Women struggling to lose weight often have questions about hormone replacement therapy and weight loss.
They make healthy choices in their diets. They get exercise. And their weight doesn't budge.
Or women continue the healthful choices they have been making all their lives and find their weight creeping up slowly, or not so slowly, nonetheless.
Diminished estrogen and progesterone levels after menopause affect the metabolism of fat. Fat cells don't release fatty acids for the muscles to burn, so the body runs on a form of sugar called glucose. As women are well aware, blood sugar levels go up and down. Over time, the metabolic rate slows down, so fat accumulates, mostly on the abdomen.
Abdominal fat increases insulin resistance. Fat cells shut down insulin receptors because they are (relatively) full. The pancreas releases more insulin to keep glucose levels in the bloodstream from creeping up. In turn, fat cells shut down still more insulin receptors, and the pancreas produces still more insulin.
High levels of insulin in the bloodstream block the action of hormone-sensitive lipase, so fat cells can't break down the fats they contain into the fatty acids that are small enough to be released through the membrane of the cell into the bloodstream. But insulin still works for putting fat inside cells. Women accumulate more and more fat that their bodies can't burn.
So, howdo hormone pellets help with weight loss?
Hormone replacement therapy can interrupt the vicious cycle of insulin resistance and weight gain, but dosing makes a critical difference.
Estrogen makes a woman's body pleasingly curvaceous. It does this by having a stronger effect on subcutaneous fat cells, the fat cells that fill out the breasts and hips, than it has on the visceral fat cells that store layers of fat between the internal organs in the abdomen.
When menopause causes a woman's estrogen levels to plummet, fat storage gets redirected as visceral fat, and also as belly fat. A woman's body still produces small amounts of testosterone (testosterone production falls after progesterone and estrogen production), so iInsulin resistance locks fat in this masculine pattern.
A low, steady dose of estrogen replacement, however, has an amazing effect on how fat cells respond to insulin.
Lower doses of estrogen replacement therapy don't just reduce hot flashes and night sweats while they lift depression. They also reactivate hormone sensitive lipase so fat cells can break down glycogen (a storage molecule of fat) into glycerol (a circulating form of fat) for the muscles to burn.
This doesn't mean that estrogen is a fat burner. If you are a woman receiving estrogen replacement therapy, you are the fat burner. What a steady, dependable, measured dose of estrogen replacement therapy can do is to make it possible for your body to burn fat.
You still have to avoid overeating and storing more fat. You still have to burn off fat with exercise. But with estrogen replacement therapy, at least all your hard work and dietary restraint will pay off. And some forms of estrogen replacement therapy will be more helpful for weight loss than others.
There are two basic kinds of estrogen for estrogen replacement therapy.
One is synthetic estrogen.
Synthetic estrogen is made in the lab. It is not the same molecule made in a woman's body until after it passes through the liver.
Converting synthetic estrogen into a bioactive form requires the action of liver enzymes. Not every woman's body makes the same amounts of these enzymes. These enzymes may be required for other detoxification processes, so they are in short supply. Or health issues can interfere with the production of these enzymes so synthetic estrogen is less effective.
Another kind of estrogen is bioidentical estrogen.
Bioidentical estrogen is the exact same molecule that a woman's body produces. It turns out that some plants, such as yams and soybeans, produce tiny amounts of compounds that are very, very similar to estrogen. They can be modified through processes used in compounding pharmacies to become exactly identical to estrogen. They do not depend on processing in the liver. They are still effective even if liver enzymes are processing other drugs or naturally occurring chemicals in food.
The therapeutic difference between synthetic estrogen and bioidentical estrogen is that estrogen levels generated by the synthetic drug can fluctuate, while estrogen levels generated by bioidentical estrogen are constant.
As a result, bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy allows belly fat and visceral fat cells to begin breaking down and releasing fatty acids for fuel. It is still necessary to exercise to burn them off, and it is still important to avoid overeating. But most women were doing that anyway, just not getting results from their arduous effort. Treatment with bioidentical estrogen replacement is far superior for supporting weight loss.
But that's not the only advantage of bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement can be administered by hormone pellet therapy.
Your doctor writes a prescription for the exact dosage you need to bring symptoms of menopause under control. Remember, using estrogen to overcome insulin resistance requires just the right dose of estrogen replacement, not too much, and not too little.
The compounding pharmacy can formulate bioidentical hormone replacement therapy into slow-release pellets. Your doctor implants six to 12 of these pellets just below your skin with an instrument called a trocar, no stitches required, and you get the benefits of predictable, steady, slow release hormone replacement for four to six months.
It is always necessary to do at least two or three blood tests the first time you get bioidentical hormone pellet therapy to confirm that you are getting the dose you need. But it only takes two or three weeks for you to enjoy the benefits of all the hard work you put into weight control.
Bioidentical hormone pellet therapy isn't a bandaid for challenges of weight loss after menopause. It's a true long-term solution. Bioidentical hormone therapy is something you only need two or three times a year, but as long as you keep it up, your weight loss efforts will make a difference.
There are alsohormone pellet therapies for men, involving testosterone replacement.
Trocar Supplies provides health professionals withdisposable medical tray kits and trocar wrap kits for the insertion of extended-release bioidentical hormone pellets. Trocar Supplies'productsare engineered for minimal risk of herniation and infection with minimal discomfort from the insertion procedure.
Do you have questions? Trocar Supplies has answers! Call us at (937) 478-0469 orcontact us online.