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HRT For Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Multiple hormones in the female body deal with fluctuations in weight, and they change throughout a woman’s life. With assistance from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), women can aid their weight loss journey by balancing their hormones. This article will explore the correlation and efficacy of HRT and weight management, focusing on women dealing with symptoms of menopause.

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HRT: What is it and Why is it Used?

As women transition into the menopause stage of their lives, many aspects of their bodies go through significant changes. Some aspects of menopause are common, such as hot flashes, mood changes, or difficulty sleeping, while others offer entirely unique experiences to each individual. No matter which way you spin it, menopause can be immensely uncomfortable for a number of reasons.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a medical treatment that replaces low levels of estrogen. HRT can be helpful as a woman’s ovaries stop producing the same levels of estrogen and progesterone during and after menopause. By utilizing HRT, women can work to restore these hormone levels and help ward off the many symptoms associated with menopause. Treatments come in many forms, such as pills, creams, rings, and others.

While the onset of menopause is recognizable for most women, it is essential to get familiar with signs and symptoms.

Syringe and a vial with blue fluid.

Symptoms Related to Changes in Hormone Levels

The transition into menopause tends to be a slow one, which means it can also include a trickling effect of symptoms and bodily changes.

Common symptoms related to menopause include:

  • Insomnia
  • Dry skin
  • Hot flashes
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Night sweats and cold sweats
  • Fluctuations in weight

By introducing HRT and aiming to regulate hormone levels, women can work toward mitigating these symptoms. This approach may not eliminate symptoms altogether, but it can help provide relief during this natural transition in life and can be utilized in the long term if needed.

The Correlation Between Hormones and Body Weight

One aspect of menopause that many women experience is rapid or inconsistent changes in their weight over time. While mild for some, this weight gain can be drastic for others. Many different factors play into the severity of weight gain, but it heavily relies on estrogen and progesterone levels.

Studies have displayed that hormone replacement therapy can not only prevent weight gain amidst menopause, but it also promotes weight loss.1 HRT is able to do this by increasing lipid oxidation, but it requires consistent treatment to see results. As an added benefit, HRT can influence insulin response, energy expenditure, and plasma lipids. Weight loss results may take three months of administering HRT on a consistent schedule.

Menopause can be tough to navigate, with many women feeling like they’re being pulled in multiple directions at once.

woman holding herself up on a pull down machine

Although HRT can help combat weight gain, fluctuating hormone levels aren’t the only factor that can play a part. A poor diet and inadequate exercise can also contribute to weight gain, so it’s important to stay active and eat foods that can help you not only nourish your body, but help relieve menopause symptoms.

Types and Administration

Hormone replacement therapy is a pretty straightforward concept, but there are two approaches women can choose from. You can utilize either estrogen-only therapy or a combination of estrogen and progesterone therapy.

Estrogen offers relief for the majority of menopausal symptoms. With the addition of progesterone, women can help protect themselves from uterine cancer, which may potentially stem from estrogen by itself. It may sound like a double-edged sword, but with the right approach, women can find the relief they need without compromising their health.

Administration is a straightforward process with two primary options to choose from.

  • Systemic products such as oral tablets, gels, emulsions, injections, and more can be used for hot flashes and other common menopausal symptoms.
  • Localized products focus on specific areas of the body. A common treatment option with this approach would be a topical cream, for example.

Doctors generally start with the lowest effective dose first to see how the body will respond and increase the dosage if needed.

What Are the Risks?

Although HRT can help women reduce the severity of symptoms associated with menopause, there are a few potential risks to be aware of.

For starters, avoiding potential health risks starts with the dosage. Engaging in the lowest effective dose is the optimal approach for keeping side effects at bay. There is a small risk of breast cancer that is associated with estrogen plus progesterone therapy. There is also a small increase in risk for blood clots associated with estrogen therapy.

While HRT comes with several potential risks, its track record is positive for most women. It’s understandable if you would rather avoid this treatment, but with proper administration, you can protect your health, relieve menopause symptoms, and lose weight. Of course, the physician you work with will offer professional guidance to help you get the best treatment for your changing needs.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, menopause isn’t a comfortable experience for many women. While some choose to simply ride out this natural experience, others end up struggling with substantial physical and mental discomfort. HRT can help in numerous ways – including helping you lose and maintain a healthy weight – by correcting low hormone levels in the body.

Physician house calls can help you get the treatment you need in the comfort of your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by giving us a call or clicking the button below.

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[1] Beneficial effect of hormone replacement therapy on weight loss in obese menopausal women. Chmouliovsky L.

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