrogen-related diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometriosis.
It is strongly recommended that those struggling with hormone balance switch to a nutrient dense, organic diet. This will encourage better overall health while also reducing toxins.
Types of Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of your options when considering hormone therapy for weight loss. You likely may have heard about this form of hormone therapy before as it comes with its share of controversy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (or BHRT) has received plenty of attention in recent years. BHRT helps conditions like insulin resistance, adrenal and thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy involves the use of man-made hormones as well as plant-based estrogen. This combination mimics the role of estrogen in the body. Typically this hormone therapy is dispensed in the form of pills, patches, creams, and injections.
While the hormones are technically man made they are not to be confused with synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones rarely offer the same effectiveness as plant based hormones.
In addition to helping treat the conditions above, BHRT has also been found to reduce a number or even eliminate a number of menopause symptoms. These symptoms often include hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, memory loss, weight gain, sleep issues and a loss of interest in sex.
Pellet therapy is a sustainable and safe method to bioidentical hormones to be delivered throughout the body. Many patients prefer this method of Bioidentical hormone therapy for weight loss since it needs to be taken every six to three months. Other forms .of therapy require a daily pill or cream.
Instead, the patient has a pellet made of bioidentical hormones. This pellet is inserted under the skin, typically under the upper part of the buttocks. The pellets are then gradually metabolized by the body over a course of three to four months.
The slow release of hormones also prevents the body from building up an immunity to the treatment. This allows your body to gradually adjust to hormonal therapy.
The time between treatments is also ideal for those that have a busy lifestyle or trouble staying on top of certain types of therapies.
Find out if Hormone Therapy for Weight Loss is Right for You
Hormone therapy is the major turning point for many patients struggling with weight loss. In addition to effective weight loss, hormone therapy can also play a major role in hair and skin health, mental health. The right hormonal therapy can even help with menopausal side effects.
A strong first step is to complete specific testing that will help you determine if you're experiencing a hormonal imbalance.
If you have been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance and believe hormonal therapy for weight loss is the right step for you, then it's time to review some of our valuable resources. There you can check out our many supplement options to get started.
Published: May 01, 2018
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