Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Estrogen, Progesterone, and Weight Gain

It is a well-known fact that estrogen and progesterone are some of the hormones that affect weight negatively thus leading to weight gain. It is important to keep them in the balance, but not that many people know how to do that. To make it happen is not easy, but it is possible. You will only benefit from investing your sources in it.

Estrogen and progesterone have to do more with females. Estrogen is “a steroid hormone” produced in the ovaries.[1] It has a huge influence on sexual development, menstrual cycle, moods, gaining process and also other things including weight. On the other hand, progesterone is a female hormone that focuses on “the uterus (the womb) to receive and sustain the fertilized egg.”[2] If estrogen is unopposed, it can also disrupt thyroid work thus resulting in hypothyroidism.

Weight gain draws associations with lack of estrogen or progesterone levels or both. There are some cases when a person experiences loss of the hair, weight gain, lack of appetite and fatigue. These are the most frequent symptoms of low thyroid. If the doctor doesn’t pay attention to blood tests and other approaches, he or she might think similar to the patient that it is most likely due to stress and wrong diet. If there are problems with the particular hormones, diet, and additional exercises won’t be helping, and the symptoms won’t disappear. Furthermore, when the estrogen level is too big, additional weight tend to hold in the area around hips and middle section.

How is estrogen created? One way is its link to fat tissue that is a part of a hormonal system. It contains “enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen – estrogen.”[3] Basically, it means that the more fat you have, the higher is the level of estrogen. This issue is especially common amount women in their early pregnancy as more calories are stored as a natural process of “eating for two” and thus also estrogen levels are high. Hormone level also changes among women who are about to experience menopause. In this case, it can also lead to obesity.

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Progesterone, on the other hand, works in a way that it “redirects the activity of estrogen by increasing the sensitivity of estrogen receptors.”[4] The nature of this hormone is interesting as its deficiency can occur even before an estrogen deficiency. However, similar to estrogen, in many cases, it can occur in women who are closer to menopause. The most common signs of the lack of this hormone are hot flashes, night sweats, premenstrual discomfort, depression, inability to concentrate and focus as well as numerous others including also link to weight gain and inability to lose it. Thus balanced progesterone level not only can lead closer to normal weight but also feel better physically and mentally.

To get hormones in the balance there are numerous approaches. According to Townsend Letter, “bio-identical hormone therapy”[5] is the safest approach as it is safer and gentler to the body as well as the cancer risk and other health problems are much lower. Additionally, it is important to balance all the adrenal gland as this is the organ that produces various hormones, including DHEA, testosterone and also estrogen and progesterone that is at the focus point of this discussion. Consult the health specialist and perhaps also prescription hormone medication can be more effective in more severe cases. Did you know that there is even a natural Progesterone Cream? It can also be a good supplement. It soaks in cells within few minutes of application. However, at the same time, this is a special cream – you won’t find it in some ordinary food stores. You need a prescription for it.

Regarding estrogen, it is important to know that also reasons, why it is high, might differ. As one example can be seen from the lifestyle magazine Shape. One woman tended to add soy milk to coffee and oatmeal on a daily basis. Some studies have found that soy has links to increased estrogen levels.[6] This means that the problem is deeper than just drinking coffee that is widely known to cause various problems. As a replacement for soy milk can be almond and coconut milk. Some studies shows that good choice to lower estrogen levels also is eating different organic fruits and vegetables like cauliflower, mustard greens, kale, broccoli and numerous others. It is possible to add them to almost any dish. Important is to avoid products that have a lot of chemicals. Also limiting and quitting consumption of alcohol can help to lower the estrogen level. To normalize estrogen levels fiber has also proved to help. One of the suggestions is to obtain about 15 grams per day (2 times less than in 1 avocado) to lower estrogen levels. This assumption is proved to be especially beneficial in premenopausal women.

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Finding a balance between estrogen and progesterone levels is hard. There are different approaches to it, but it is important to try out different solutions. Consult endocrinologist and other doctors that will help to run additional tests and find possibly the best solutions.



[1] Definition of Estrogen. Accessed from: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3329rel=”nofollow”

[2] Definition of Hormone, progesterone. Accessed from: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3794rel=”nofollow”

[3] Weight Loss for Women, Part 2: Estrogen. Accessed from: http://paleoleap.com/weight-loss-women-part-2-estrogen/rel=”nofollow”

[4] Low Thyroid & Weight Gain. Accessed from: http://www.health-science.com/hypothyroidism.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[5] Hypothyroidism (Low Thyroid): Effects on Women’s Health. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/April2011/newyork0411.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[6] How Too Much Estrogen Can Mess with Your Weight and Health. Accessed from: http://www.shape.com/blogs/weight-loss-diary/how-too-much-estrogen-can-mess-your-weight-and-healthrel=”nofollow”

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