Many women say that fluctuating estrogen levels have an impact on their weight, especially around menopause. They may discover that they are gaining weight or that losing weight is becoming more difficult.
Some estrogens have been connected to how the body regulates weight gain. As a result, any variations in their levels could contribute to weight fluctuations.
So, what’s the connection between estrogen levels and a woman’s weight?
Continue reading to learn more about this phenomenon and how to deal with estrogen-related weight gain.
No one can claim that weight gain is only due to a poor diet or lack of activity. In reality, your hormones are frequently at fault for weight gain.
Did you know that if your hormones are out of whack, it can be more difficult to shed stubborn fat? As a result, it’s a good idea to have all of your hormones in order beforehand.
What hormones are you talking about? Here are the hormones you’ll want to keep in mind if you want to reach your healthiest weight.
Does Estrogen Cause Weight Gain?
Weight gain can be caused by estrogen levels that are either high or too low.
High estrogen levels in the body can irritate the cells in your body that make insulin, making you insulin resistant and causing your blood sugar levels to rise, resulting in weight gain.
Low estrogen levels might also lead to a stubborn sort of weight gain. This is common throughout the menopausal period, which women experience later in life. Because the ovarian cells no longer generate estrogen, the body searches for it elsewhere. Fat cells are one source.
So, how does the body re-establish equilibrium? It begins to convert all excess energy sources into fat, resulting in weight increase, especially in the lower body.
If you’re going through perimenopause or menopause, you may notice that maintaining a healthy weight is more challenging than it formerly was.
For a reason, menopause is referred to as the “transition of life.” Many women experience various changes during menopause, such as:
- hot flashes
- difficulty sleeping
- decreased interest in sex
All of these changes are caused by low levels of the female hormone estrogen.
Visceral fat is a type of fat that wraps around your abdominal organs and is found deep within your body. It’s not always possible to feel or see it. Even if you have a flat stomach, you may still have visceral fat. TOFI, or “thin outside fat inside,” is a term used to describe this.
Only an expensive scan can determine how much abdominal fat you have, but your doctor is unlikely to order one only for that reason.
The issue with weight is more complicated than simply gaining weight. The main issue may be the distribution of fat on your body.
Women tend to carry fat on their hips and thighs for the majority of their adult lives. Women, on the other hand, store more fat in the abdomen area after menopause.
The fat in this area, known as visceral fat, is not the same as the fat you feel when you probe your stomach. It’s found deeper in the belly, between the essential organs and the fat-covered membrane that lines the cavity.
Visceral fat, unlike other types of fat on your body, releases hormones and other compounds like cytokines, which can:
- promote insulin resistance, which lowers your body’s ability to use insulin effectively by narrowing blood arteries and raising blood pressure
- Inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases, including heart disease.
- assist in the development of sexual dysfunction
- increase your chances of contracting certain malignancies
Your cells accumulate more fat and release it more slowly after menopause. You also have decreased muscle mass, which means your body isn’t burning calories as efficiently as it previously was.
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone that has a number of functions in the body. It aids the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system as well as female features such as breasts and pubic hair in females.
Estrogen plays a role in cognitive health, bone health, cardiovascular system function, and other vital biological functions.
The said hormone is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and adipose cells. This hormone is found in both female and male bodies, but females produce more of it.
The two principal female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone. These substances are mostly created in your ovaries, but they can also be found in other parts of your body, including:
- adipose tissue
- adrenal glands
Estrogen can come in a variety of forms. At different stages of a woman’s life, each kind plays a larger role.
Estrone is the most common postmenopausal estrogen, and it comes from the ovaries and adrenal glands’ conversion of androgens, primarily androstenedione.
Estrone is a kind of estrogen that isn’t as strong as estrogen. It is mostly produced in the ovaries and fat tissue. After menopause, estrogen is the only form of estrogen that women have in any significant amounts.
Oestradiol (E2), commonly known as estradiol, is the strongest of the three estrogens and plays a significant role in the female reproductive system. Women will be better able to control their reproductive health if they understand this hormone.
Estradiol is one of three estrogen hormones that the body naturally produces. Estradiol is found in both men and women’s bodies, and it plays a function in both. However, women have significantly larger levels of the hormone than males.
The most active form of estrogen is estradiol. It’s especially vital during a woman’s menstrual cycle. The hormone estradiol is thought to play a function in gynecological issues like endometriosis and reproductive malignancies.
Estradiol serves a variety of purposes in the female body. Its primary job is to mature the reproductive system and then sustain it. Increased estradiol levels during the menstrual cycle encourage the egg to mature and release, as well as the uterus lining to thicken, allowing a fertilized egg to implant. Because the hormone is produced predominantly in the ovaries, levels reduce with age and drop dramatically following menopause.
Estriol is the most ineffective form of estrogen. It’s mostly related to pregnancy. According to an article published in Harvard Health Publications, some researchers believe it has anti-cancer qualities.
Estriol, commonly known as oestriol or E3, is a female hormone. During pregnancy, women create a variety of hormones that are vital to the mother’s and baby’s health. Estriol is a female hormone that is produced spontaneously. Estriol, on the other hand, is identified at a considerably higher level during pregnancy. Estriol levels rise progressively throughout pregnancy, peaking just before birth.
The placenta produces Estriol when a woman is pregnant. The placenta is an endocrine-related organ that develops during pregnancy and maintains the health of both the mother and the infant. It also helps the mother prepare for childbirth and breastfeeding. Estriol is important since it can help determine the health of an unborn fetus. The adrenal glands generate hormones (chemicals) for the fetus (baby). After that, some of these molecules are turned to Estriol in their liver. This final stage is carried out by the placenta. Estriol encourages the growth of the uterus and gradually prepares a woman’s body for childbirth. During the eighth week of pregnancy, Estriol levels begin to rise.
Others have suggested that it could be used to treat multiple sclerosis. The Food and Medicine Administration Trusted Source has not approved any drug containing estriol, thus these claims are debatable. Estriol’s safety and effectiveness are uncertain, according to the report.
What Does Estrogen Do?
Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and others play a significant role in a woman’s life.
Estrogen aids in the physical transformation of a girl into a woman. Puberty is the name given to this stage of life. Among the changes are:
- expansion of the breasts
- hair growth on the pubic and underarms
- the beginning of menstrual periods
Estrogen aids in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and is necessary for childbearing. Other functions of this hormone include:
- lowers cholesterol levels.
- benefits both men and women’s bone health
- it has an impact on your brain (including your mood), bones, heart, skin, and other tissues
The main supply of estrogen in your body comes from the ovaries, which create a woman’s eggs. This hormone is produced in modest amounts by your adrenal glands, which are positioned at the apex of each kidney. Fat tissue behaves similarly. Estrogen travels through your bloodstream and has an effect on every cell in your body.
For many reasons, your body can make too little or too much estrogen. You can also overdose on estrogen by taking birth control pills or using estrogen replacement treatment.
You might wish to keep note of your symptoms (how you feel) each day by writing them down. Bring this symptom journal to your doctor.
A girl’s body starts releasing estrogen when she reaches puberty. Estrogen aids in breast development and reproductive organ maturation. Menstruation begins at this time.
Normal vaginal bleeding that happens as part of a woman’s monthly cycle is known as menstruation, or period. Your body prepares for pregnancy every month. The uterus, or womb, removes its lining if no pregnancy develops. Menstrual blood is made up of both blood and tissue from the uterus. It exits the body via the vaginal canal.
Periods normally begin between the ages of 11 and 14 and last until menopause, which occurs around the age of 51. They last three to five days on average. You may experience other symptoms in addition to vaginal bleeding.
- cramping discomfort in the abdomen or pelvis
- back pain in the lower back
- breast bloating and discomfort
- Hhunger pangs
- irritability and mood swings
- headache and exhaustion
Estrogen and progesterone levels rise during the menstrual cycle. This aids in the formation of a uterine lining in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg. These hormone levels diminish if an egg is not implanted, and the uterine lining is lost during a woman’s menstruation.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a group of symptoms that start before the period. It can include emotional and physical symptoms.
If you notice significant changes in your period, talk to your doctor. They may be signs of other problems that should be treated.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
During pregnancy, the placenta contributes to the body’s increased hormone levels. A high amount of hormones is required for the baby’s and pregnancy’s wellbeing.
Estrogen and progesterone levels return to pre-pregnancy levels almost shortly after childbirth. During the time when a woman is breastfeeding, her hormone levels remain low.
Perimenopause and Menopause
Your ovaries quit producing eggs as you become older. Hormones tend to fluctuate throughout perimenopause, the time leading up to the end of menstruation or also know as menopause.
Menopause is the period-free period in a woman’s life. It normally happens on its own, usually after the age of 45. When a woman’s ovaries stop releasing estrogen and progesterone, she enters menopause.
When a woman hasn’t had a period for a year, she has achieved menopause. Changes and symptoms can appear several years before they become apparent. They include the following:
- a shift in the length of the phases – shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time between them
- night sweats and/or hot flashes
- sleeping problems
- dryness of the vaginal canal
- swings in mood
- having difficulty concentrating
- hair on the head is sparse, but there is enough on the face.
Some signs and symptoms need to be addressed. Consult your doctor about the best ways to deal with menopause. Make sure the doctor is aware of your medical history as well as the medical history of your family. This covers things like heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer risk.
A lady has reached menopause when she hasn’t had a period for a year. Her estrogen and progesterone levels will thereafter continue to below.
Other functions of estrogen in a woman’s life include:
- helping to build bones and contribute to bone strength
- controlling cholesterol, possibly by increasing good (HDL) cholesterol levels
- increasing blood supply to the skin and skin thickness
- helping to regulate moods and possibly control depression and anxiety
Conditions that Affect Estrogen
These other illnesses and causes, in addition to perimenopause and menopause, can alter your estrogen levels.
The ovaries are surgically removed in this surgery. Menopause is the result of this.
A bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries. This surgery may be required due to an ovarian cyst or a high risk of ovarian cancer. Your doctor will discuss the reason for your symptoms with you.
You will not be able to menstruate after your procedure (getting your period). You may have typical menopause symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. You may still be experiencing some of these symptoms if you’re going through or have recently gone through menopause. Consult your healthcare professional for advice on how to deal with them.
In this eating disorder, the severe calorie restriction can lower estrogen levels and cause the menstrual cycle to halt.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Your estrogen and progesterone levels are out of balance if you have PCOS. This can result in:
- ovarian cysts
- menstrual cycle disruption
- fertility issues
- abnormal heart function
- insulin resistance
Vigorous Exercise or Training
Excessive activity can help you lose weight while also lowering your estrogen levels.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen
- irregular or missing menstrual cycles
- hot flushes
- vaginal dryness
- sadness or anxiety
- decreased desire for sex
- dry skin
- memory issues
Maintaining a healthy weight after menopause can help you lose belly fat and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Exercise also improves mood and energy levels.
Each week, the American Heart Association suggests that you obtain at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity, according to the American Heart Association. This is the equivalent of 30 minutes of moderate activity five times each week. If you exercise frequently, cut it down to 75 minutes each week.
Walking, riding a bike on flat terrain, dancing, and mowing the lawn are all examples of moderate exercise.
Tennis, running, aerobics, and mountain trekking are all examples of intense exercise.
Strength training is also beneficial since it aids in the development of muscle mass, blood sugar regulation, and blood pressure reduction. Heavy gardening, lifting weights, and resistance exercises like sit-ups and squats are all examples of strength training.
To help you manage your weight and eliminate belly fat, follow these suggestions to ensure you consume a nutritious diet:
- Focus on high fiber cereals, healthy plant-based fats, and high quality proteins, such as fatty fish, in a balanced diet of unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods.
- Avoid sugary soda and juice and eat a range of colorful veggies and entire fruits every day.
- Consume alcohol in moderation.
Diet and exercise, for the most part, are successful in minimizing the negative effects of low estrogen levels and the fat that accumulates around the midriff in most women.