Have you noticed a bit of body fat settling in around your midsection? Does your bathroom scale register a higher weight with each passing year? Maybe you’ve decided to hit the gym and cut back on that evening glass of wine. But still, no weight loss change?
Your battle to lose weight may be the result of a hormonal imbalance. At North Texas Vitality, Dr. Fliedner has helped many patients in Flower Mound and the north Dallas area successfully lose weight simply by restoring their natural hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
Weight Gain in Midlife Is Common
As we age, transitions in hormone levels help explain why men and women gain weight during midlife. According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly two-thirds of women between 40 and 59 years old and three-fourths of women older than 60 years are overweight in the United States (Overweight is defined as a body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2..).
Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, which causes a significant drop in estrogen levels and a redistribution of body fat. Fat stored in the lower parts of a woman’s body begins to move to the tummy area. This shift in fat storage makes weight gain more noticeable and can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
In addition, fluctuations in a woman’s estrogen levels during perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, may cause mood changes that often make women more resistant to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. As a result, the average weight gain in perimenopausal women is about five pounds; however, 20 percent of the population will gain 10 pounds or more.
Usually, around the age of 26, men begin losing testosterone, and by age 40, testosterone levels decline at a rate of about one-to-two percent per year, reports Harvard Health. Testosterone is responsible for managing body organs; but as it relates to our topic here, testosterone regulates fat distribution, muscle mass, and strength. So, as muscle mass declines, so does the body’s effectiveness at burning calories.
This can become a “snowball effect” for men. They start accumulating more fat, which equates to less lean body mass; as a result, they burn fewer calories, and that just keeps adding pounds over time over time.
(For more information on the causes and health consequences of overweight and obesity, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website, Understanding Adult Overweight and Obesity.)
Hormones That Affect Weight
Hormones play a major role in maintaining a healthy body. They travel throughout your body, helping to control the functions of your major processes and maintaining balance within your body. An imbalance of any of these hormones listed below can significantly impact health, weight, and aging.
Thyroid hormones regulate your body’s metabolism and weight. When thyroid hormones are too low, your metabolic rate drops and your body burns fewer calories. This, in turn, will lead to weight gain and a decline in energy expenditure regardless of physical activity.
Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone,” because your body releases it as it undergoes stress. Chronic stress triggers high levels of cortisol, which tells the body to store more fat. Over time your middle section is growing in inches.
Estrogen plays a major role in affecting metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight. When your estrogen levels drop with age, your metabolic rate declines, your body begins to store fat, and you gain weight.
Estrogen deficiency will contribute to insulin resistance, which turns your body into a fat-storage machine. In addition to triggering weight gain, low estrogen affects where fat settles in your body. When estrogen levels fall, the body begins to accumulate belly fat, even if there is no weight gain!
Much like low estrogen, a lack of testosterone will cause fat to accumulate in your abdomen. It’s also important for men to know that being overweight leads to low testosterone.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a precursor hormone. Its job is to turn into other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Proper amounts of DHEA help to regulate your metabolism and fat storage. Without enough DHEA, your body tends to gain weight.
Reasons for Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones become depleted for any number of reasons. Underlying health conditions, such as chronic stress, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, a toxic overload in your body, and some medications can all disrupt hormone levels. As we age, our bodies produce fewer hormones, which triggers hormonal imbalance.
BHRT Restores Hormonal Balance and Reduces Fat
BHRT has been shown to restore hormonal balance and reverse the effect of hormonal imbalance on weight.
According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, “hormone replacement therapy not only prevented weight gain but favored weight loss by significantly increasing lipid oxidation after three months of treatment.” It was found to increase energy expenditure and reduce the effects of insulin resistance.
In addition to helping men and women lose weight, BHRT has been shown to reverse and prevent a multitude of health problems that occur from hormonal imbalance, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), thyroid health, sleep disorders, depression, fatigue, and low libido.
As a board-certified ob-gyn and bioidentical hormone specialist, Dr. Thomas Fliedner has spent his career successfully treating patients with BHRT to restore the hormonal deficiencies that contribute to weight gain.
BHRT Replaces What Your Body Needs
Here at North Texas Vitality, you will receive personal attention and customized hormone replacement therapy. We review your medical history and run advanced lab tests to determine your hormone levels. If the lab work reveals any hormonal imbalances, Dr. Fliedner will develop a custom hormone therapy to replace the precise amount and type of hormones your body needs.
At his practice, Dr. Fliedner prescribes the BHRT method our patients most prefer. We offer a variety of BHRT therapies, including creams, pills, injections, or BioTE pellets. All of our therapies use natural bioidentical hormones, which are identical to those produced by your body and are more readily acceptable.
While on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, we routinely check hormone levels to be sure your body is maintaining optimal, healthy levels.
Do you want to learn whether a hormone imbalance factors into your weight gain? Call North Texas Vitality at 469-455-1665 or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.