Explore the effectiveness of hormone therapy in reducing sudden weight gain. Discover how hormonal balance can impact weight management at Next Health.
Sudden weight gain is no fun, but it’s all too common once you hit your late 40s or early 50s and your body starts to undergo several subtle but nonetheless cumulative changes. In both men and women, hormone levels change, metabolism rates dip, and adults may find themselves with less energy to do physical activities like exercise than they did before.
All of this can culminate in relatively sudden weight gain over days or weeks instead of months or years. It’s no wonder people look for solutions ASAP – it’s tough to deal with sudden weight gain (and buying new clothes) if you haven’t prepared for it.
One of the best potential treatments is hormone therapy. Why? Let’s take a closer look at whether hormone therapy can always work to reduce sudden weight gain and whether it’ll be an appropriate solution for your situation.
Most of the time, weight gain is subtle and slow: that’s just one of the reasons why it can be so difficult to catch it before you go up a pants size. However, people can also gain weight suddenly and for no apparent reason. But there’s always a root cause beneath sudden weight gain; here are some of the most common reasons known to medical science.
Stress and fatigue can play a big role in the hormone and metabolic balance in your body. If you work a lot of overtime, don’t get enough sleep, or work in a particularly stressful environment, all of that can drag down your body and make its metabolism slower.
This may be a physiological response to ancient stressors that our ancestors had to deal with. In times of stress or strife, the body apparently seeks to preserve as many calories as it can by storing those calories as fat.
This may have been beneficial in Paleolithic times, but nowadays it’s just inconvenient.
Relatively quick weight gain of this type is commonly seen in new parents (both men and women). Now that they have an infant to deal with, they don’t get enough sleep and are much more stressed out, leading to weight gain at a faster rate than usual. Women in particular have a tough time as their bodies are also adjusting to new hormonal levels after pregnancy, as well as shedding baby weight.
Of course, changes in diet can also lead to weight gain, even suddenly. If you are middle-aged and your body’s metabolic rate has already slowed down significantly from natural processes, even minor adjustments to your diet could cause weight gain faster than you might anticipate.
This is doubly true if you didn't have a fast metabolism to begin with. Eating a lot of empty carbs like garlic bread or drinking carb-heavy beverages like beer, or eating more desserts than average can all have a cumulative effect and lead to several pounds gained per week if you aren't careful.
This often sneaks up on men, as their metabolisms may slow down rather suddenly in their 30s and 40s. As testosterone goes down, so does their ability to convert calories into muscle or burn those calories away before they become fat. But a lot of men don’t change their eating habits until they have packed on some extra weight and have finally noticed the shift.
However, there’s another big cause of sudden weight gain: menopause in women and general aging in men.
Menopause is a biological process that occurs when a woman reaches the end of her fertility. All or most of her eggs are either passed or are no longer viable, so her body’s hormone levels and metabolic rate both dip significantly.
For most women, this corresponds with a sudden drop in estrogen: the key sex hormone for females. It’s an important hormone as it regulates major things like libido, energy level, mood, and weight gain and loss.
With less estrogen, many women's bodies become less capable of shedding excess weight, so they may gain weight much more quickly than usual, particularly if their menopausal symptoms include cravings for certain foods. Women also often feel less energetic, so they may exercise less often and gain weight that way.
Just like women, men experience a decrease in their primary sex hormone, which can lead to a lower metabolic rate, cravings for foods, and less activity levels. Less activity and lower metabolism both combine to make sudden weight gain more of a possibility than before.
Overall, hormonal changes are the biggest cause of sudden weight gain. Aside from menopause and general aging, hormonal disorders – such as issues with certain parts of the brain – can also lead to sudden weight gain because of how powerful hormones can be.
Also called hormone replacement therapy or HRT, hormone therapy involves replacing decreased hormone levels with synthetic hormones. The best hormone therapy treatments, such as the hormone replacement and optimization service at Next Health, using bio-identical hormone pellets.
In a nutshell, bioidentical hormones like testosterone are designed after gathering biological data from therapy recipients. The therapy provider then creates hormones that the recipient’s body will recognize as its own testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone (depending on the therapy needed or as prescribed by your doctor).
Hormone therapy can also be received in the form of either pellets or injections. While hormone injection therapy can be fast and done from the comfort of your home, it is more likely to lead to side effects such as peaks and troughs in hormonal levels.
Next Health’s Hormone Optimization Therapy uses bio-identical hormone pellets that allow hormones to be released slowly and based cardiac output, meaning your body will control how quickly hormones are released. This results in experiencing optimal hormone levels for longer.
Sometimes – it all depends on the cause of sudden weight gain in the first place.
For example, many women experience sudden weight gain when they begin menopause. Since menopause is heavily related to changes in metabolism and hormone levels, it makes sense that HRT can assist with sudden weight gain in this circumstance.
However, HRT is not a one-size-fits-all solution for sudden weight gain. For example, if you've gained a lot of weight because you are middle-aged and have adjusted your diet to include more carbs and sugars, hormone replacement therapy is unlikely to have any major effect.
Out of all hormone replacement therapies, Next Health’s Hormone Optimization therapy is a fantastic choice for either men or women looking to optimize various aspects of their bodies and activities.
As mentioned, this therapy uses pellets rather than injections to ensure a steady increase in hormones over time. We also produce bio-identical hormone replacements that should not be rejected by your body and should integrate easily.
When taken correctly, Next Health’s Hormone Optimization can relieve all kinds of negative symptoms that are commonly associated with decreased hormone levels. These negative symptoms include sudden weight gain in addition to decreased libido, lower energy, mood swings, thinning hair, and more.
Because our optimization therapy provides bio-identical testosterone, it’s a particularly good choice for men whose T-levels have dropped sharply.
If you aren’t sure whether your testosterone levels are the cause of certain negative developments for your wellness, you should stop by one of our clinics and take a Baseline Test that can help determine where your hormone levels are at and whether Hormone Optimization will be a good service for your needs.
Ultimately, hormone therapy can be and often is a good solution for sudden weight gain. However, it’s only appropriate in certain circumstances and it’s often bolstered by other weight loss activities or practices.
For example, you’ll see the best results if you take Next Health's Hormone Optimization as well as adjust your diet to include fewer carbs and fats, plus exercise regularly. If you're interested in Hormone Optimization, be sure to contact Next Health today – one of our wellness specialists will be happy to talk to you and discuss your options.