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Weight Loss and the Hormone Connection

January 14, 2014

Weight Loss and the Hormone Connection

Vowing to lose weight is the #1 New Year's resolution. Unfortunately, it is estimated that most diet plans have a failure rate of approximately 93% and 60% of gym memberships purchased at the beginning of the year go unused. Despite your good intentions to make wiser food choices, cut calories and exercise, there is usually more required to bring results that keep you motivated to lose those extra pounds and keep them off.

People of all ages, and especially those over 40, must realize that weight gain is often a sign of an imbalance in the body. So, treating the symptom (weight gain) while failing to identify and address the actual cause can quickly lead to frustration, failure and yo-yo dieting. Weight gain is often a symptom of one or more endocrine disorders. Let's take a closer look at two key contributors, stress and the resulting adrenal fatigue, and compromised thyroid function which can lead to hypothyroidism.

Weight Loss and the Endocrine System

The endocrine system is a system of glands, each of which secretes a type of hormone into the bloodstream to regulate the body. Typical endocrine glands are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. In addition, many other organs that are part of other body systems, such as the kidney, liver and heart, have secondary endocrine functions. Clearly, a balanced endocrine system is essential for successful weight loss and overall health.

Address the Cause

The two endocrine disorders that can sabotage even the most committed resolution to lose weight are adrenal fatigue, caused by prolonged emotional and/or physical stress and elevated cortisol levels, and compromised thyroid function which can lead to hypothyroidism. In fact, these two conditions share many of the same symptoms including weight gain and depression. As an example of focusing on the cause of your symptoms, consider how many people take medication for depression when their over-looked adrenal and thyroid glands may very well be its underlying cause.

Adrenal Glands, Stress and Weight Loss

Stress is a very common contributing cause of weight gain. Stress stimulates the appetite, leads to increased alcohol use and "emotional eating" which usually includes sugar, carbohydrates and other comfort foods. The primary cause of stress related weight gain is cortisol. When the body is stressed, either physically or emotionally, it responds by secreting cortisol. This hormone is released by the adrenal glands, an important part of the endocrine system, during times of stress. Cortisol has many functions, including regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, energy, immunity and healing.

Consistent stress without relief causes the body to produce a high level of cortisol at all times. Excess cortisol also slows your metabolism so even if you cut calories, you could actually gain weight or find it difficult to lose those unwanted pounds. You see, the insulin response to cortisol keeps the body in a constant state of fat storage, typically around the abdominal organs. Accumulation of this type of fat, known as visceral fat, is damaging to your health, leading to an increased development of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
  • Weight gain, especially in the abdomen
  • Lack of energy and feeling rundown
  • Cravings for foods high in salt, fats, sugar and carbohydrates
  • Chronic low blood pressure
  • Sensitivity to cold and feeling chilled
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Mental fog
  • Memory problems
  • A decreased ability to handle stress
  • Muscular weakness
  • Increased food allergies
  • Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or lying down position
  • Decreased sex drive

Thyroid Function and Weight Loss

The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland help regulate your heart rate, maintain healthy skin, and play a crucial part in metabolism. When the gland is sluggish, it can rob you of energy, dry out your skin, make your joints ache, cause weight gain, and kick-start depression. Yet, according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about half of the estimated 27 million Americans with thyroid disease (hypothyroidism) remain undiagnosed.

More women than men experience an underactive thyroid, primarily due to fluctuations in the vital hormones progesterone and estrogen. Because those with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low basal metabolic rate, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Often the "metabolic burn" continues to fall as calories are reduced when dieting. That's why some women with low thyroid can have weight gain even with restrict calories.

Symptoms of Compromised Thyroid Function
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry, rough pale skin
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance
  • Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido

Achieving Successful Weight Loss with Bio-identical Progesterone

The Organic Excellence Feminine Balance Therapy nurtures the entire endocrine system, supporting healthy thyroid and adrenal function to facilitate your weight loss efforts. Many people, men and women alike, find that the use of bio-identical progesterone cream supports successful weight loss. Postmenopausal women with too little estrogen especially benefit from the added phytoestrogens in Balance Plus Therapy.

If you have or suspect you may have a thyroid or adrenal imbalance, please consult with your medical practitioner. Reduce the stress in your life, get plenty of rest and sleep, exercise regularly, choose a healthy diet, drink an abundance of pure water and utilize the safe and effective benefits of bio-identical progesterone cream to restore hormonal balance.

 

Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical doctor. Organic Excellence does not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect a mental or physical health condition, please see your healthcare provider.