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The Skinny – Are Your Hormones Making You Fat?

by | Last updated: May 16, 2024 | Weight Management | 0 comments

Are your hormones making you fat?
What is the role of your hormones on weight loss and weight gain?

Let’s talk about it. 

Each of your hormones affect your metabolism differently. Your weight is controlled by your hypothalamus via hormonal production from your gonads, adrenals, thyroid and pancreas. Truly the maestro of your hormones is your hypothalamus which controls your metabolism, your fat storage, your hunger, and satiety. 

When your hypothalamus is dysfunctional, you will gain weight or lose too much weight. The hypothalamus maintains homeostasis in your body and is where your weight setpoint exists. 

So how do individual hormones affect weight?
Let’s start with your steroids. 

Estrogen

Can affect your weight by increasing your insulin sensitivity, which is a good thing. But you can gain weight with too much estrogen on board. In young reproductive women, estrogen stimulates brown fat storage, a metabolically active fat that women and babies need to stay healthy. If your estrogen is out of balance with progesterone, you may store too much fat. Too much or unopposed estrogen can also cause water retention. 

    Progesterone

    It is super important. You need 10 to 50 times more progesterone in your body than estrogen. If you don’t make enough progesterone, you are prone to estrogen dominance – more fat stores, larger breasts, hips and thighs. You produce progesterone when you’re ovulating. If you are having fertility issues, getting your hypothalamus in balance helps induce ovulation and healthy levels of progesterone to counterbalance estrogen dominance.

      Testosterone

      It is important as it helps maintain metabolically active lean body mass. But too much testosterone can cause inflammation and an increase in belly fat. In men, too little testosterone can cause an increase in belly fat and loss of lean body mass.

        Cortisol

        It is an adrenal stress hormone. When you’re acutely stressed, cortisol activates the release of glucagon, which releases glycogen or sugar stores and eventually fat storage so you can use it for energy and get away from danger.  But if the stress is chronic, then too much cortisol can lead to weight gain especially around your middle –  the apple body. 

          DHEA

          This is the other adrenal hormone that’s important to your weight. DHEA is anabolic meaning it helps to build tissue, especially lean body mass. So making sure that you have adequate DHEA production means you have a healthy adrenal glands and, particularly, a healthy hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which means your hypothalamus has to be functioning normally. Too much DHEA especially in women, like in polycystic ovary syndrome, can lead to too much male hormone and increase in belly fat.

            Thyroid Hormone

            Both T4 and T3 control your metabolism. It’s super important that your hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis is communicating optimally. If there’s miscommunication, you may have normal thyroid levels but feel hypo or hyper thyroid. Too much thyroid hormone and you’re going to lose a lot of weight, too little thyroid hormone and you’re going to gain weight.  That’s because thyroid thyroid hormone controls mitochondrial energy output.

              Pituitary Growth Hormone

              This also affects your weight. Growth hormone helps to build lean body mass – muscle and bone. If you do not make enough growth hormone you will tend towards accumulating body fat with enough muscle and bone loss. 

                Hypothalamic Prolactin

                It helps control circadian rhythm. If prolactin is elevated during the day then you’re going to have a tendency towards autoimmunity and increase in body weight, especially body fat. Prolactin helps to modulate your immune system and it’s supposed to be functioning at the highest levels at night.

                  If you have any questions about how hormones affect your weight, please join us in our Hormone Reboot Training.

                  Hormone Reboot Training

                  About the Author - Deborah Maragopoulos FNP

                  Known as the Hormone Queen®️, I’ve made it my mission to help everyone – no matter their age – balance their hormones, and live the energy and joy their DNA and true destiny desires. See more about me my story here…

                       

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