Are my hormones making me fat?
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Adding Progesterone to my daily regimen was probably the best thing I have ever done for myself it actually made me feel better. It amazes me how different a person can feel when their hormones are off balance. I have gotten to the point I can usually tell if I need more or less Progesterone BUT I still test my estrogen:Progesterone balance just to make sure.
I did follow up and have blood work done to check my Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, Cortisol, and DHEA. All of the previous hormones can effect weight gain and inability to lose weight. When I received my results my Progesterone was about right, Estrogen good, Testosterone low normal and Cortisol a little high (I have learned this is mostly due to stress). The biggest thing I noticed was my DHEA, it was almost 0. Normal should be between 2-23 depending on age for a woman. Evidently our DHEA decreases as we age. I actually did not know very much about this hormone so I starting reading to learn more about what it does and its importance.
The best book on the subject I found was Dr. James Wilson's book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. DHEA is made in the adrenal gland and stress can damage the adrenal gland causing a decrease in the hormone DHEA. And I have had plenty of stress but reading this book even simple stresses can cause this even a flu or daily stresses of life.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue (1 or more of the following)
Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
You feel tired for no reason.
You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
You crave salty and sweet snacks.
You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
I think I had all these symptoms plus a chronic low back pain that has now gone away. Interesting to note that after a woman goes through menopause many of her hormones are made by the adrenal glands when her ovaries no longer work. Reading this book also opened my eyes.
I read the book and knew what I should do to help heal my adrenals. I added a Vitamin B complex and a C Complex to my vitamins. I also chose to add an adrenal supplement. Then I would add DHEA as you can find it in any health food store. I actually prefer the cream because it does not have to be filtered through the liver like most all medications taken by mouth. This hormone is also nick named the youth hormone and is taken by male body builders in large amounts to help them gain muscle. Women need to take smaller amounts or they could start growing facial hair, having male pattern baldness and acne. I only recommend this to someone who is actually deficient in DHEA. I started taking 15 mg a day alternating where I would rub in the cream. In about 1-2 weeks it was like I woke up from this fog I had been living in. I had energy again and could do the things I wanted to do. At least now I felt motivated to start working out and walking again. Another benefit I noticed was a change in my skin, it appeared younger-softer and my dark patches that I thought were from sun started fading. Also if I rubbed the cream on my legs the cellulite was less noticeable.
DHEA I think saved my life. I secretly felt like I was dying of some strange illness. But when I started taking this supplement and vitamins I felt alive again. BUT no weight loss. I saw improvement in my muscles but remained the same weight. I had fixed two hormones that were off balance Progesterone and DHEA. I feel and look like a new person but no weight loss. Scratching my head there still must be something I am overlooking.