Does Hormone Replacement Cause Weight Gain?
The answer is no. In fact, it is hormone deficiency not hormone replacement that causes weight gain in menopausal women. A study published in 2012 stated that it is a myth to blame HRT (especially estrogen replacement) for weight gain in menopausal women. In fact, hormone replacement can actually help women lose the fat around their waistlines.1
Hormone Deficiency’s Role in Weight Gain
Perimenopause is a time when important hormones begin to diminish. The ovaries cease to function normally and can no longer produce adequate supplies of estradiol (a woman’s most important estrogen), testosterone, or progesterone. For a time, these hormones may fluctuate wildly, but eventually production of estradiol and progesterone from the ovaries will cease, while the creation of testosterone slows to a trickle. Thyroxine, another important hormone made in the thyroid gland, can also go into decline at this time causing metabolism and fat-burning to slow down.
It is this deficiency of key hormones that begins a cascade of negative symptoms and effects, including weight gain. Many women start noticing changes due to hormone loss in their late 30s or early 40s. That’s when the waistline starts to expand, muscle mass and muscle tone begin disappearing, unwanted pounds are more difficult to lose and fat starts to emerge in undesirable areas.
At menopause, estradiol production in the ovaries finally comes to a halt. The body tries to compensate by creating more estrone (a weaker form of estrogen that is present in fat cells) to address some of the tasks of estradiol. Estrone really isn’t a good substitute because it isn’t as active as estradiol and cannot fully communicate with estradiol receptors. Also higher levels of estrone are needed to create beneficial effects.
In the absence of estradiol, belly fat cells—where estrone is generated—proliferate in order to keep up an abundant supply. Due to the amount needed for effectiveness, estrone is not considered a safe alternative when it comes to hormone replacement. Estrone has, in fact, been associated with breast cancer in women.
How HRT Can Help Restore or Maintain Your Ideal Weight
Managing your hormones is a big part of regulating your weight. There is no doubt that a woman’s body needs estradiol to function well. It also needs physiologic levels of other hormones in order to achieve hormonal balance. Balance is important because hormones are collaborative substances and often work together to achieve their tasks.
Restoring estradiol, testosterone, progesterone and thyroid hormones to healthful levels when they are deficient is a vital part of controlling metabolism. There are many interactive factors involved between these hormones and others that help determine appetite, fat storage, and weight gain. Things like sleep problems, exercise habits, the types of foods you eat, and stress levels can also greatly impact your hormones and your success.
Likewise, when seeking hormone replacement therapy, the type of hormones you use, along with the delivery method and the expertise of your physician make a big difference in the outcome.
Why SottoPelle® Is the Top Choice for BHRT in Arizona
At SottoPelle®, our expert practitioners start with proper testing and analysis of your hormone status in addition to reviewing your medical history. If you are a good fit for our proprietary method, we can begin therapy whenever you are ready. We use low dose bioidentical hormone pellet implants to help achieve the hormonal balance so important to overall health and well-being. This safe and effective method, when properly administered, is the only BHRT proven to achieve around-the-clock physiologic hormone levels for months at a time.
Our patients frequently praise the enhanced quality of life they’re experiencing with SottoPelle® BHRT. Weight loss, improved libido and sex drive, better sleep, and greater mental acuity are just a few of the benefits patients report to us.
In fact, we are honored to say that, according to Ranking Arizona, an annual consumer publication by AZ Big Media, our patients have voted us Arizona’s #1 Hormone Therapy Clinic in 2015.
Check us out at www.sottopelletherapy.com or give us a call at (877) 473-5538 to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you as we have so many others.
1S. R. Davis, C. Castelo-Branco, P. Chedraui, M. A. Lumsden, R. E. Nappi, D. Shah, P. Villaseca. Understanding weight gain at menopause. Climacteric, 2012; 15 (5): 419 DOI:10.3109/13697137.2012.707385