Here’s how high estrogen levels lead to weight gain

Good health is all about hormonal balance. But there are certain times when this equilibrium gets disturbed. Here’s what you need to know!

Did you know that Your weight is directly linked to your hormones? Yes ladies, it’s true! Hormonal imbalance can be a result of various factors such as puberty, pregnancy, or certain medications, which can trigger a range of changes in a woman’s body. It could sometimes cause weight gain, and at other times, weight loss. The reason behind these fluctuations is — tada, estrogen!

This hormone is responsible for female physical features as well as reproduction. That’s why any change in estrogen levels causes a change in weight, and other related problems.

Here’s exactly how estrogen affects your weight

In males, estrogen is important for sexual functioning. But in females, estrogen plays a critical role in the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. And guess what? High levels of estrogen can impact your overall health, including weight and sexual development, and function.

According to Dr Astha Dayal, consultant gynecologist and obstetrics at Meddo, “Estrogen is the female hormone produced by the ovaries. It promotes the storage of fat during reproductive age, and an optimal amount of estrogen helps in healthy functioning of reproductive organs. A low or high level of estrogen can cause weight gain.”

estrogen and weight gain
Gaining weight might have consequences for your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, overproduction of estrogen by the ovaries or eating estrogen-rich foods can cause high estrogen levels. The high levels of estrogen in the body stresses the cells that produce insulin. This makes your body insulin-resistant and leads to high glucose levels, which in turn, causes weight gain.

Well ladies, estrogen imbalance can lead to major problems. That’s why it is important to identify the problem immediately.

But how can you do it?

It’s simple! You have to be a little vigilant about the signs and symptoms that indicate your estrogen levels are out of balance.

  1. If you observe no evident change in your diet, exercise, or sleep patterns, and yet, you are gaining weight, it could be a sign of a spike in estrogen levels.
  2. Irregular or abnormal periods, spotting, heavy continuous flow are sure shot signs of hormonal imbalance, says Dr Dayal.
  3. Too much estrogen does not only cause mood changes, but also exacerbates anxiety levels.
  4. Decreased sex drive is also one of the signs of high estrogen levels.
  5. Estrogen imbalance also has an impact on your gut. It wreaks havoc on the digestive process, which can result in constipation or bloating.
  6. Due to the high estrogen levels, your breasts can feel tender, swollen, experience fibrocystic changes, or increased glandularity, says Dr Dayal.
  7. It can often lead to sleeplessness. When estrogen is in excess, it tends to overpower the functioning of progesterone, due to which you deal with sleep issues like insomnia.
estrogen and weight gain
Estrogen can be your best bud, but also your biggest foe. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are certain tips to manage your weight, advises Dr. Dayal:
  1. You should first calculate your BMI and caloric requirements, according to your activity levels. Keeping a journal to note what you’ve eaten all day can help you understand where you are going wrong.
  2. Avoid high glycemic index carbohydrates, fats, and junk food.
  3. Include more complex carbs, protein, fruits, and vegetables in the diet.
  4. Increase your activity levels.
  5. Check with your doctor for thyroid, sugar, cholesterol and rule out any medical conditions, which could be affecting your weight.

So ladies, follow these tips and manage your weight!

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