It’s difficult to feel like yourself when dealing with age and hormone-related weight gain.
Many of our prospective clients aged 40 and up, especially women approaching or in menopause, are frustrated by their lack of control over their size. Regardless of their exercise routine and diet, hormones dictate their weight fluctuations – and that’s a tough pill to swallow.
The good news is that no one has to be wholly subjected to the whim of their body’s hormones and the related symptoms. Science has given us tactics for combatting hormone-related weight gain, and such treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Keep reading to learn how hormone replacement therapy could change your life.
Weight Gain Age 40 – Why Does It Happen?
Before we dive fully into hormone replacement therapy and its beneficial effects, let’s talk a bit about why your age plays a role in weight gain.
Typically, we attribute weight gain to things like diet, a lack of exercise, and perhaps even side effects from drugs. However, as you age, your weight becomes increasingly tied to your hormones. Your hormones play a key role in the way your body maintains balance, and when their levels get off-kilter, you experience a series of issues including fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, and more.
When women approach and eventually enter menopause, it’s common for their estrogen levels to fall significantly. This change in body composition slows down your metabolism – sometimes rather dramatically. Weight loss becomes an increasingly difficult goal to pursue.
Men also face age-related hormone fluctuations. Low testosterone levels rob many middle-aged men of their stamina, strong metabolism, and muscle.
Both men and women can also experience fluctuations in their cortisol levels as they get older. Cortisol is the main stress hormone, and when its levels are depleted, our bodies struggle to regulate blood pressure, inflation, and our sleep cycle. Increased feelings of stress may also lead to increased food consumption and therefore the risk of added fat in the abdominal and thigh areas.
Before you decide how you will tackle changes in your weight, talk to a medical expert who can assess your hormone levels and determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances.
Weight-Related Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Now we get to the part you really want to understand: what does HRT have to do with body fat and speeding up your metabolism? How does it work?
When your testosterone and/or estrogen levels are depleted, you lose muscle. As a result, your daily caloric requirements actually decrease – although you might not feel like they do. You eat as normal, but because your muscles aren’t gobbling up those extra calories, they’re turning into fat.
Maintaining a steady hormone balance within your body ensures that you preserve muscle, improve your metabolism, and reduce weight gain as much as possible.
Believe it or not, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s talk more about menopausal weight gain and HRT, as well as weight distribution and “andropause.”
Does HRT Help with Menopause Weight Gain?
A woman’s estrogen levels play an enormous role in the way her body stores fat. Unfortunately, when she stops her menstruation and enters menopause, her estrogen levels drop, leading to a variety of symptoms including night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, and of course, an increase in weight (specifically abdominal fat).
Hormone replacement therapy ensures that your protein hormones continue to burn calories and store fat as normal throughout menopause. By adding more estrogen to your body, you enable the hormone to increase leptin levels, which then make you feel fuller and less inclined to over-eat.
Additionally, some HRTs introduce testosterone on top of estrogen, which boosts energy levels and helps women maintain lean muscles as they age.
Overall, it’s been found that women who use hormone replacement therapy typically experience fewer problems with weight gain and distribution during menopause. If you think this might be the right path for you, talk to a doctor at a gynecology practice today.
Altering Your Weight Distribution With HRT
Hormone replacement therapy isn’t just about managing weight gain. It can also help with distributing your weight in a healthy manner.
When your hormones are imbalanced, especially if you’re a woman in menopause, your body is more likely to store fat in the abdominal area, rather than where it should be stored (hips, thighs, and buttocks). By pairing HRT with physical activity and a healthy diet, you’ll find it easier to channel extra weight into the right areas instead of developing a bigger belly.
Hormone-Related Weight Gain in Men – Andropause
We’ve talked a lot about menopause, but women aren’t the only ones who go through a period of hormonal imbalance as they age. Men don’t have such a defined experience with obvious parameters, but the problem is often referred to as “androgen decline,” or sometimes, “andropause.”
Men often struggle with their cortisol levels, as well as low amounts of testosterone, estrogen, HGH, and thyroid hormones. This typically begins around age 45 to 50, then can peak dramatically in men over the age of 70.
As hormone levels are depleted, men’s bodies experience a slower metabolism and higher numbers of fat cells. They may also feel inclined to eat more as their stress hormone is imbalanced.
Most men predominantly complain about their low testosterone levels. A lack of testosterone in the male body dramatically impacts the average man’s quality of life, affecting their energy levels, mood, and ability to lose weight quickly.
If you’re a middle-aged man looking to restore balance to your body, consider hormone replacement therapy. Learn how to bring your testosterone levels back and correct imbalances of stress and thyroid hormones.
Misconceptions About HRT and Weight Loss
If you’re doing your research on HRT, you’ve probably stumbled across a range of myths about the treatment. Allow us to debunk a few for you.
1. “Hormone replacement therapy causes cancer as well as weight loss.”
Anyone who makes this claim is vastly oversimplifying the research conducted by medical professionals. It’s a widespread misconception that was ignited by older, flawed studies. Today, doctors will tell you that HRT itself doesn’t cause cancer, although receiving more hormones than your body needs certainly increases the risk.
If you have concerns, talk to your doctor to learn where the real danger lies and why HRT is considered extremely safe.
2. “You only need hormone therapy if you have severe symptoms.”
This is simply not true. Even if you’re just feeling minimal effects of hormone-related weight gain, talk to a professional. There’s no reason for you to let an imbalance affect your appearance and self-esteem.
3. “You might lose weight, but you’ll increase your risk of heart disease.”
Thanks to some older, flawed studies on women who used HRT, many people believe that weight loss is accompanied by a higher risk of heart disease when on hormone therapy. Fortunately, there is no real association. In fact, you may actually lower your risk of heart disease while taking estrogen-only HRT.
Potential HRT Side Effects
Besides weight loss, you may experience some side effects – many of which are unpleasant. Talk to your doctor if you are using HRT and experiencing:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Hair loss
- Tender breasts
- Allergic reactions
Who Should Not Use Hormone Replacement Therapy
We won’t lie to you: HRT isn’t for everyone. Most doctors will not recommend if you have a bleeding disorder, liver issues, certain kinds of cancer, or may be pregnant. Hormone replacement therapy is also not a good fit for people who have previously had strokes, heart attacks, or leg/lung blood clots.
Are you suffering from unexplained weight gain?
Are you aged 40 or older?
Talk to our experts at Skintastic Med Spa about hormone replacement therapy. Our use of premier, all-natural hormone therapy might be the solution you’re looking for.
Call 352-610-9900 or fill out this form on our website. We’re happy to explain HRT to you, as well as go over possible side effects and benefits. Skintastic Med Spa is here to help you achieve the look and feel you want.