Influence of Hormones on Weight Loss
Hormones play in integral part of bodily functions, including weight retention and loss. Some imbalances make it extremely difficult for an individual to lose weight. Diet plans and exercise programs may not be enough causing people to give up in frustration.
There are some common hormonal imbalanes that affect weight:
- Insulin – Insulin is manufactured in the pancreas and is activated when we eat. It unlocks the cells so that blood sugar (glucose) will give us energy from what we are eating. If cells become resistant to insulin, they can’t lower the blood sugar levels and will affect the metabolism because the body can’t break down the fats.
- Thyroid – The thyroid gland may malfuction. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) causes weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, depression, and high blood pressure. It is estimated that one in five women and one in ten men in the United States suffer from hypothyroidism and that over half the population is undiagnosed. Hypothyroidism makes it more difficult to lose weight even on a strict diet and exercise program.
- Cortisol – Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and is activated in times of stress. It is sometimes associated with “flight or fight” mechanisms. Adrenal glands cannot differentiate between being chased by a wild animal or work-related stress. In the short run, this is not a problem. However, long periods of stress releases high levels of cortisol and will trigger high blood pressure, elevated glucose, belly fat and even muscle loss. As this continued stress increases, the adrenal glands will produce less cortisol or adrenal fatigue. This fatigue will affect the entire endocrine system, make us more susceptible to disease, and less resilient overall.
- Testosterone – Women as well as men need this hormone but in different quantities. Common causes of low testosterone are obesity, alcoholism, and age. Testosterone is responsible for muscle mass and skin tone. It will also help activate insulin. So, low testosterone affects our increase in belly fat.
- Estrogen – Just like testosterone, both men and women need varying amounts of this hormone. If the ratio of estrogen to progesterone is skewed, it will result in estrogen dominance, which is reflected in weight gain, especially around the mid section. A storage source for estrogen is in fat cells, so less estrogen production means converting calories to fat so there is more estrogen to draw on.
The staff at Radiant Health have studied hormonal imbalances and how they affect health and weight. Our approach is holistic, quality support to help you reach your goals. We use science as a basis for our counseling sessions that always endeavor to treat you as an individual, rather than a cookie-cutter approach.