Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, and reproduction. When hormones are imbalanced, it can lead to various health problems such as diabetes, poor organ function, and weight gain. Endocrinologists are specialists in hormones and can diagnose and manage hormonal imbalances that can cause weight gain and other health problems. They are a critical part of a patient’s health because these “metabolism doctors” understand the connections between hormones, metabolism and various disorders and conditions.
Hormones and Weight Management
Hormones play a critical role in regulating appetite, metabolism, and energy balance, thereby influencing body weight. Some of the key hormones involved in weight management include:
• Leptin: A hormone produced by fat cells, leptin sends signals to the brain to reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure.
• Ghrelin: A hormone produced by the stomach, ghrelin encourages appetite and fat storage.
• Insulin: A hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugars, insulin can cause diabetes when imbalanced and leads to increased fat accumulations in the body.
• Sex hormones: Estrogen and testosterone affect body fat distribution, with estrogen leading to more fat accumulation in the hips, thighs, and buttocks in women, and testosterone leading to more fat accumulation in the abdomen in men.
• Cortisol: A stress hormone, cortisol promotes fat storage and appetite increases.
• Thyroid hormones: These hormones regulate metabolism and can lead to weight gain if levels are too high or too low.
• Growth hormones: These hormones promote muscle growth and fat burning, and impact body weight.
If you are struggling with unexplained weight gain, it is important to see an endocrinologist to rule out any underlying hormonal imbalances. With a diagnosis in hand, an endocrinologist can develop a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your hormonal imbalances and lose weight. Possible treatment options from this specialist might include medications to regulate hormones, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and weight loss surgery.
Common weight loss tips from a metabolism doctor include:
- Eat a healthy diet. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limiting processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats. Another recommendation is portion control, which can help people eat less and eat more slowly.
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. Endocrinologists and other doctors will often write exercise prescriptions that outline workout plans
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage stress. Stress can lead to weight gain, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
Hormonal imbalances can play a significant role in weight gain. If you are struggling to lose weight despite making healthy lifestyle changes, it is important to see an endocrinologist to rule out any underlying hormonal imbalances. With the right treatment, you can manage your hormonal imbalances and lose weight to improve your overall health and well-being. Dr. Brian Fertig is a well-respected metabolism expert and endocrinologist and author of the book series “Metabolism & Medicine”. He specializes in hormonal imbalances and how they affect the body, including weight gain.
Dr. Fertig can provide personalized advice and treatment options for individuals struggling with weight gain due to hormonal imbalances. He also provides other physicians and care providers with a massive amount of context into the relationship between metabolic processes and human health in his two-part comprehensive book series. He understands the impacts of different hormonal fluctuations and can help clinicians diagnose complex health problems and find previously hidden connections that impact someone’s health.