Gaining weight is a common occurrence for most people. But what people don’t realize is that weight gain can be directly related to hormone levels. One important female hormone is estrogen, and people may wonder if taking the hormone estrogen can cause weight gain. The short answer is no, it doesn’t, and here’s why.
Before we look specifically at estrogen and weight gain, we need to focus on what this magic hormone is and its importance in health, particularly women’s health. Women have a lot of hormones circulating, and each one has an impact on different bodily processes.
But estrogen is considered one of two primary female sex hormones. The other one is progesterone. As a result, estrogen regulates fertility levels, menstrual cycle, sustaining a healthy pregnancy, and bone health.
It’s produced primarily in the ovaries in response to a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. The production helps generate an egg in the ovaries for fertilization. The body picks up estrogen production for the development of the egg and helps release it during the most optimal time. Progesterone also plays a vital role in this process. In essence, progesterone and estrogen are each other’s yin and yang.
So, now that we know what estrogen is and its importance in the body, let’s look at this idea that estrogen could cause you to gain weight. Now, women produce high amounts of estrogen during their reproductive years unless there is a health concern causing low hormone levels. But all women start to make less, and a lot less, during menopause. Menopause has a simple definition— women are no longer able to have children.
Remember when we discussed how estrogen helps create eggs. Well, without estrogen, there are no eggs to be fertilized or a period to go through. So, going through menopause causes estrogen levels to fall off a cliff. Although you do have decreasing levels of estrogen as you approach menopause. But during menopause, the level plummets exponentially.
All of which cause terrible problems to endure for days, weeks, and sometimes years. Some common signs of menopause:
Notice the last one— weight gain. The lack of estrogen in the body may cause you to add pounds, not lose them. Low estrogen levels help slow the metabolism and, in particular, increase the amount of belly fat.
It’s common for women to have never had weight concerns and suddenly go through menopause and have gained 10-20 pounds. It’s part of your body’s response to the lack of estrogen and making that transition into your golden years. However, for some women, the weight gain is minimal or not at all. It depends on so many different factors, from lifestyle choices to genetics and hormones.
Everyone is different. We all know that, but since low estrogen can add pounds, supplementing with estrogen may help jumpstart your metabolism and help regulate your thyroid.
Estrogen does interact with your thyroid, and hypothyroidism can become worse during menopause. Hypothyroidism is a state in which your thyroid is under-active. The under-activity decreases your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight and not to gain weight even when your diet hasn’t changed significantly.
It can become frustrating when you’re eating healthy, exercising regularly, and have made no significant lifestyle changes, yet gaining weight occurs. For women around menopause, this can happen due to low estrogen levels. Although women not going through menopause may have low estrogen levels as well. So, you don’t need to be menopausal to take estrogen.
More research is coming out about the power of estrogen and helping to prevent weight gain. But it’s clear that the answer to your question “Does taking estrogen make you gain weight?” The answer is simply no. Instead, it has the opposite effect of helping you to maintain or lose weight.
Estrogen comes in different forms in the body and the type produced during different stages in a woman’s cycle, pregnancy, and menopause changes.
Estriol (E2) and estradiol (E3) are both types of estrogen. However, estriol is the weakest form and is produced more during pregnancy. On the other hand, Estradiol is the most potent form and made before pregnancy and during a woman’s fertile years.
Both estradiol and estriol are commonly found in birth control pills and used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In addition, there is a third type of estrogen, estrone (E31). This is the primary type of estrogen generated when women are postmenopausal.
Both E2 and E3 help promote weight loss, manage menopausal symptoms, and invigorate dry skin. They also can have a beneficial effect on bone health.
When choosing to take any supplement, the choice is personal and based on medical advice. But millions of women use estrogen hormone therapy to feel better, and yes, to encourage weight loss. Estrogen therapy used wisely and with a short-term goal in mind has few side effects and is available without a prescription.
Estrogen supplements come in tablets, inserts, and creams. Estrogen creams work by applying a small amount to the skin and gently massaging the medicine into the flesh. Estrogen comes in different forms, and each one has similar and various benefits.
When it comes to weight loss, it can feel like an uphill battle. It really is about daily, consistent positive choices each day. But sometimes, no matter how much you try, you can’t succeed. It may be due to low estrogen levels. Estrogen can help you lose weight, not gain it. Try estrogen creams to start your weight loss journey right.