It can be hard to know if any weight gain is hormonal, fluid, or actually stored fat, so lets see if we can bring some clarity!
We ladies can be a bit overly sensitive about our weight, and any fluctuation can really impact on our confidence.
So let’s break it down a bit so you can understand what is normal weight fluctuation, and what are the signs of an hormonal imbalance.
There are many different types of tissue changes that will put weight on the scales, but only some of these are natural.
1. Estrogen. In our reproductive years we have higher levels of estrogen in our body. Estrogen levels rise and fall twice during the menstrual cycle; rising during the mid-follicular phase and then dropping precipitously after ovulation. This is followed by a secondary rise in estrogen levels during the mid-luteal phase with a decrease at the end of the menstrual cycle. That’s a lot of up and down! (No wonder it’s such journey for us!)
Weight gain is normal in these times, but if the gain coincides with the following symptoms, then there is hormonal imbalance:
- Swelling and tenderness in the breasts.
- Fibrocystic lumps in your breasts.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Irregular menstrual periods.
- Increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Mood swings.
2. Inflammation. Low grade chronic inflammation will also cause weight gain as more water is held in the tissues as a response. Inflammation is ‘hot’ and our body tries to counter that by adding water. A good way to check if this is what you’re feeling is to look at how your skin is reacting; it’s similar to a full, smooth water bottle.
Common drivers of chronic low grade inflammation include:
- Food intolerances.
- Auto-immune diseases.
- Untreated causes of acute inflammation, such as an infection or injury.
- Toxin exposure, such as heavy metal accumulation in the tissues.
3. Elevated body fat %. General brown fat – or adipose tissue – feels different to the touch. There may be cellulite or stretch marks in this area.
It is normal and healthy for our body fat % to increase with age, so it is unrealistic and unhealthy to try and be the same size at 50 as you were at 20! In menopause, our body fat helps keep our bones strong through the enzyme aromatase that transforms testosterone into estradiol.
However, too much fat is not healthy, as it puts an extra burden on our organs and joints, and can lead to premature death.
Sneaky Estrogens That You Need To Know About
Hands down, the first thing I tell all my estrogen dominant ladies (and there’s been a few men too) is “Get rid of your Sodium Lauryl Sulphates!”
… to which I usually get a perplexed look.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphates have a few other names, and is an ingredient in many body and cleaning products because it makes things bubbly. And it is CHEAP for manufacturers to buy.
It is a xenoestrogen – meaning it has a similar chemical structure as estrogen, and to our body it looks the same. They are one of many chemicals that are classed as endocrine disruptors
Pop into your bathroom and have look at the ingredient list on your personal products. You might be shocked! It even gets put in to some brands of toothpaste!
The moral of this story is to get savvy with your purchases and learn to identify nasty chemicals that are wreaking havoc on your hormones!
- Nail polish and sunscreen are common sources of xenoestrogens, including phthalates, benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA.
- Body lotions, toothpastes, soaps, gels, hairsprays, and more may contain xenoestrogens in the form of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, and other compounds.
- Plastics, especially soft plastics, contain many compounds that are considered to be xenoestrogens. Phthalates, a type of plasticiser used to make plastics soft and flexible, are an especially common offender. These compounds can leach out or volatise over time or in response to heat or other stimuli. Phthalates are used in many daily-use products from food storage containers to children’s toys. Take away coffee cups and the lining inside tinned goods are other common sources!
Check your HORMONES!
Lets see if you could have estrogen excess.
- swelling and tenderness in your breasts
- fibrocystic lumps in your breasts
- decreased sex drive
- irregular menstrual periods
- increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- mood swings
- anxiety and panic attacks
- weight gain
- hair loss
- cold hands or feet
- trouble sleeping
- sleepiness or fatigue
- memory problems
Many of these symptoms could also relate to low thyroid function and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. So, how do we figure it out?
To truly get to the root cause of hormonal imbalance, we need to run some in-depth and sensitive testing.
Standard tests done through Medicare are designed to support the diagnosis of disease states. They often won’t pick up changes before this state, which is right when we really need to be looking to get you feeling amazing again!
Therefore we do our own range of functional tests. Many of the tests we need aren’t even on the medicare screening system. This includes 3-point salivary cortisol testing, heavy metal and mineral scanning, reverse T3, Iodine loading test, 5MTHF to assess methylation, and food intolerance testing. Our packages are designed to give you ANSWERS.
Uncovering the New YOU
Our treatment approaches vary depending on your test results, giving you the best possible care and outcome. Our goal is to have you feeling great again by addressing the root cause behind your hormonal imbalance.
We use safe and effective strategies to bring the body back to balance, coupled with diet modification and lifestyle advice.
Testimonial from one of our clients.
“The Lucy Rose Hobart Clinic has changed my life. I was feeling sick, old, tired, frumpy and unusually overweight. After thorough testing and a dedicated treatment plan I have lost all the weight, my energy is up and I feel 20 years younger.”
If you are dealing with hormone imbalance,you could be livinghalf your life insilent suffering. Coping is not the same as living!
There could be natural and gentle ways to correct your hormonal imbalances, avoiding the need for drugs or surgery.
Ask us how, we would love to help you get your balance back! CLICK HERE to book your next step