Hormones influence several systems in the human body keeping them running properly, but they can also have side effects if not in balance. And although we may think that women are the only ones who become hormonal, the truth is that men’s health is also affected by hormonal imbalances. Our bodies send signals when things are wrong, but we may not be listening. If you are trying to lose weight through diet and exercise without success, you may want to see your doctor to test for hormonal issues. Here are the common hormones that can affect body weight.
Hypothyroidism can affect both men and women. When the thyroid hormone is low, people feel fatigued, want to sleep often, and may experience weight gain. Your doctor should do a full assessment to determine whether you have a healthy metabolism. While the primary test is for TSH level in the blood, even numbers in the normal range can affect your weight.
Insulin is the hormone that helps your body process sugars during digestion and break it down into nutrients for the cells. Too much insulin can occur from stress, high processed sugar intake, low protein intake or inadequate fat intake. Our body reacts to too much insulin by making us feel hungry which can then lead us back into the cycle of too much insulin. This cycle leads to a risk of diabetes and also can add weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Serotonin affects our mood and emotions. It can cause cravings for carbohydrates, lead to depression and affect appetite. It can also have an effect on our self-esteem, sleep habits and body issues. When we are depressed or anxious, we crave carbohydrates to produce more serotonin to make us feel better.
When our bodies are under any kind of stress for a long period of time whether it’s physical, emotional or even imagined, we produce cortisol. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder, or have an irritable bowel most often have excess cortisol. This leads to large appetite, lower metabolism, and more body fat.
Conditions that cause inflammation such as allergies, asthma, eczema, autoimmune disease, digestive disorders, depression and sinus disorders also cause obesity and unhealthy aging. In fact, inflammation and excess insulin are considered to be large contributors to the rise of type 2 diabetes in the United States.
Extra estrogen is now considered a risk factor for obesity in men and women along with poor eating and exercise habits. We get excess estrogen from our own bodies or from our diet or environment. Many compounds in foods such as growth hormones or pesticides add estrogen.
Menopause changes the hormonal balance in women starting as early as age 40. Changes include weight gain, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and depression among many others.
Testosterone influences muscle mass, strength, fat burning and skin tone in women and men. Low testosterone can lead to weight gain and increase of body fat even with exercise and dieting. While men tend to lose testosterone as they age, obesity and stress also affect levels. Low testosterone is also connected to heart disease, depression and osteoporosis.
Metagenics has several products that help support healthy hormonal balances in the body. Two of these products are Ultra Glucose Control® and Fem EstroPlex®. Ultra Glucose Control® is designed to help support a healthy glucose response and control of blood sugar levels. Fem EstroPlex® is designed for women who need extra nourishment when they are in early menopause.