As women reach their 40s, many encounter a perplexing challenge: unwanted weight gain that seemingly defies diet and exercise efforts. Stubborn fat accumulates around the abdomen, hips, and thighs, leaving them frustrated with their attempts to shed pounds.
Unraveling the Role of Hormones
You might wonder, “Hormones? But I’m not in menopause yet!” Indeed, hormones wield significant power over your weight, regardless of your menopausal status. When these hormonal messengers fall out of balance, they can wreak havoc on your body, often manifesting as unexplained weight gain among various other symptoms.
Deciphering Hormonal Imbalance
If you’ve been grappling with the unrelenting struggle to lose weight despite adopting healthier eating habits, hormonal imbalances might be the culprit. Alongside weight gain, an array of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms can signal a hormonal shift:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Menstrual irregularities
- Sleep disturbances
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Digestive issues
- Water retention
- Low libido
- Breast tenderness
- Cravings for specific foods
- Hair loss
These symptoms often fly under the radar as most women dismiss them as normal or receive a thyroid hormone prescription without delving into the root causes.
The Influence of Five Key Hormones on Weight
Before we dive into the hormone maze, it’s essential to understand that all hormones are interconnected. A disturbance in one can ripple through the entire hormonal balance. Let’s explore five influential hormones:
1. Thyroid Hormones – The Metabolic Maestros
The thyroid gland produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), hormones responsible for regulating metabolism. Hypothyroidism, characterized by a sluggish thyroid, can lead to weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, constipation, and hair loss. Various factors, such as stress, intestinal problems, and nutrient deficiencies, can impact thyroid function.
Addressing the root causes, like managing stress and healing the adrenal glands, should precede thyroid hormone supplementation.
2. Insulin – The Gatekeeper of Sugar
Female curves, beautiful skin and hair, a strong cardiovascular and immune system, strong bones, passion, and warmth of heart – that’s what estrogen does – at least if we don’t have too much or too little of it! However, strongly fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels are typical for women in perimenopause (the time before menopause, on average between 42 and 52 years old) and menopause.
For weight gain, especially between the ages of 35 and 45, an excess of estrogen is often responsible, which we refer to as estrogen dominance. It is also considered estrogen dominance when estrogen levels are low (typical during menopause), but they are still too high in relation to progesterone (which is often too low). Estrogen dominance not only causes fat deposits on the legs and hips but also leads to water retention, a bloated stomach, or PMS.
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome. It refers to physical and psychological – emotional complaints related to the menstrual cycle, which can occur 4 to 14 days before the start of the period in each monthly cycle. Physical complaints include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, painful breasts, migraines, headaches, and a feeling of fullness. Emotional complaints include mood swings, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, crying for no reason, being overwhelmed).
An excess of estrogen can also prevent the absorption of thyroid hormones. Estrogen dominance is increased by stress, environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies, medications, and disorders of liver and intestinal function. Natural regulation of estrogen levels is possible through detoxification, building up the intestinal flora, and a fiber-rich diet with leafy vegetables and cabbage such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower.
Hormones as Messengers of Change
When estrogen, cortisol, leptin, thyroid hormones, or insulin are out of balance, and you’re struggling with weight issues, you need to explore different strategies and paths than before. Consider your hormones as messengers.
Your body is signaling that something isn’t right through physical symptoms, weight gain, or mood swings.
How Can I Assist You?
As an Ayurveda Hormone Coach, I’ve delved deep into the intricate relationship between hormones and weight. My Hormone Thrive Program has yielded remarkable results for clients struggling with weight issues, helping them improve digestion, banish bloating, and shed excess weight. My online Hormone Thrive program empowers women to regain their vitality, energy, and a trim waistline by addressing hormonal imbalances. If you suspect your hormones are the culprits behind your weight woes, I’m here to guide you on your journey to hormonal harmony.
Explore the Hormone Thrive Course and take control of your weight and well-being. Remember, your hormones play a pivotal role in your weight journey.
You can find more information and registration for the program here: https://carinagreweling.com/hormonethrive