Does HRT help weight loss

Does HRT Help Weight Loss?

Hot flashes, thinning hair, irregular periods, low libido, and weight gain are some of the most common–and dreaded–symptoms of menopause. As your hormones begin to change during your 40s and 50s, you can experience these side effects and more. But hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be able to help.

It’s important to note that hormone replacement therapy can also be beneficial for men! If you’re struggling with low testosterone, impaired sexual function, or muscle loss, HRT could be the solution. 

Before you take the plunge, you’ll want to know what you can expect from this treatment.

Today, we’re covering everything you need to know as you explore your options. 

What is HRT?

Hormone replacement therapy restores the levels of your hormones to counteract the aging process. Here are some more details on this innovative treatment method. 

How does HRT work?

Hormone replacement therapy supplements diminished levels of certain naturally occurring hormones to restore balance to the aging human body. According to the North American Menopause Society, these treatments come in the form of pills, patches, gels, and rings that can boost your supply of estrogen, progesterone, or similar hormones. 

You and your doctor will need to discuss the risks and benefits to decide if this treatment is appropriate for you.

What is the correlation between hormones and weight?

As we age, decreases in estrogen, progesterone, and other main hormones can cause metabolic changes that tell our bodies to hold onto fat. These imbalances can also cause muscle loss. When this happens, we burn fewer calories, and our bodies may replace that muscle with fatty tissue. 

This often results in excess abdominal fat, in particular. 

Common causes of weight gain during menopause

It’s incredibly common to gain weight during menopause. In addition to extra pounds and increased belly fat, you might also experience a lower sex drive, hair loss, mood swings, and other side effects. 

Here’s a look at what causes these symptoms. 

An imbalanced estrogen level

Decreased estrogen levels can cause a redistribution of your body fat. Instead of spreading evenly throughout your body, fat begins to concentrate around your abdomen. So, if you notice abdominal weight gain as you enter menopause, you can assume your estrogen levels are partly responsible. 

Metabolism slowing down due to age

That loss in muscle tone we mentioned earlier can also cause your metabolism to slow down. That’s another reason weight gain during menopause is so common. It’s critical to eat a healthy diet and increase your regular exercise to keep it in check. 

Over time, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases, especially if you tend to carry weight around your midsection. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that may not have any apparent symptoms. However, it increases your risk of developing other critical illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. 

Stress hormones

Your estrogen levels can be closely tied to cortisol, the stress hormone. As your estrogen levels drop, cortisol and insulin resistance increase. When your body releases glucose, it will turn any excess into fat. That’s one reason exercise is so important during menopause–if you don’t burn off that glucose, you’ll experience weight gain as a result. 

One study found that HRT can improve blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance in perimenopausal women. 

Symptoms of menopause can lead to weight gain

Hot flashes, lethargy, poor sleep, and low mood are all common menopause symptoms. Unfortunately, they can also make exercise a struggle. After all, eating a balanced diet and moving more is challenging enough when you feel good, but when you’re struggling to cover your bases, it’s even more difficult. 

These symptoms can cause a feedback loop that could spiral out of control.

Who should receive HRT for weight loss?

Hormone replacement therapy can help some menopausal women lose weight, but it isn’t the answer for everyone. Here are some key points to consider. 

Those who have found no success in other weight loss methods

Losing weight during menopause can be an uphill battle. Shedding extra body weight might feel impossible, especially if you’ve already tried through diet and exercise. 

While HRT may help you lose weight during menopause, its real superpower is helping redistribute that weight throughout your body. Visceral fat–or belly fat–is associated with other conditions like heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and high blood pressure. When your fat is more evenly distributed, you’re less likely to encounter serious complications. 

Anyone who has been recommended by their primary care physician

Your primary care physician should be able to tell you whether HRT could benefit you. Since hormone replacement therapy can aid in weight loss, many feel that it’s worth any associated side effects. 

However, HRT can have some adverse effects that trend in the opposite direction of its intended purpose. In people over the age of 60, hormone replacement therapy can create an increased risk of things like cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and even dementia.

That being said, your doctor can assess your health status, family history, and other factors to help you determine if this treatment is right for you. After all, weight loss comes with many benefits that can increase your health and quality of life. In the early days of treatment, you might experience nausea, stomach cramps, mood changes, and headaches. But these tend to dissipate over time.

The Wellness Club is here to help you on your HRT weight loss journey!

If the symptoms of hormonal imbalance are throwing you off course, The Wellness Club in Tampa is here to help! We specialize in hormone replacement therapy for both men and women, as well as other treatments like peptide therapy and GLP-1 agonists. 

We take a holistic approach to anti-aging and offer solutions to turn back the clock inside and out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and find out how we can help!

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