Women are more prone to severe obesity as compared to men because of the relation between female sex hormones and obesity. Researchers have also found that the risk of obesity-linked diseases is more in women. The exact mechanism is not known however the role of ovarian hormones is indicated in various studies worldwide. Hence, we will be learning in this write-up all about the link between female hormones and obesity.
Various processes in our body are regulated by the chemical messengers known as hormones. There are various types of hormones in the body that indulge in various processes which are going on in the body like the metabolism. Similarly in various studies, it is found that ovarian hormones in women influence a lot of one’s metabolism, appetite, and distribution of fat in the body. As we know all these three factors are the main contributing factors in obesity when it gets disturbed. When the hormonal imbalance occurs in the body due to various reasons all these things get altered resulting in increased appetite, wrong fat distribution, and slow metabolism leading to obesity. Obesity is mainly caused due to the lost balance between eating and expenditure of energy produced from that food.
In females, sex hormones get fluctuated in various stages of life like monthly during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and at the menopause stage. Specifically, the estrogen hormone is known to have a leading role in the causation of obesity. Women affected by obesity have an increased risk to develop infertility, diabetes, heart diseases, and breast cancer. Throughout the life of a woman, these reproductive hormones go on fluctuating making them prone to have excessive weight gain. During the menstrual cycle, the 24-hour energy expenditure system is altered affecting calories and macronutrient intake.
Weight gain after menopause is very evident in almost every woman, however, some of them develop obesity. It is due to the depletion of estrogen hormone levels after menopause. Estrogen plays a major role in the eating and energy expenditure system. Receptors of estrogen are located in the hypothalamus which acts to control the intake of food, proper fat distribution and maintain healthy energy expenditure. But after menopause when estrogen level falls, these receptors also begin to destroy resulting in increased appetite, bad fat distribution and altered energy expenditure cycle. This results in obesity which is further linked to various diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. It is so because when estrogen levels fall down, gradually weight is gained and tolerance glucose becomes impaired resulting in diabetes. Due to the accumulation of fat in obesity specifically in the abdominal area increase chances of cardiovascular diseases and insulin resistance.
Pregnancy is the other most important milestone in a women life where the female sex hormones are greatly fluctuated and hence can result in various ailments sometimes. Being obese and overweight after pregnancy is the most common obstetric condition. Not all the women who get pregnant are tend to become obese but specially those who are already overweight or have family history of it. All this occurs because just after the delivery of the child, levels of estrogen fall and remain low until one is breastfeeding the child. This again explains the role of estrogen in increased appetite, slow metabolism, altered eating-energy expenditure phenomenon and abnormal distribution of fat. When estrogen levels drop along with obesity a female can also notice the certain signs and symptoms like decreased libido, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, anxiety or depression. After childbirth obesity is also linked to health ailments like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc.
All these mentioned circumstances can lead to obesity which brings other medical ailments along with it. There is hormone replacement therapy for this condition but weight gain can occur due to excess of estrogen as well. So why not manage them to a certain level at home? Yes you can do that! Now we will be discussing some tips that can help you keep estrogen in balance and prevent weight gain and obesity.
- Follow a fiber rich diet. Not only fiber promotes weight loss in general but also it helps in decreasing the level of estrogen. Fiber increases the fecal excretion of the estrogen and hence prevents weight gain.
- Taking a good amount of cruciferous vegetables helps in maintaining a balance of estrogen levels. Intake of these veggies helps to detoxify the body of excess estrogen and prevent hormonal issues and obesity.
- Flax seeds have also proved to be beneficial in preventing the action of excessive estrogen in the body. Lignans are the special property of flax seeds which help in binding the excessive estrogen and prevent weight gain.
- Regular exercise is a must for everyone. It helps in normalizing the level of estrogen in the body. Also everyone is aware of the weight control benefits of proper exercises. Exercising regularly helps in burning the excessive fat and also prevents its storage at abnormal areas.
- Take a good amount of protein in your diet as it is very important to maintain health of bones, muscles and skin. Protein plays a vital role in the regulation of the hormones which control appetite and intake of food. Hence take protein in your every meal.
- For anyone who wants to save oneself from being overweight or obese should quit refined carbs and sugar at first place. Minimizing or completely avoiding sugar and refined carbs help in maintaining a hormonal balance and prevent obesity.
- Stress is also a contributing factor when it comes to imbalance of hormones and obesity. Being stressed increases the cortisol hormone which leads to high calorie intake and eventually obesity.
- Maintain a healthy eating pattern and avoid eating too much or too little as it results in hormonal imbalance. Other than estrogen, insulin sensitivity is reduced in the body due to it causing one to become insulin resistant and overweight.
Female hormones plays a vital role in their life be it the reproductive phase or postmenopausal phase. Estrogen is the most important ovarian hormone when it comes to metabolism and body weight control. Hence it is a must to take care of it. It is normal to have fluctuation of estrogen during various phases like puberty, pregnancy and menopause but following few tips given above can help you becoming overweight or obese.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.