Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Weight Gain – This is very useful information. I have often wondered who 80:20 is good for and who 50:50 is good for.

One thing that still confuses me is the weight gain component of estrogen. You said that estrogen (as well as menopause in general) can be the cause of weight gain. I can relate. I have been very thin all my life, now 53 years old and about 30 pounds overweight. But you also said that she could benefit from balancing estrogen and that she wasn’t using enough.

Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Weight Gain

Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Weight Gain

If a very low dose caused her to gain weight, won’t an increased dose cause more weight gain? I’ve listened to other podcasts and read articles that during menopause we gain weight because our estrogen drops. Estrogen appears to be responsible for weight gain, whether high or low. Can you help clarify? There’s something I’m not understanding. Thanks! Tracy

Body Fat Hormone Guide: What Your Body Fat Is Telling You

Often, estrogen has been the scapegoat for weight gain. I’m sure you’ve heard that many things cause weight gain. Too little can pile on the pounds. It can be very confusing. So what it is? Is excess estrogen causing my pants to feel uncomfortably tight? Or was it the lack of estrogen that gave me the gut I never had?

Well, it’s not that simple. Estrogen levels influence weight gain and loss. But it is not the only variable. In fact, it is the combination of estrogen balance with other hormones in the body. To name a few key players, progesterone, insulin and cortisol, as well as enzymes, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). Okay, I know this seems vague and doesn’t answer the question. Let’s step back a bit and see what women are saying about estrogen.

Once menopause hits, women complain that they instantly become 15-30 pounds heavier. Not because of diet or lifestyle. It’s like menopause adds 15-30 unwanted pounds overnight. So some women are on hormone replacement therapy, taking estrogen, and are horrified because HRT made them gain 10 pounds in a month. So what is it? Did the lack of estrogen during menopause cause that 20-pound weight gain? Or did that hormone replacement estrogen create rolls that never were? Well, actually, both are true. Before you throw away your jeans in favor of high-waisted yoga pants, let’s learn about the other players in weight gain.

Progesterone will buffer estrogen. Estrogen likes to make things grow.” This is why breasts and hips grow during puberty. Progesterone helps balance some of the growth that estrogen can cause. This is why in perimenopause, when progesterone drops and estrogen is in charge, weight gain begins. This is also why when a woman starts estrogen therapy for menopause but doesn’t have enough progesterone, weight gain occurs.

Balancing Hormones With Functional Medicine

Cortisol and insulin are one of the biggest players in weight gain. In fact, insulin is the only hormone that causes fat storage. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar. If you drink apple juice, your blood sugar (glucose) will rise. And in response, the pancreas will release insulin to unlock the cell door and allow glucose to enter. If you don’t burn this glucose, it will be stored as fat. I know this is a simple description; otherwise we might stay here for a while.

High cortisol levels will cause the body to release glucose from muscle stores. In the wild, a vicious predator will attack me, causing a tremendous release of cortisol and adrenaline. This release of cortisol and adrenaline will cause my muscles to release glycogen (stored sugar), and then I will be able to lift my hands or run like the wind. Hence the familiar term, fight or flight.”

Our society has a different kind of wild nature. There are no life-threatening creatures to tear me limb from limb. But there are certainly stressors that seem as imminent as a bloodthirsty Orc. Lots of commitments, family drama, work emails, bills, news, politics, health issues, you get the idea. All of these stressors can cause a rise in cortisol. Consequently, an increase in insulin and subsequently an additional centimeter in the intestine.

Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Weight Gain

You may be wondering: I thought we were talking about estrogen? What do cortisol and insulin have to do with estrogen causing weight gain?

Why Hormonal Imbalance Can Make Weight Loss Difficult

Lipo Protein Lipase (LPL) is an enzyme that causes fat storage. Estrogen will turn off the LPL enzyme. This means that estrogen can inhibit LPL and therefore does not cause fat storage. Cortisol will activate the LPL enzyme. Which means cortisol will cause fat storage through LPL. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, decrease and are non-existent. So LPL is activated more easily because there is no estrogen to inhibit it. And there’s plenty of cortisol to activate it.

Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is also an enzyme that can activate fat burning. For weight loss, we want to activate HSL. Insulin is released directly into the HSL. Insulin will turn off HSL causing a decrease in fat burning. Lack of insulin will activate HSL, promoting fat burning.

So ideally you want to have estrogen to turn off LPL and counter the effects of cortisol. You also want enough progesterone to balance the estrogen. And containing cortisol through sufficient estrogen will inhibit insulin (unless needed for digestion) from keeping HSL activated for fat burning.

Discover the common and unknown symptoms you may be experiencing. Get access to cases of real women with hormonal problems.

Signs Of Estrogen Dominance (+ Causes And Risks)

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Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Weight Gain

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How To Balance Your Hormones With Exercise

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