Are your hormones causing weight gain?

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 2 August 2016

bathroomscale.mentalhealthWhere you distribute your body fat is determined by the hormones we have and whether or not they are in balance.

Ever see someone who has skinny arms, skinny legs, but a large abdomen of fat? It is called a beer belly for a reason. Beer bellies are a manifestation of insulin resistance Insulin resistance occurs when carbohydrates, particularly, carbohydrates with calories but not a lot of nutrients, like beer, are consumed over and over again. People who have the classic apple body appearance tend to do well on a weight loss program that focuses on blood sugar and insulin balance.

What about women who have a lot of “junk in the trunk”? This is a classic estrogen dominance manifestation. This means the liver is not metabolizing estrogen properly and it is causing estrogen toxicity in the body and subsequently a progesterone deficiency. Most of the estrogen the liver has to metabolize however is not the estrogen made by the ovaries, it is the "xenoestrogens” or chemical estrogens we are exposed to in our environment every day. People who have the classic pear body appearance tend to do well on a weight loss program that focuses on hormone balancing and detoxification.

Other areas of fat distribution include under the armpit (thyroid weakness), “love handles” (insulin resistance), and “back fat” (carbohydrate intolerance).

To find out what imbalances may be affecting your ability to lose weight consider doing some of the following tests with your naturopathic doctor:

  • Hemoglobin A1c, reactive insulin - markers for insulin resistance
  • Complete thyroid panel - markers for thyroid imbalance
  • Urinary hormone metabolite panel - markers for estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency, hormone detoxification, and cortisol imbalance

Now I would love to hear from you! Have you ever thought about your hormones as being part of the problem with your weight gain? What body type do you have and what is one thing you can do to start addressing your hormone imbalance? Leave your comments below and I will be back next week with another Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

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