Do hormones cause weight gain? Yes, if they are out of balance.
Hormonal weight gain is a thing. We all know it; The premenstrual bloating. The perimenopausal chub. The postmenopausal saggy fat. Men, as well, you have hormonal weight gain too; The Dad bod. The beer belly. The middle-age spread. we will discuss your bellies later.
Today it’s about you ladies. How to keep your hormones in balance so you can stay fit! This is a big topic (no pun intended) so let’s start with part one of Hormonal Weight Gain – Bloating.
It is not just young women, that experience this, but older women as well. Especially those using hormone replacement therapy, even bioidentical hormones, can suffer from Bloating!
Some women are so sensitive to bloating that they will put on 8-10 pounds of water weight. They will blame it on salty foods, poor circulation, their period. But it is hormonal.
So what is out of balance? Estrogen! If you are carrying water weight, are you making too much estrogen? Probably not. Your Estrogen is out of balance with your Progesterone.
Remember you need to make 10-50 times more progesterone than estrogen in order to stay in balance. If you are stressed, your progesterone is used by your adrenals to fuel the stress response. Meaning your estrogen becomes unopposed. If this lasts a long time, you become estrogen dominant. Not that you make too much estrogen. The problem is you’re not making enough progesterone.
Estrogen dominance happens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Because they do no ovulate consistently, they do not make enough progesterone to counterbalance estrogen. So why would estrogen cause bloating? Remember estrogen is the fertilizer. Progesterone is the gardener.
Estrogen also keeps cells and tissues juicy. Without estrogen, your eyes are dry, your mouth is dry, and your vagina is dry. Your skin and hair are dry, even your brain is dry. Estrogen keeps you juicy. And unopposed estrogen does not stop over watering the garden. Your cells cannot hold that much fluid, so it leaks into the interstitial space between the cells.
That is the water weight you feel: Too much fluid in your tissues. You feel tight. You cannot squeeze into the same jeans you wore yesterday. It’s not overnight fat deposits. It’s water.
It is common to have a little premenstrual bloating, as progesterone production drops to get your period started. Yet during menopause, women also experience bloating. Even if they are not taking hormones. Why? Because once you stop ovulating, there is no more progesterone production.
But remember your adrenal DHEA can be converted into estrogen. And you store estrogen in your fat cells (thank goodness for your brain or you would not remember why you are here). But this is not great for your tissues, as they fill up with fluid. Have you ever been so bloated you can press on your ankles and leave a dent?
So what can you do to relieve yourself of this uncomfortable water weight?
Hormone healing Tip: Stop Bloating with DIM
DIM is a natural supplement derived from cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale. These vegetables’ stinky sulfur smell is where DIM comes from. Alternatively, you can take 200mg of DIM once or twice a day to naturally relieve bloating.
Why not just eat broccoli? Of course enjoy your cruciferous veggies, but you have to eat a couple pounds of broccoli to get 200mg of DIM? That is a lot of gas.
DIM works by improving your estrogen metabolism. You do not want to turn your estrogen off. You need estrogen. You do want to improve estrogen metabolism to favor safe, non-inflammatory 2OH estrone. And DIM helps your body make the safest form of estrogen.
If you are interested, I made a great YouTube video on estrogen metabolism. Just click the link!