Weight is regulated by an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. It’s also the area that controls our hormones. When our hormones are dysregulated, many problems can occur, including illnesses like diabetes and thyroid problems, skin problems, decreased libido, and weight gain. Hormonal imbalance symptoms are different depending on whether you are a man or a woman. In particular, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can cause changes in the production of certain hormones. These changes can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and unexplained weight gain. Unfortunately, finding the most effective way to treat the condition can be challenging for many people, but luckily, there are evidence-based solutions available.
Data from The Centers for Disease Control reveal that from 2017-2018 the prevalence of obesity in the United States was a worrying 42.4%. (1) And, a considerable percentage of this population has difficulties with hormone regulation. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a specialized area of medicine that supports the body’s ability to regulate and rebalance hormone production. With an individualized treatment plan, patients can lose weight safely and find relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Weight gain can significantly impact self-esteem, mobility, and overall health. Therefore, it is essential to find an effective way to alleviate the stresses and strains it can cause.
AsandraMD Beverly Hills is Los Angeles’ leading anti-aging clinic. Led by Dr. Christopher Asandra, we provide effective HRT for women and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for men to help maintain a healthy weight and an improved quality of life. Call us at (424) 542-8881 or fill out a convenient form on our website to book a personal consultation.
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Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They help the body maintain homeostasis, regulate our metabolism, and help us maintain our sexual function. The endocrine system regulates hormone production, and includes the hypothalamus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland in the brain, and other organs in the rest of the body such as the adrenal glands, thyroid, pancreas, and gonads (male and female reproductive glands).
As we age, our bodies naturally produce fewer hormones. This can lead to a decline in physical and mental health. When the body can no longer regulate hormone function optimally, imbalances can occur. And unfortunately, an imbalance of hormones in the body can cause dozens of detrimental conditions, including the following:
- Hormonal Acne
- Thyroid Disease
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Hormone Changes Throughout the Lifetime
Hormones that affect our weight can fluctuate depending on our sex, weight, medical conditions, and age. During adolescence, the body goes through many changes. An increase in the male and female sex hormones estrogen and testosterone causes enduring changes. Similarly, life events such as pregnancy and illness can cause our hormones to fall out of balance later in life. In particular, men and women experience a marked decrease in sex hormone production with age.
Signs of Hormone Imbalance in Adults
As well as increased weight, other signs of hormonal imbalance in adults include the following:
- Increased or decreased heart rate (tachycardia, bradycardia)
- Gastrointestinal disruption (diarrhea or constipation)
- Mood disorders (depression, anxiety)
- Poor skin, hair, and nail condition
- Darker armpit skin (acanthosis nigricans)
- Fatigue and disrupted sleep
- Decreased tolerance to temperature change
- Higher than normal cholesterol
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please arrange a blood test with Dr. Asandra to assess whether a hormonal imbalance is the culprit.
Hormones That Affect Weight
Estrogen and progesterone are female sex hormones. Research indicates that estrogen, or lack thereof, plays an important role in weight gain in menopausal women, as it plays a role in the physiology of fat cells. Estrogen affects glucose and insulin secretion. Therefore, the inability to regulate glucose levels effectively can lead to metabolic syndrome and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.(2)
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It’s a steroidal hormone that regulates our fight or flight response, as well as our immune response, and inflammation. It slows the metabolism, and causes more glucose (natural sugars) to enter the bloodstream. Chronic stress and prolonged high levels of cortisol are associated with weight gain. In one study, patients with abdominal obesity had higher cortisone levels. (3)
T3 and T4 are both produced in the thyroid gland. They regulate how much energy the body uses at a given time, through which they can also affect weight. When the thyroid is not working optimally, significant weight changes can occur. Hyperthyroidism can speed up the metabolism and cause dramatic weight loss, while hypothyroidism can cause weight gain. (4)
Ghrelin plays a key role in our appetite and food intake regulation. Unlike many more familiar hormones like adrenaline and insulin, the “hunger hormone” ghrelin was first discovered in 1999. It’s secreted from glands in the stomach, small intestine, urogenital organs, and pituitary gland. Research suggests that overweight individuals may have an overactive ghrelin receptor, known as GHS-R. (5)
Even in nondiabetic patients, insulin can affect weight. In turn, weight gain is strongly associated with the development of type-2 diabetes and other serious health conditions. Insulin’s relationship with weight gain is well-documented and is strongly associated with increased insulin resistance. (6)
Though it is considered a male sex hormone, both men and women produce testosterone. Lower levels of testosterone in men is strongly associated with reduced lean mass and increased abdominal fat. In premenopausal and postmenopausal women, an imbalance in sex hormones estrogen and testosterone can also result in weight increase. (7)
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT Benefits for Women
- Helps you lose weight
- Prevents weight gain
- Stabilizes mood
- Increases sex drive
- Reduces hot flashes
- Reduces vaginal dryness
- Supports cognition
Hormone therapy can provide older women with relief from common symptoms of menopause, including unwanted weight gain. Dr. Asandra can assess your needs by running tests to determine the best path for your treatment.
TRT Benefits for Men
- Helps you lose weight
- Redistributes fat
- Increases sexual function
- Increases muscle mass
- Improves strength
- Boosts energy levels
- Better quality erections
Older men can benefit greatly from testosterone replacement therapy. And, it doesn’t just affect sexual performance. Dr. Asandra can design a personalized treatment plan, which can involve additional measures that may help you lose weight and regain sexual function safely and healthily.
Semaglutide for Weight Loss
Semaglutide is a medication that helps patients in specific demographics to manage their weight. It is the active ingredient in the branded medications Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus.
These medications are glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists. They help the body to manage blood sugar levels by altering the amount of insulin in your bloodstream. Because of this, semaglutide can be used in the treatment of type-2 diabetes, as well as in weight management programs. Studies indicate that semaglutide can protect the heart, making it more suitable for long-term weight management than many alternative medications. (8)
Speak to Dr. Asandra about incorporating semaglutide into your treatment plan!
Dr. Asandra assesses for hormonal imbalances in patients who request hormone therapy. He conducts a physical assessment of every patient and asks you to provide details about your current symptoms, your medical history, and the medications you are currently taking. He will evaluate all of these factors and may perform blood tests to gather data about your hormone levels. Once preliminary testing is complete, Dr. Asandra will draw up a personalized treatment plan for your specific personal needs.
Cost of HRT in Beverly Hills, CA
The cost of hormone replacement therapy will vary depending on the patient. Dr. Asandra will determine the best course of action after performing the necessary tests and individualizing your treatment. To get help with weight gain from hormone change, please contact AsandraMD Beverly Hills or our office in Newport Beach by calling (424) 542-8881 or by filling out this form.
Find more information about HRT, TRT, and other wellness and vitality treatments by reading Dr. Asandra’s blog.
Can hormonal changes cause weight gain?
Yes. hormonal imbalances are known to affect weight. An increase in some hormones like cortisol and a decrease in hormones like estrogen are known to cause weight gain, particularly in the abdomen.
How do I know if I have a hormonal imbalance?
The only way to confirm you have a hormonal imbalance is to get blood tests. However, certain symptoms are indicative of hormone dysregulation, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, and an increase or decrease in resting heart rate.
Can HRT help you lose weight?
Hormone replacement therapy can help patients with numerous physical and psychological issues. It contributes to a reduction of abdominal fat, allowing patients to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
- Yeung AY, Tadi P. Physiology, Obesity Neurohormonal Appetite And Satiety Control. PubMed. Published 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555906/
- Lizcano F, Guzmán G. Estrogen Deficiency and the Origin of Obesity during Menopause. BioMed Research International. 2014;2014. doi:10.1155/2014/757461 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964739/
- van der Valk ES, Savas M, van Rossum EFC. Stress and Obesity: Are There More Susceptible Individuals? Current Obesity Reports. 2018;7(2):193-203. doi:10.1007/s13679-018-0306-y https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958156/
- Liu G, Liang L, Bray GA, et al. Thyroid hormones and changes in body weight and metabolic parameters in response to weight loss diets: the POUNDS LOST trial. International Journal of Obesity. 2017;41(6):878-886. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.28 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461198/
- Wang W, Tao YX . Chapter Five – Ghrelin Receptor Mutations and Human Obesity. ScienceDirect. Published January 1, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1877117316000417?via%3Dihub
- Verkouter I, Noordam R, le Cessie S, et al. The Association between Adult Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance at Middle Age: Mediation by Visceral Fat and Liver Fat. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019;8(10). doi:10.3390/jcm8101559 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832997/
- Pasquali R. Obesity and androgens: facts and perspectives. Fertility and Sterility. 2006;85(5):1319-1340. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.10.054 https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(06)00098-7/fulltext
- Singh, G., Krauthamer, M., & Bjalme-Evans, M. (2021). Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. Journal of Investigative Medicine, jim-2021-001952. https://doi.org/10.1136/jim-2021-001952