Estrogen hormone is vital to women's health, but levels that are too low or too high can negatively affect other aspects of total health. Doctors have discovered a correlation between estrogen and weight, especially among women who enter menopause. Their findings may be equally important for all women who want to lose weight.
The Basics of Estrogen
Estrogen is a hormone that affects the development and health of the female reproductive system, as well as breast tissue. The ovaries produce more estrogen in the body between the stages of puberty and menopause. The main function of this hormone is to stimulate ovulation. Men also have small amounts of estrogen in their bodies, although doctors do not have a clear understanding of the function of the hormone in them. This article will focus mainly on the issue of weight loss and estrogen in women.
Changes over time
As women enter menopause or perimenopause (a stage before complete menopause), their ovaries produce less estrogen. This decrease in hormones is responsible for many common symptoms of this stage and the reason why for many years physicians have routinely prescribed a replacement for this hormone for menopausal women.
Estrogen and weight gain
Many doctors believe that estrogen contributes to weight gain among women during and after menopause. Some studies suggest that during this stage the body reacts to the loss of estrogen from the ovaries, trying to produce more estrogen in the fat cells. To produce estrogen, the cells have to store more fat. The desire of cells to store fat causes metabolic changes that lead to weight gain. Therefore, a postmenopausal woman can gain weight even if her diet and exercise levels remain the same as they were before menopause.
Estrogen and weight loss
Because of the correlation between fat cells and estrogen, studies show that people who are overweight tend to have higher than normal levels of estrogen. Also, people who are extremely thin, such as anorexia patients, have levels that are too low. And it shows that, on the contrary, when an obese woman loses weight, her estrogen levels will generally drop.
Based on recent clinical studies, many doctors believe that most patients who lose weight will experience a decrease in estrogen levels. As the diet plan and weight loss become reasonable, however, the amount of loss of this hormone should not be of concern.However, doctors recommend that women who are preparing to start a weight loss diet plan have a physical exam that includes full hormone level tests. Any non-menopausal patient who experiences estrogen symptoms while on a diet should consult their doctor. These symptoms can include fatigue, night sweats, suffocation, memory problems, lack of concentration, joint pain, vaginal dryness, dry skin or loss of sexual desire.