How your HORMONES can influence your WEIGHT

How your HORMONES can influence your WEIGHT


Sunday, February 28, 2016

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ANYONE who has tried and failed to lose weight must have wondered at some point if their hormones are the problem.

And chances are, they were right.

Aside from the commonly blamed hormonal problems such as low thyroid function and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), there are several hormones that actively sabotage your weight loss programme.

Dr Alfred Dawes, general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon at Island Laparoscopy, told All Woman
that the thyroid gland controls your metabolic rate.

"If it produces too much hormones you lose weight, become anxious, and may have tremors. If it does not produce enough then you tend to gain weight and have low energy.

Dr Dawes said the sex hormone imbalances in PCOS are associated with stubborn fat that is difficult to lose.

"It affects about five to 10 per cent of women of childbearing age. The excess fat causes even more hormones to be produced, resulting in a vicious circle of weight gain and increased steroid production leading to infertility, acne and excess hair," he said.

He also said Cushing’s disease is a result of a stress hormone being overproduced.

"This leads to fat deposited more on the trunk, neck and face. This excess fat will not go away unless the underlying hormonal imbalance is treated," he said.

Of note, Dr Dawes said even in people who do not have these conditions, hormones sabotage our weight loss efforts.

"Hormones such as ghrelin, leptin and peptide YY (PYY) are present in higher or lower levels than normal in obese patients. When you try to lose weight the body changes the levels of these hormones even more to resist the weight loss," he explained. "Ghrelin is the hormone that makes you hungry while PYY makes you feel full. Leptin is the accountant hormone that tells the body to increase your metabolic rate (spend more) and store less fat (save less) in relation to the amount of fat stored (your savings)."

Dr Dawes said research has shown that reduced-calorie diets and weight loss cause changes that encourage the body to regain weight by increasing the appetite (ghrelin), decreasing fullness (PYY), and decreasing energy expenditure (letpin).

"The body actively resisting dieting explains why 95 per cent of obese persons who lose weight regain it within two to five years. If you are obese at 200 pounds, you are expected to only lose four pounds 20 years after your diet started. In fact only weight loss surgery has been shown to produce long-term, sustainable weight loss," he said.

Importantly, Dr Dawes said if you are struggling to lose weight, it is best to get assessed by a doctor to see if you have any medical reasons behind your failures.

"Breaking the cycle is the only way you can prevent the development of the multitude of diseases associated with obesity and prolong your life," he said.

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