Do you remember the days you could eat anything and not gain a pound? As women age, our ability to lose weight and keep it off like we did when we were younger becomes much more difficult. This not only impacts how we feel about ourselves but directly affects our health. What can we do to change this all too common aging dilemma?
Hormones help regulate many bodily systems for women that not only affect how we feel and age but also influences our metabolism. As we lose these protective hormones over time, we lose our ability to keep body fat off. This metabolic shift can lead to unwanted weight gain as well as increase our risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol. How can we maintain or restore our hormones in order to feel our best, look our best and ultimately LIVE our best life?
One gland that aids in regulating our metabolism is our thyroid. It releases thyroid hormones, that when too low, can affect not only our weight adversely, but also interfere with our ability to sleep well, negatively impact our mood, disrupt our body temperature, and even affect our heart. Thyroid disorders affect all age groups but are more prominent in women. When the thyroid becomes dysfunctional, subtle signs begin to occur that make it hard to pinpoint what is happening. Therefore, it is important to see a hormone specialist who understands thyroid disorders and treatment.
What are the signs of low thyroid?
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Intolerance to temperatures
- Problems sleeping
Another hormone that can affect a woman’s weight is Estradiol. As women approach menopause they not only develop hot flashes and night sweats but many notice an unwanted shift in their bodies. They begin to develop more fat in their mid-section that can also place them at higher risk for diabetes and heart disease. It is important for women to understand what is going on with their bodies as they approach menopause. Gaining insight into this process and creating action steps with a medical provider can help women prevent weight gain and decrease their risk of chronic diseases.
What are the signs of menopause?
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood fluctuations
- Weight gain
Most women don’t know that they produce testosterone or that it is one of the most abundant hormones in their bodies. Testosterone not only provides women with the energy needed to get through the day but also affects how much lean muscle and body fat they have. Just like men, women can also be low in testosterone and experience negative consequences from this deficiency. Low testosterone has been shown to affect the heart and can have an impact on the recurrence of breast cancer. If you are low in testosterone, this could be a contributing factor in your weight gain.
What are the signs of low testosterone?
- Low energy
- Low sexual desire
- Poor focus
- Low motivation
- Loss of muscle mass
How do you start improving hormone health?
As women age, it becomes important to get our hormones tested for prevention. If you want to prevent the common weight gain associated with getting older, as well as prevent disease, the first step is seeing a hormone specialist. Part of this process should include getting your levels tested. It is important to find the right specialist who understands you as an individual in order to treat your specific needs as we are all different. Finding someone who can balance your hormones appropriately and provide you with nutritional guidance can make a difference in how you feel, your health, and your quality of life in order to help you live your best life today.
Testosterone and Breast Cancer Prevention
Thyroid Hormone Regulation of Metabolism
Central Effects on Estradiol in the Regulation of Adiposity
Fundamental Concepts Regarding Testosterone Deficiency and Treatment: International Expert Consensus Resolutions