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Hormones and Weight Gain in Women

Almost every activity in your body is related to and driven by one or more than one hormone; these hormones play an important role in the proper functioning of your body. Off late due to various known and unknown reason there is an imbalance in hormonal levels especially in women.

If you have a thorough knowledge of hormones and their role in your body you would be able to connect that particular health problem to the hormone and be able to restore your health. Although other problems are not obvious weight gain is one problem which happens all of a sudden when there is imbalance in hormone. Their effects can vary from abrupt weight gain to weight loss, disruption of sleep pattern and skin pigmentation and so on.

If weight gain is due to hormonal imbalance, no amount of dieting or exercising is going to help you unless the underlying hormonal cause is resolved. This is the reason why so many women who try numerous diet plans & gym for hours still complain of no results.

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Some hormones that directly affect your weight loss are discussed

  1. Estrogen

Elevated levels of this female sex hormone cause water retention. Hence the bloating in the days leading to menstrual cycle. Also during menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate & water retention in body increases leading to weight gain

Even reduced level of estrogen causes reduced metabolic rate this in turn leads to reduction in metabolism of blood sugar & carbohydrates leading to increase in carbohydrates and fat in your body, fat deposits increase and so does your weight.

  1. Thyroid Hormone

When thyroid levels reduce you are in for serious weight gain problems, although the reason for this reduction still remains a puzzle, hypothyroidism is causing a lot of problem off late in India. Hypothyroidism causes reduced metabolism and makes you sluggish. You end up gaining weight without any reason which does not reduce even with dieting or exercise.

  1. Progesterone

Being a natural diuretic, its normal function is to remove excess water from the body. When the level reduces, again bloating occurs & body weight increases.

  1. Testosterone

In women who suffer from Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, testosterone level increases, this increase though are not normal has direct relation to increase in muscle mass, with increase muscle mass you would soon gain unwanted weight.

  1. Leptin

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Produced by adipose (fat) cells, these act on specific centers of brain and reduce the urge to overeat. Leptin level is higher in overweight people but they are less sensitive to this hormone and end up overeating.

when you o for crash diet the leptin levels in your body falls leading to increase in appetite and reduces rate of metabolism, so after a crash diet whatever you eat adds up to your fat content leading to weight gain faster than it was lost.

  1. Insulin

Produced by pancreas, insulin regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. It promotes glucose uptake from the blood by other tissues and provides energy for functioning of different organs. When the level of insulin reduces glucose uptake reduces and tends to accumulate in your body.

  1. Growth Hormone

Reduced level of GH decreases metabolism leading to weight gain.

  1. DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone is produced by the adrenal glands. Body utilises this to make androgens and estrogens. When DHEA reduces in your body it leads to lower levels of estrogen which again leads to weight gain, usually around the waist region.

  1. Cortisol

Also called as Stress hormone, increased levels of this hormone causes increase in appetite and binge eating which when not tended to with the right medication leads to weight gain.

Recognize the symptoms at an early stage & visit your physician or an endocrinologist to nip the hormonal imbalance at the bud.

Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi aka Simple Indian Mom is an Agricultural Microbiologist and helps moms to keep their family and kids naturally healthy both mentally and physically.
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