A woman’s body is known to go through changes at every milestone in her life. It could be at the stage of puberty, while giving birth, and also during the menopause stage. And most of the changes in a woman’s body are driven by the production of hormones. And even if there is slightest misbalance in these hormones woman’s body gets affected and mostly the outcomes of such imbalances are unreasonable weight gains. Ideal weight with a slim and tender body is a dream for many women. Oftentimes, women end up blaming their eating habits for the unreasonable weight they put on. And women also know that gaining weight is very easy, however, losing weight is very difficult. This makes millions of women out there to run on the diet track and maintain a healthy routine and lifestyle. They do this with the hope of getting fitter and back in good shape. While this change (which is a positive one) might work for many, for a majority of women it doesn’t. Despite following a healthy lifestyle, women find themselves in the realms of the same bodyweight, it almost feels like their body is resisting weight loss from happening. And if you were to ask what might be the reason behind this? The answer lays in the world of hormones. Let’s understand a little more about how exactly are hormones responsible for weight gain in the women’s gender.
Understanding The Symptoms Of Weight Gain Caused By Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones play many vital roles in our body. Right from regulating metabolism in the body to maintaining our body’s homeostasis (a process that deals with balancing of body’s everyday functions), weight maintenance, and reproductive health—hormone looks after all of it. A lot of factors can cause hormone imbalance in the body. It could do with your lifestyle habits, your satiety, your metabolism, your appetite, as well as your weight. Other factors like stress, genes, age can lead to a very sluggish metabolism and uncontrollable hunger—and these result in weight gain too.
Hormonal Weight Gain Symptoms
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Appetite changes
- Sexual dysfunction
Shocking, isn’t it? Who knew that simple symptoms like these could be our body’s way of communicating about the hormonal imbalance in our body. We suggest that whenever you realize that you are facing the above-mentioned symptoms regularly, kindly consult your doctor. And if possible, you can also go in for a hormonal check-up routine for proper management of hormone balance. And now, let’s understand more about what hormones cause weight gain in women’s bodies. Even reading books like The Power of Hormones will help you understand the bodily changes that a woman goes through because of the presence of hormones.
Which Are The Hormones Responsible For Weight Gain In Women And How They Cause It?
For beginners, hormones are nothing but chemical substances that regulate and control the activities of certain organs and cells in the body.
The thyroid gland of our body is the one that makes and stores hormones that are required to regulate the metabolism rate, sleep rate, and heart rate of our body. This gland produces three hormones:
- Thyroxine (T4) is the inactive thyroid hormone. It’s responsible for heart function, digestion, muscle function, bone maintenance, etc.
- Triiodothyronine (T3) is the active thyroid hormone. It’s responsible for heart rate, metabolic rate, digestive functions, brain function, etc.
- Calcitonin is the hormone used in the regulation of calcium and phosphate levels of blood.
Now, when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce sufficient of these thyroid hormones, iodine deficiency is born. This affects the working of the immune system in a manner that the immune system begins to think that the body itself is a threat and starts attacking it. This slows down both the healthy heart rate and metabolism rate of the body leading to weight gain in an unreasonable manner.
We all know that estrogen can be proudly called as the queen hormone in women as it is responsible for the sexual and reproductive growth of a woman. These four member hormones of this family that perform different, unique functions:
- Estrone aka E1 is a weak estrogen hormone. It converts into other estrogen hormones when needed and usually makes its presence in the body after the menopause stage.
- Estradiol aka E2 is an active estrogen hormone. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle, metabolism, and weight in women. Excess of this active estrogen hormone can lead to skin breakouts and a lesser urge for sex.
- Estriol aka E3 is another weak estrogen hormone. It helps the uterus grow healthily during the pregnancy period. It’s at the peak during the birth of the child.
- Estetrol aka E4 is also a type of weak estrogen hormone that is produced only during the pregnancy in a woman’s body form the life of a fetus.
The decline in estrogen levels especially during the menopause stage in a woman’s life will cause immense weight gain. This is because the active estrogen, the estradiol reduces in the body and this leads to a lower metabolism rate. Weight gets accumulates especially in the abdomen area of the body. Also, a heavy spike in estrogen levels as well can cause weight gain as it would irritate the cells of the body and begin to develop insulin resistivity.
During pregnancy when the development of the embryo is taking place and while regulating menstrual cycles, the progesterone plays a vital role. Progesterone needs to balance out with estrogen in order to help in the smooth functioning of the body.
Menopause, stress, antibiotics intake, contraceptives intake can reduce the levels of progesterone in the body. This can lead to not just weight gain but it can also lead to fatal depression as well.
This is the hormone that controls the energy that the body uses and it also controls the amount of food that the body consumes for energy. This hormone generates form the fat cells of the body. People who are obese have incredible levels of leptin in their bodies. They end up overeating, this spikes their sugar levels which convert into fat, and this leads to weight gain.
However, a rare deficiency of this hormone will make the body feel like it needs to consume more fat. This will make the person overeat beyond satiety and naturally leads to weight gain.
Yes, most of us know that testosterone is a male hormone. But as much as it is labeled as a male hormone, it is essential for the growth of a woman’s body as well. The only difference is that in a woman’s body, it is produced in tiny quantities. The presence of testosterone is important because it helps burn fat, provides strength to the muscles of the body, and also helps maintain the sex drive instinct in women.
If a woman has low levels of testosterone, it becomes tough for her body to get rid of the fat in her body. The fat adapts the stubborn nature and it results in weight gain.
How To Avoid Weight Caused By Hormonal Imbalance?
Weight gain caused because of hormones can be stressful as it becomes incredibly hard to lose weight. However, healthy practices will always make a way to make weight loss possible. Programs like The Power of Hormones are the need of the hour for women to fight their weight gain battles the right way by understanding their body problems from scratch. Here’s a list of some preventive measures to fight weight gain:
- Stay away from refined carbs and sugar intakes. This applies especially to processed foods as these foods contain Fructose, a type of sugar that affects the leptin levels in the body.
- Increasing the intake of protein will help improve the metabolism rate.
- Engaging in physical activities will help lead an active lifestyle.
- Keep your stress under control.
- Reduce or end alcohol consumption
- Eat foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
For long and happy life, maintain good health is extremely important. Good sense and good health are life’s blessings which are hard to achieve but surely aren’t unachievable. Understand and love the mechanism of the body. And then feed the body with all things healthy. This will lead to your body’s happily ever after.