Estrogen Imbalance and Weight Gain

Pre-menopausal women suffering from PMS, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast,abnormal pap smears, ovarian cysts, stress, anxiety or depression may have abnormally high estrogen levels compared to the level of progesterone (a condition known as estrogen dominance).

It is essential to address abnormal levels of estrogen early, otherwise menopause can become problematic and the risk of estrogen-related cancers (breast, uterine) is therefore much greater. When estrogen levels are high (during the pre-menopausal years), more body fat is commonly deposited around the hips and thighs, although the right balance of progesterone relative to estrogen can prevent this pattern of weight gain. At menopause, many women tend to accumulate weight around the waist rather than the hips because ofthe natural decrease in estrogen. The apple shape rather than pear shape is a result of several hormonal changes at menopause, including a drop in estrogen and progesterone along with an increase in stress hormone and insulin. Estrogen influences how well our body responds to insulin. When estrogen levels are lower, the cells of the body become less sensitive to insulin setting the stage for insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain.  High levels of stress hormone are also known to contribute to abdominal fat.  Natural treatments to improve this pattern of hormonal imbalance include:• Herbal medicines: Black cohosh or red clover can replace phytoestrogens. Relora will reducestress hormone and chasteberry increases progesterone. All three of these medicines may be used in combination to reduce menopausal symptoms and weight gain.• Supplements: Alpha Lipoic Acid, CLA and Chromium can improve insulin sensitivity.• Nutrition: Carbohydrate-conscious eating, much like 2Bwell Nutrition Program, is essential for healthy hormonal balance and weight loss at any age.• Exercise: A combination of weight training (resistance training) and cardiovascular exercise will promote fat loss and improve hormonal balance. The best example for such activity is Circuit training. Circuit training is an excellent way to simultaneously improve mobility, strength and stamina.The circuit training format utilizes a group of 6 to 10 strength exercises that are completed one exercise after another. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a prescribed time period before moving on to the next exercise. The exercises within each circuit are separated by brief, timed rest intervals, and each circuit is separated by a longer rest period. The total number of circuits performed during a training session may vary from two to six depending on your training level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), your period of training (preparation or competition) and your training objective. Be sure to include daily DeepBreathing sessions and Yoga or Pilates once or twice a week since they are excellent for reducing stress related hormones.