Hormones Causing Weight Gain

Hormones are the chemical messengers that control and regulate all bodily functions throughout a person’s body. Hormones are responsible for making sure your body functions properly and continuously helps you stay healthy.

Metabolism, hunger, and your ability to store or burn fat are all controlled by 7 different hormones. These seven hormones can either make or break your ability to gain and lose weight. If one hormone is not balanced, it will affect the others.  There are many ways to help treat this problem, but the most popular and safest way to do so would be through Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Here are the 7 hormones, what they do, and how they affect you and others…


  1. GROWTH HORMONE– Our bodies naturally create this. This hormone is released only during deep stage 4 sleep. This hormone has many benefits. Among these, the growth hormone aids in muscle synthesis, repairs and boosts energy, as well as improves your fat metabolism. People who often wake up during the night or light sleepers, may not be making enough GH – a study done in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in 1991 showed fewer hours of sleep means your body produces less GH. Muscle mass can only be made during the breakdown and repair of your muscle. If you don’t receive enough GH your muscle mass can deteriorate which further reduces your metabolic rate.
  2. INSULIN – Insulin is one of the most dominant hormones that correlates with your ability to gain or lose fat. Increased levels of insulin affect your body by preventing your metabolism from burning fat entirely, which then triggers you to store more of it. Eating too much of the wrong sugars causes your fat cells to close acting as a trap that holds fat within your tissues. Every time you eat sugar, it then activates your insulin production.  Insulin also affects other fat fighting hormones in our bodies. The Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that continuous loss of sleep, hunger increase, and sugar cravings, all directly contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
  3. GLUCAGON – Glucagon, on the other hand, does the opposite of insulin. Glucagon releases fat from your fat cells to burn for energy. With imbalanced Insulin levels, Glucagon has a much more difficult time burning fat. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism did a study that viewed 10 men who only revived 4.5 hours of sleep every night. Decreased sleep time reduced the circulating levels of glucagon. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol produced. This inhibits your ability for your body to burn fat.
  4. CORTISOL – Cortisol is known as a “stress hormone”. This hormone is what produces the temporary adrenal burst for ‘flight or fight responses.’ This is also released when a person is feeling stressed out. Whether its stress from finances, traffic, or lack of sleep this hormone gets released. Stress can also be experienced internally if too much exercise is done or even eating too many processed and toxic foods. Continuous exposure and raised cortisol levels alert your body to store fat and cause your muscles to break down. The Journal Sleep published a study done in 1997 titled “Sleep Loss Results in an Elevation of Cortisol Levels the Next Evening”. This study found that levels of cortisol should occur in the morning so the effect can subside throughout the day. It also said that high cortisol levels could increase stress, further damaging your capacity to think clearly, deal with personal life events, sleep, and properly metabolize food. With all of these factors, this can slow your metabolism thus creating a sleepless night.
  5. LEPTIN – Leptin is the hormone that alerts your brain that you are full. This also regulates metabolism so more fat is burned when your body needs to. In order for fat loss you need plenty of sleep for leptin to be made. This will keep your brain alert on when to keep the metabolism burning hot. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism did a study relating to leptin. This study concluded that sleep duration influences leptin production. This is because, “Sleep modulates a major component of the neuroendocrine control of appetite…” A lack of leptin or an imbalance of this hormone adversely affects other hormones in the body.
  6. GHRELIN – Ghrelin is the hormone that signals your brain to eat. Normal ghrelin levels make you feel hungry. Too much ghrelin is what causes cravings to cheat and binge eat. Women who don’t get enough sleep or have reproductive hormone fluctuations are more susceptible to experience higher levels of ghrelin production. Extra ghrelin in your body can be the cause of cravings and mood swings. Lack of sleep also affects ghrelin in non-emotional people. A Journal of Sleep study was done and the research showed one night of sleep increased ghrelin levels and hunger in healthy, normal-weight men.
  7. ADIPONECTIN – This hormone is not only anti-inflammatory but it also helps regulate several metabolic processes such as breaking down fat. Many things can cause inflammation to occur. You can receive inflammation from over-exercising, eating toxic and acidic foods, as well as trying to heal an injury. Whenever your body has inflammation, this hormone slows the metabolism, stops fighting fat and starts trying to repair and heal the damage. Studies have shown that optimal levels of adiponectin can reduce your risk for insulin resistance and developing diabetes. If you are experiencing symptoms of pains, aches or acidity, your body might be triggering you to store fat because of the adiponectin effects.

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