Your body is a very complex machine and it is very important that you understand how it works. Hormones have a very active role in the processes of your body. Hormones are chemical messengers with the role to activate communication processes throughout your body. They are involved in many biological processes, such as weight control, growth, reproduction, aging, metabolism, and immune function.
When the balance of hormones in your body is affected, the efficiency of these processes will be affected too.
What are the effects of hormonal imbalance?
Many medical problems women experience are rooted in a hormonal imbalance that is created by doing too much while neglecting proper self-care. When this situation has been there for an extended period of time, symptoms such as weight gain, painful periods, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, infertility, uterine fibroids, hot flashes, heart disease and osteoporosis can appear.
To understand how this can happen, you have to look at the following two types of hormones: stress and sex hormones. Keeping these hormones in balance is crucial for higher energy levels, restful sleep, healthy menstrual cycles, a good mood, etc.
Stress hormones vs. sex hormones
When you experience stress (self-induced or not), your body increases the levels of your stress hormone cortisol until the “danger” resolves itself. This throws off your hormonal balance. You might have heard of this reaction; it is known as “fight or flight”.
As for sex hormones, the two you should know about are progesterone and estrogen. And, within this, estrogen dominance is what you want to be careful about.
Stress / Sex / Weight
When you are under stress, the adrenal glands produce more stress hormone cortisol, which leads to an imbalance in sex hormones. Cortisol competes for receptor sites with progesterone, making the progesterone less “active”. This leads, after a long period of stress, to estrogen dominance.
Important: When your body has to decide which body function is more important between reproduction and survival, it will choose the latter, and your reproductive system will be impaired!
In order for your body to be balanced, you need to have equilibrium between progesterone and estrogen.
If your progesterone levels decrease, you end up with excess estrogen in your body. Excess estrogen can create lots of issues with your cycles, and in the body. Your body will try to cope with this situation through the normal detox system (liver, gut, skin). If that is not enough, it will start storing the excess estrogen into the fat you already have. And if that is still not enough, it will make you store even more fat.
In the case of a hormonal imbalance such as excess estrogen, fat storage ends up being a defense mechanism.
So the conclusion?
Fat storage is one of your body’s defense mechanisms against a hormonal imbalance. By correcting the imbalance, it will no longer need to hold on to fat…which basically means you could lose weight!