For both men and women, hormone changes can bring on a host of unwanted symptoms and make it much harder to lose weight. For men, the key regulating sex hormone is testosterone; for women, estrogen and progesterone are most important. From the time we enter our 30s, our bodies begin to ramp down production of these key hormones, but at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, we can offer hormone replacement therapy to help you get back your youthful vigor. We can even combine it with weight loss evaluations, supplements, and nutraceuticals so you feel like yourself again.
The Place of Hormones
Our genes determine a lot about us, but our hormones also serve to make each of us unique. All humans share the same hormones, but certain sex and metabolic hormones do more to control male development while others have a stronger influence over female development. When these hormones go out of balance, we don’t feel like ourselves anymore.
Hormones as Bodily Regulators
One of the key functions of hormones for females and males is to send instructions to our cells. These instructions tell certain cells to develop and other cells to die. They may tell a cell to grow quickly or to slow down development. They also send signals telling the brain we’re hungry or full.
Hormones are responsible for all the sex changes we see in puberty, but they continue to be key throughout our lives in everything from weight gain, to the health of our immune system, to our mood.
Female hormones regulate the menstrual cycle as well as mood, weight gain or loss, body shape, bone strength, skin health, hair and nail strength, and a host of other issues including healthy sexual function. Male hormones also control weight gain or loss, regulate the production of body hair and body shape, control red blood cell health, determine mood, and contribute to healthy sexual function.
When Levels Drop in Women
For women, the problem often starts when estrogen levels start to plummet around menopause. Yet the actual problem is too much estrogen, telling our bodies to hold on to fat. How can that be? The answer lies in another hormone, progesterone.
Progesterone is a balancing hormone, and around the time of menopause, levels of progesterone start to drop even faster than estrogen. This leads to estrogen dominance and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of extra weight. Hormone fluctuations can also lead to hair loss, hot flashes, decreased energy, loss of bone density, irritability, and insomnia in women.
When Levels Drop in Men
In men, testosterone levels also start to drop with age. A man with levels of 300 ng/dL or less is considered to have “low-T,” which causes a loss of sex drive, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, depression, reduced semen, hair loss, reduced bone mass, and weight gain.
If estrogen levels are too high, this weight gain could include changes most men don’t want to see, like gynecomastia. And though hot flashes are considered a woman’s hormonal problem, hormonal imbalance in men can also lead to hot flashes, loss of bone density, irritability, and insomnia.
Environmental Concerns for Everyone
Estrogen tells our bodies to hold on to fat, and estrogen dominance in either sex can contribute to weight gain. This is unfortunate, since we live in a world inundated with estrogen-like chemicals known as endocrine disruptors.
Tofu and Soy
With vegan diets more popular than ever, people are eating more tofu and other soy products: and soy is full of estrogen. Ancient Chinese soybean products were made through a slow process of fermentation similar to the way sauerkraut or pickles are produced. Modern soybean products and tofu are mass-produced and can easily contribute to high estrogen levels among those who eat them regularly.
In our environment, endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be found in the food we eat, from pesticides on produce to fish pulled from polluted waters and even in our tap water. Endocrine disruptors mimic hormones and:
- Increase production of some hormones while decreasing production of others
- Interfere with hormone signaling
- Compete with essential nutrients for uptake through the digestive system
- Accumulate in hormone-producing organs
- Tell cells to die before they should
- Convert some hormones into others after production
Diet and Exercise
In men, testosterone levels rise after exercise, and while this rise isn’t enough to correct a serious deficiency, it may be enough to balance someone whose levels are right on the border of normal and low. For women, moderate exercise boosts healthy levels of all hormones in a similar way; yet excessive exercise, especially if combined with very low caloric intake, can cause a dangerous estrogen deficiency.
Diet is key for both sexes as well. Healthy fats are crucial for the natural production of hormones, and while it’s important not to eat too much or to eat unhealthy trans-fats, a severely low-fat diet can have negative consequences. It’s also important to avoid too many insulin-producing foods, like sugars and refined carbohydrates.
From the natural effects of aging to our diet and the toxins in our environment, there are a lot of things that can contribute to imbalanced hormones.
Hormones and Weight Loss
Properly balanced hormones make it easier for us to regulate our weight. As if it were not enough that an imbalance of estrogen signals our bodies to retain weight, the other side effects of hormonal changes can make this bad situation even worse.
Few things inspire binge eating like a bout of depression, a struggle with extreme fatigue, or feelings of tension and worry. All of these are side effects of hormonal changes and are another roadblock on the path to weight loss.
The body needs sleep and food to keep up normal energy levels. When you consistently deny the body one, it will begin to insistently demand the other. When you’re not sleeping well, your body craves more energy to keep going, making it harder to say no to food.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy relieves the symptoms of hormonal imbalance by replacing the missing hormones. For men, this is normally done through testosterone replacement. For women, it may be estrogen, progesterone, or both. Both men and women can enhance the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy by the use of key nutraceuticals, like Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamin D, and more.
Are You a Candidate for Therapy?
As we age, we experience many unwanted “side effects.” While a hormone imbalance can happen at any age, it is more likely the older we get. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you could have a hormone imbalance:
- You diet and exercise but can’t lose any weight
- You experience frequent mood swings
- You feel depressed and can’t identify a trigger
- Your sex drive is down
- Your hair is thinning
- You have trouble sleeping
When symptoms like these start to make life difficult, it’s time to consider hormone replacement therapy. The best way to know if hormone therapy is for you is to talk with a qualified medical professional to assess your unique situation.
The professionals at our clinic will help you take the next steps to find out if you’re a candidate. You might be a candidate for hormone replacement if:
You Test Low in a Hormone
It’s important to get the proper testing to make sure of what you need. There are a range of healthy levels for both women and men, and only a medical professional with the proper lab tests can help you understand where you fall.
You Are Genuinely Stuck in Weight Loss
Not all weight loss issues are hormonal, and it’s important not to assume without evidence. But if your tests indicate you may have a hormone imbalance, and you’re stuck in your weight loss despite all your best efforts, it might be time to try a combination weight loss program and hormone replacement treatment.
Who Is Not a Candidate?
If you are a woman with a history of estrogen-positive breast cancer, hormone replacement may not be a good idea. For women with a family history of breast cancer, but no personal history, there are pros and cons to be discussed during a consultation.
For men, there was once a concern that testosterone replacement led to an increased risk of prostate cancer, but that link has since been disproved. If you have an active case of prostate cancer, however, it would be wise to discuss the choice with your doctor as well as with a hormone replacement professional at our clinic.
What to Expect at Our Clinic
At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center, we’re committed to helping you find the best possible weight loss program for your needs. Hormone replacement therapy can be a key part of your success. Alternately, you may be at a healthy weight but still suffering from the effects of hormone imbalance and seeking relief. Either way, we can help.
Every person is unique, so your journey begins when we help you evaluate where you currently stand. We’ll work to understand your overall physical health, your history of diet and exercise, your family history, and how any medications you’re taking could be affecting you.
If you have symptoms of a hormone imbalance, our labs and tests can determine what you need. If weight loss is your goal, we’ll combine hormone replacement with a weight loss program to help you achieve the results you deserve.
Choices for Men
One form of testosterone replacement is an injection that can be had on a weekly or biweekly basis. This injection takes just a moment and involves no special preparation or downtime.
Testosterone Pellet Therapy
One of the most effective testosterone delivery methods is via pellets. Tiny pellets are painlessly inserted under the skin for fast, consistent dosage of replacement hormones. This is a safe and efficient way to get the hormones you need.
Choices for Women
Estrogen Pellet Therapy
Estrogen can also be delivered by pellet, and this method offers the same advantages to women as it does to men. A new pellet should be reinserted every four months
Progesterone is a key hormone in weight loss for women who have low progesterone because of aging. Progesterone also drops during pregnancy, which can lead to complications. Injections are a simple way to bring progesterone back up to a safe level no matter your age or condition.
Get Back to Being You
If you’re bothered by the aggravating symptoms of hormone changes, you’re not alone. You don’t have to put up with an unsatisfying sex life, depression, or weight gain you can’t seem to get under control. Reach out to us at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX today and get started getting back to being you.