Can you lose weight with hormonal imbalance?
Hormone imbalance as the name implies refers to an irregularity in the production and distribution of hormones in the body. The imbalance could be as a result of an excess or surplus of the hormone or a deficit. The worst attribute of hormonal imbalance is that it is hardly ever detectable at first. Some symptoms that might alert you to the presence of hormone imbalance are;
- weight gain
- absent ovulation
- irregular or absent menstruation
- belly fat
- fluid retention
- poor/slow metabolism
- high BMI
- hair loss or thinning
- increased cravings (especially sugar cravings)
- difficulty in weight loss
- heart palpitations
Can there be weightloss with hormonal imbalance?
Hormones play a crucial role in the body but when there isn’t balance they tend to become troublesome. A lot of health problems could arise as a result of hormone imbalance ranging from cancer, heart failure, and obesity, to fatigue. Here are some hormone imbalance problems you should be worried about;
- High Cortisol (stress hormone)
Cortisol is a steroid hormone made by the adrenal glands. It helps the body use sugar and fat for glucose and energy (metabolism). Cortisol is also known for its role in managing stress. It is released in response to stress and low blood sugar concentration.
High Cortisol consistently produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Symptoms of high cortisol levels include; depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, weight gain, insomnia, High Blood Pressure, headache, anxiety, and muscle loss.
- High leptin (satiety hormone)
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the body’s fat cells which helps to regulate energy balance by curbing appetite. Leptin sends a message to the brain indicating that the body is full. This naturally has nothing to do with weight gain until leptin levels are higher than they should be.
As leptin levels increase, they begin to have a counter effect on the body sending a ‘starvation’ signal to the brain while your body might actually be full.
- Estrogen and testosterone imbalance (sex hormones)
High estrogen leads to weight gain. In women, its symptoms could be fluid retention, fibroids, heavy menstrual bleeding, and breast tenderness. In men, the symptoms may be round belly (beer belly), loss of body hair, and ‘man boobs’.
On the other hand, low testosterone in men could lead to muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, low sex drive, and sexual dysfunction.
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone)
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body goes through an underproduction of hormones in the thyroid gland. Symptoms include; depression, constipation, fatigue, and weight gain.
A lot of people battling with hormonal imbalance are not aware of the actual problem. They simply know that they are having difficulty losing weight despite following rigorous weight loss procedures. Each hormonal imbalance requires its own treatment and as such the opinion of a doctor or specialist in this regard, should be sought.
The first step would be to take a test and figure out what exactly you are dealing with. In some cases like the case of hypothyroidism, you might need severe treatment like surgery. In other cases it might just be a simple change in diet. Below are some changes that could help balance your hormones.
Eat a hormone balancing diet
There are meal plans or diet specifically designed for hormone control. Have your doctor or nutritionist veto it before you continue.
Irrespective of the hormone, you can’t go wrong with fiber. It helps build your muscles and kicks off your metabolism. This quality is great for weight loss. Increase fiber in your meals.
Detoxify your body regularly
It is good to detoxify your body from time to time; that way your body can get rid of some of the unwanted stuff that it has packed (especially liquid).
Stay away from alcohol
The need to keep off alcohol cannot be over emphasized. Every other diet plan hammers on the need to keep off alcohol. It doesn’t just cause weight gain but can also trigger other health ailments.
This is compulsory for speedy weight loss. Learn to put your body to work from time to time. It is ideal to exercise at least 45 minutes to 1 hour three to four times a week.
Put in more ‘sleep’ hours. Sleep helps the body to relax and recharge, if you are losing hours of sleep, you’re probably piling up in the weight department. Weight gain is the way the body compensates for loss of sleep.
Stress is a major trigger of weight gain so try as much as possible to relax. Stop stressing. Engage in activities that could de-stress the body.
Remember that it is paramount to get tested and to get the opinion of your doctor, a specialist, or a nutritionist to know how best to go about you case.