The Link Between Estrogen and Weight Gain

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z


Have you ever think that the hormonal changes can be a reason for weight gain? If not, then you should think and read about it. The hormonal changes occur throughout the life of a woman. And the weight gain occurs especially the estrogen level changes during different phases of life. So, let’s explore the link between estrogen and weight gain.


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The Link Between Estrogen and Weight Gain:



If you’re going through menopause and perimenopause, you may feel that managing your weight is becoming more difficult during these hormones changes. Menopause is called the “change of life” for a reason. During menopause, many women begin to have other changes as well, like:


  • Hot flashes


  • Trouble sleeping



  • Reduced levels of the female hormone estrogen are the main cause of all of these changes.


What Does Estrogen Do?



Well, hormones play an important role to make a balance in human life, just like all other hormones Estrogen and progesterone have important roles throughout a woman’s life and there is a link between estrogen and weight gain if the estrogen level fluctuates then it can generally cause to weight gain and sometimes weight loss too.

Puberty and Estrogen:


When a girl reaches it puberty, her body starts to produce estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone which helps with the development of breasts as well as the progression of the reproductive organs. It is also a sign of the start of menstruation in females.


Menstruation and Estrogen:


Estrogen and progesterone levels rise high during the menstrual cycle. Estrogen helps you to create a lining in the uterus which is used in the preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg. If an egg is not implanted in the womb, then estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are dropped and the uterine lining is moved out in the form of a woman’s period. Menstruation and estrogen



Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


Throughout pregnancy, the placenta contributes to the rising hormone levels in the body. The high level of hormones is needed for the health of the baby and the pregnancy. Almost immediately after childbirth, estrogen and progesterone levels drop to their prepregnancy state. Hormone levels remain low during the time while women are breastfeeding.



Perimenopause and Menopause


As you get older your ovaries reduce the production of eggs and gradually your ovaries stop making eggs. While perimenopause, it is the time when your menstruation cycle is about to end, and hormones started to move up and down. If a woman doesn’t have a period for around one year, this condition is considered complete menopause. Then her hormones level (estrogen and progesterone) levels start to remain low.



Lifelong Functions


Apart from the above mentioned three important functions, estrogen has other functions too which work throughout a woman’s life, including:




  • Increasing the blood supply to the skin




What are the Symptoms of Low Estrogen?


The common symptoms of Low level of Estrogen are:




  • Hot flashes


  • Vaginal dryness


  • Difficulty sleeping


  • Depression or anxiety


  • Less desire for sex


  • Dry skin


  • Memory problems


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Weight Management


If you maintain a healthy weight after menopause then you are able to reduce belly fat and the risk for health conditions such as:





  • Exercise also gives a boost to mood and energy.


Physical Activity During Hormonal Changes:


According to the American Heart Association, you have to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Which is equal to around 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Reduce that to 75 minutes a week if you exercise vigorously.



Examples of moderate exercise include:



  • Riding a bike on level ground


  • Dancing


  • Mowing the yard


Examples of vigorous exercise include:


  • Tennis


  • Running


  • Aerobics


  • Hiking uphill


Strength exercise is equally important too because it helps increase muscle mass, maintain blood sugar, and reduce blood pressure. Strength exercise:


  • Heavy gardening


  • Lifting weights


  • Resistance exercises, like squats and situps







Well, here we have discussed the link between estrogen and weight gain, as we all know that hormonal changes are a cause for so many physical changes. Sometimes it can be the reason for weight gain or weight loss, but whenever you feel such sudden physical changes, then don’t ignore and consult a doctor.


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