Will I Gain Weight on Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Both men and women are often concerned that they will gain unwanted weight if they go on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone optimization therapy. The answer is NO. In fact, the medical evidence points to the exact opposite.
According to the International Menopause Society, “approximately 1.5 billion adults are overweight worldwide – 300 million of them are obese females. Since 1980, obesity rates have increased two-fold, mostly in industrialized nations. Experts say the obesity epidemic is caused by lifestyle changes, physical inactivity, and eating habits. A higher percentage of females are obese than males; probably because women are more susceptible to hormonal imbalances.” There is no doubt that the changes in hormone production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and a dozen other hormones affects how our bodies hold and distribute fat deposits.
As men and women age, our body compositions begin to change. Both men and women begin to see an increase in abdominal fat, even if they have been active all of their lives and at a healthy weight. For a woman, this is a direct result of the body’s decreased production of estrogen. Men experience the same results from the reduced production of testosterone as they age.
This increased fat storage around the middle has detrimental impact on overall health and is linked directly to an increased risk of metabolic disease, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), depression and diabetes. All of these conditions are often preventable with a healthy diet, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy.
Yes, that’s right – hormone replacement therapy can be a vital part of a long, healthy life.
In multiple research studies, women who went on hormone replacement therapy during menopause or perimenopause experienced a reduction in body fat, particularly around the midsection. According to researcher Poli Mara Spritzer, MD, PhD, “Data from our study suggest that active women could benefit from hormone therapy beyond the relief of menopausal symptoms – by preserving a good body fat percentage and distribution.”
Medical evidence proves that optimizing hormones to the levels they were during our 20s improves overall health and reduces the risks of developing osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and a variety of cancers. It also redirects the body to store fat more proportionately and increases lean muscle development.
With some patients, hormone replacement therapy will appear to increase weight in the beginning of treatment as the body begins to function more efficiently. For example, water retention and bloating may occur in the first few weeks but goes away as the hormone levels balance out. As patients experience an increase in overall health, many report increased energy and the desire to be more physically active, which immediately improves weight loss efforts. So, will you gain weight on hormone replacement therapy? The research says no, you will lose weight and increase your overall health.
Are you curious if hormone optimization therapy could help you lose weight and feel great? Contact us at Savannah Age Management Medicine for a free consultation.