Will Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Help Me Lose Weight?


Hormone replacement therapy became available in the 1940s and began to be more widely used in the 1960s. The popularity of HRT began to decline after 2003 when studies revealed an association between HRT and an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease. A lot of doctors have stopped prescribing HRT around this time. The number of women who received HRT decreased by 66% and has remained low since then.

Since then, many health experts have pointed out a number of flaws in the original studies that led to a declining use of HRT. The women studied were in the mid-60s, which is older than the average age of menopause, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. In addition, many women in the original studies were overweight and already at risk of certain health conditions.

Newer studies have shown no increased risk of heart disease when HRT is started within 10 years of menopause. A 2012 study in Denmark found that healthy women who started HRT immediately after menopause were able to benefit from a reduced risk of heart disease and a lower rate of death due to heart disease.

Menopause Weight Gain: Why does it happen?

Getting older and less active causes a loss of muscle mass, which slows down the metabolism. According to experts, it is this, rather than the menopause itself, that bears the brunt of responsibility for weight gain in the middle ages. However, fluctuating levels of hormones also play their part.

New evidence suggests that plummeting oestrogen levels may encourage us to eat more and exercise less, lower the metabolic rate and increase insulin resistance, making it more difficult for our bodies to deal with sugars and starches.

Our hormones also influence the distribution of fat. Perimenopausal weight gain is often associated with the laying of fat around the abdomen and internal organs, as opposed to the hips and thighs. Feeling stressed out? Stress hormones such as cortisol promote the growth of the pesky spare tyre. It's not just a cosmetic issue, either-the more inches you add to your waistline, the higher your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Menopause Bloating

Whether or not you gain weight, you may feel bloated and uncomfortable during menopause and perimenopause. Erratic hormone levels encourage water retention and intestinal gas, while bile reduction (which keeps the intestines lubricated) may cause constipation, resulting in further bloating. Bloating could also be a side effect of HRT.

Minimize bloating by swapping processed carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and rice for whole grains, drinking plenty of water and herbal teas (peppermint, spearmint and fennel for fluid retention) and cutting back on salt, caffeine and alcohol. Try switching 'gassy' foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, peas, beans, onions, potatoes, pears, soft cheese and oats for gas-reducing foods such as grapes, bananas, watermelon, watercress, cucumber, peanut butter, eggs, yoghurt and hard cheese. Cooking with hot peppers and black pepper can help. Gentle post-dinner walking or yoga sessions may help move gas around the digestive system, relieving the symptoms of bloating.

HRT and Weight Gain

Many women attribute their weight gain to hormone replacement therapy drugs. But, according to experts, this is a myth. Although HRT may promote fluid retention and bloating, it can actually increase your metabolic resting rate and help you avoid or lose the belly fat associated with perimenopausal weight gain.

User:Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are You Looking for a Clinic That Specializes in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for Menopause near Gilbert, Arizona?

Atlas Health Medical Group in Gilbert, Arizona specializes in providing Bio-identical Hormone Therapy for Men and Women in Arizona’s East Valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, San Tan and Queen Creek. For women, BHRT offers an opportunity to support the transition into menopause, to alleviate symptoms and reach a healthy balance. As you may know, symptoms begin to manifest themselves in women by their late 40s, early 50s leading women into a new stage of their lives, peri-menopause. This stage typically lasts about 4 years and may be accompanied by a variety of symptoms that can be quite disruptive to their busy lives. Many women may experience menopausal symptoms for the rest of their lives, this is commonly due to adrenal and thyroid insufficiencies. BHRT replaces the missing hormones improving the incidence of menopausal symptoms, reducing the risk of bone loss, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.  We pride ourselves on setting the standards of patient care and results-driven treatments.  Our patients return to health and live the life they intended.  Contact us today for your first appointment!

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