How Hormone Imbalances Impact Weight Loss
There are several hormone imbalances that can negatively impact the ability to lose weight and keep it off.
- Here are several of the most common:
- Imbalances between estrogen and progesterone
- Imbalances between estrogen and progesterone will often increase cravings in women. This is thought to occur because estrogen has a serotogenic (i.e., it can act on serotonin receptors in the body) effect; when estrogen levels drop too low, mood can be adversely affected. Low moods often create cravings for sweet foods, because consuming these foods will momentarily raise serotonin levels in the brain.2 This occurs because an increase in blood sugar will cause increased uptake of tryptophan into the brain, and tryptophan is the immediate precursor of serotonin. However, this is short lived (because the underlying imbalance is still there) and creates a vicious cycle of craving and eating sweet foods. Low progesterone levels can also affect mood by lowering gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). 2 In addition, estrogen excess in men and women will promote fat storage.
- Imbalances in testosterone, DHEA and/or progesterone
- High levels of testosterone, DHEA and/or progesterone in women promote insulin resistance, which will increase fat storage, depress the mood and increase cravings. Elevated levels of testosterone, DHEA and/or progesterone can also increase adrenaline levels.1 Adrenaline and insulin counter balance one another in the body, so if adrenaline levels remain elevated, insulin levels usually rise as well; over time, this leads to insulin resistance.1
- Low levels of DHEA and testosterone in men and women can also negatively impact weight loss. If either of these key androgens is too low, it will decree the body’s ability to burn off fat and build muscle.
It doesn’t take long to realize that this could get pretty complicated really fast! That is why professional guidance is often necessary to help you reach your goals. If you’d like more information about getting the support and guidance you need, learn more by contacting us today.