She asked me “can too much estrogen cause menopause weight gain?”. If the answer is yes, she wanted to know what can be done about it
This is such an interesting question, because most menopausal women know that the reduction of estrogen in their bodies is the cause of most menopause symptoms.
Could it be that the very treatments and remedies that increase the amount estrogen in the body, in order to relieve other menopause symptoms, is actually causing weight gain during menopause?
To answer this question, one needs to understand what happens naturally in your body , in response to the decrease of estrogen during menopause.
Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Menopause Weight Gain?
Here is an excerpt from an article, which helped Janet to better understand her menopause weight gain
Your body’s hormones have a direct impact on your appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. This is why it is so difficult to control your weight during menopause …. no matter what you do, fluctuating estrogen, testosterone, and androgen levels will fight you all the way.
Hormones Involved in Weight Maintenance
Estrogen: Estrogen is the female sex hormone that is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. During female menopause, your estrogen levels decline rapidly, causing your body to stop ovulating. However, estrogen also seems to play a big role in menopausal weight gain. As your ovaries produce less estrogen, your body looks for
other places to get needed estrogen from. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately for you, fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes you to pack on the unwanted pounds.
Progesterone: During menopause, progesterone levels will also decrease. Like estrogen, lower levels of this hormone can be responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause and that includes weight gain, or at least the appearance of it. Water retention and menopause often go hand in hand since water weight and bloating are
caused by decreased progesterone levels. Though this doesn’t actually result in weight gain, your clothes will probably feel a bit tighter and you may feel a bit heavier. Water retention and bloating usually disappear within a few months.
Androgen: This hormone is responsible for sending your new weight directly to your middle section. In fact, weight gain during menopausal years is often known as “middle age spread” because of the rapid growth of the mid-section. Often, one of the first signs of menopause is an increase of androgen in your body, which causes
you to gain weight around your abdominals instead of around your lower half.
Testosterone: Testosterone helps your body to create lean muscle mass out of the calories that you take in. Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do, increasing your metabolism. In natural menopause, levels of testosterone drop resulting in the loss of this muscle. Unfortunately, this means a lower metabolism. The
lower your metabolism is, the slower your body burns calories.
I believe that it is so important for women to understand the contents of this article, because approximately 90% of menopausal women gain some weight between the ages of 35 and 55 and around 30% of women aged 50 to 59 are not just overweight, but obese.
From this article it is clear that estrogen plays a major role in menopause weight gain, but the other hormonal changes affects it as well.
So can too much estrogen cause menopause weight gain?
Research has shown that estrogen has an effect on your eating and drinking behaviors. Hormone replacement therapy (both HRT and bio-identical), which increases the amount of estrogen in your body, can cause you to eat more and also retain water in your body.
While exercise is very important in the management of other menopause symptoms, it often does not help to reverse menopause weight gain. If you are not doing daily exercise, start now. If you are doing daily exercise keep doing it.
The foods that you eat may provide the key to losing weight.
There has been some research into what can be categorized as foods that are sources of “good estrogen” and “bad estrogen”. Foods that help you to lose weight are good estrogen sources. Bad estrogen sources cause you to gain weight or prevent you from losing it.
Good estrogen sources include fatty fish, passiflora, chamomile, bee products, citrus fruits, onion, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage), flaxseeds, and hempseeds.
Bad estrogen sources include diets high in animal fat, excessive consumption of omega 6 rich oils (such as canola, corn, safflower and soy oils) and soy and products high in soy isoflavones. Do note that while soy products have helped women reduce hot flashes, they are a source of menopause weight gain.
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