Hormones, those substances that control almost every aspect of your health. From sexual desire to growth, digestion, mood, and sleep, your hormones are responsible for the regulation of your metabolism. That is why hormonal imbalances (that is, having too much or too little of a certain hormone) can have catastrophic effects on your health, making you feel bloated, less happy, tired, with low libido, and so on.
And you may be wondering, can hormonal imbalance cause weight gain? The answer is yes. When your hormones are not in sync, you may start gaining extra kilos even if you have not changed anything regarding your diet or your exercising routine. So, if you want to restore hormone health and look and feel your best, keep on reading and discover how hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain (and how to stop it).
Unfortunately, hormone imbalances can cause weight gain in a myriad of ways. For example, low testosterone levels in men is associated with increased body fat (1), while abnormalities with leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full after eating) can cause excessive eating and, of course, weight gain (2). Something similar happens to people who have high levels of asprosin, a hormone that makes you feel hungry (3).
Women are also susceptible of weight gain due to hormone imbalances, especially during menopause. During this stage of life, there’s a sharp drop in estrogen levels, which is associated with metabolic dysfunction (4). Other medical conditions, like polycystic ovarian syndrome or diabetes can also disrupt the natural balance of your hormones and modify your body weight (5). Pregnancy, taking certain medications, undergoing a lot of stress, and many other factors can also influence your hormone levels and, as a result, your weight.
Certain hormones, in particular, can make you gain weight because they affect the way your body stores and breaks down fat and spends energy. For example, some hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for the regulation of your metabolism. Hyperthyroidism, on the one hand, refers to an excess of thyroid hormone that makes your body burn more calories than it should, among other effects (6). Meanwhile, hypothyroidism refers to a low production of thyroid hormone that results in less energy available (7).
Cortisol, the hormone that regulates how your body responds to stress, can also lead to weight gain, as it can increase appetite (particularly for sugar-rich foods!) during stressful times (8).
And let’s not forget about insulin! Whenever you eat something, your body needs insulin to use glucose as a source of energy at a cellular level. Plus, it’s useful when storing this energy as fat and maintaining body weight (9). If insulin levels are not within a standard range, this can lead to insulin resistance (that is, your cells won’t be able to respond to insulin as they should). This is when your metabolism may become altered, with organs like your liver taking excessive fat (10).
Not sure if your weight gain is caused by a hormonal imbalance? Sometimes, it can be hard to know on your own what are the causes behind your weight gain. The best way to find out is, of course, to consult with your doctor so they can run all the necessary tests to diagnose your illness, if any, and look for an appropriate treatment. Meanwhile, take a look at the following symptoms that can signal that your weight gain is due to a hormonal imbalance.
- Irregular Periods: If you experience heavy periods, you miss more than one, or they become infrequent, this may be a signal you have a hormonal imbalance.
- Acne: chronic acne, especially in adults, can be a sign of low estrogen and progesterone and may also indicate PCOS.
- Low libido: this is particularly common during menopause, again because estrogen and testosterone levels drop, but it can happen in other stages in life due to hormonal imbalances.
- Mood swings: when your levels of estrogen are not balanced, this can have an effect not only on your sex life but also in your moods, as it can affect the neutrotransmitters in your brain that involve serotonin (a chemical that makes you feel happier).
- Poor sleep: falling estrogen levels can also affect the quality of your sleep, together with annoying night sweats that may wake you up at night.
- Vaginal Dryness: finally, vaginal dryness can also signal hormonal imbalances, due to menopause, taking contraceptive pills, antidepressants, and many other factors.
Tired of gaining weight even when you haven’t modified your diet or exercise routine? There are several measures you can take to stop hormonal weight gain, namely:
- Don’t overeat, especially when it comes to sugar and processed carbs. This can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and inflammation (11).
- Commit to a regular exercise routine to promote better sleep (and do away with extra kilos, if any!). It will also help if you suffer from estrogen imbalance (12).
- Try to relax and rest, engaging in activities that make you feel good to reduce your cortisol levels. Yoga and meditation, for example, will help you focus on yourself and calm down while working out. Listening to music can also reduce your cortisol and help you feel happier (13).
- If your doctor discovers you suffer from estrogen dominance, reduce your exposure to estrogen through your diet. For example, eat organic produce, increase your intake of leafy greens like broccoli or cabbage, choose phthalate-free cosmetics, and avoid water bottles made with BPA.
- Take a natural supplement, like our Hormone Harmony, to regain your health and feel like your oldest self. Our supplement is made of 100% natural ingredients, clinically dosed to support healthy hormone balance in women of all ages. In the words of our clients:
Yes, this is possible. Birth control pills with progestin may stimulate your appetite, for example, making you gain some weight. On the other hand, estrogen can cause you to retain fluids and make you feel as if you gained extra kgs.
Yes, it is common to weight gain after a miscarriage, as the body undergoes several, deep hormone fluctuations that can impact a woman’s metabolism. A lack of exercise, stress, and depression can also be triggering factors that lead to weight gain.
All in all, our hormones control our hunger, sleep, metabolism, fat distribution, and many other crucial processes in our bodies. If our hormonal balance is disrupted, then, everything else in our lives can be affected, particularly our weight.
Ovarian cysts, thyroid problems, menopause, and many other things can cause hormonal imbalance and subsequent extra kilos. So, if you are experiencing unexplained weight gain, without changing your diet or exercising routine, you should consult with a specialist to find out the causes and look for suitable treatment.
Meanwhile, you can start feeling better by modifying your diet, managing stress, relaxing to get better sleep, trying to exercise regularly, and taking health supplements to promote natural hormonal regulation. If you are not sure what’s the best option for you, you can always assess your symptoms and needs with our Free Health Assessment Quiz.