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Have you ever looked in a full length mirror and wonder why you have pockets of fat in the oddest of places, even if you eat well and work out?  Your hormones are trying to tell you something. 

What Your Hormones are Trying to Tell You!

Yes, beauties,our hormones talk to us and when we don’t listen, that’s when they turn nasty and show up uninvited in places like around the knees and calves, that wobbly bit under the armpit, the upper arms, back, and, of course, the usual suspects, muffin top, abdominals and chest areas.  

At The Detox Diva I talk a lot about hormones because, when in balance, everything seems to hum along nicely.  We normalize weight, have boundless energy, a humming sex drive, clear skin and a generally sunny disposition. 

When things go bad, however, our hormones tend to turn to the “dark side” and cause all kinds of problems.  Estrogen dominance can wreak havoc on fertility, cause breast tenderness, out of control PMS symptoms, brain fog, irritability, depression, anxiety, food cravings, sleep disturbances/insomnia, headaches/migraines and many other symptoms (not to mention, in men, man boobs or “moobs”) and, when estrogen dominance tips the scales, it can affect thyroid and adrenals as well.  Too much estrogen can also exacerbate symptoms of low progesterone.  (We will be discussing much more about low progesterone in a very near future. )

Excess estrogen can cause excess fat storage.  Bear in mind men and women alike have varying amounts of estrogen and the anabolic hormone testosterone which promotes muscle growth. 

Just as a refresher course in causes of estrogen dominance::

Poor Diet and lifestyle

Birth Control Pills

 Environmental (xenoestrogens & obesogens)

 Insulin Resistance 

Inflammation

Candida

Low Progesterone Levels

Hormonal Imbalances

For all you gentleman readers out there bear in mind you can be estrogen dominant as well.  As you age and through various lifestyle choices, testosterone can convert to estrogen in a process called aromatization.  Aromatase is an enzyme made in the adrenal glands, testes, ovaries, placenta, brain and fat cells.  (The heavier you get the more fat cells become enlarged, the more aromatase they produce, the more testosterone is converted to estrogen).  

Low testosterone can happen in both men and women.  It is problematic in men but can be equally as frustrating to women.  Some of the symptoms are fatigue, listlessness, decreased libido (in women this can be caused by low progesterone as well but testosterone levels should be looked at as well, especially closer to menopause), infertility in both men and women, zinc deficiency, pituitary and hypothalamus dysfunction, increased body fat and/or decreased muscle tissue.  In men, the combination of lowered testosterone, increased aromatase, and higher estrogen usually is what gives the men “moobs.

Excess estrogen is generally tied with high insulin, insulin resistance and other blood sugar handling issues.  This is prevalent in both men and women but men, especially, will notice rapid changes in the body if this is not addressed as low testosterone is also an issue!

So what does where your body holds fat tell you about your hormones?

 Let’s take a look at where we store fat and the indications we now have as to what is going on in the body.

  • Chest area (swollen breasts or needing to go up a cup size)- Estrogen dominance (in men this can be low testosterone as well).
  • Upper arms/Tricep area- Elevated Insulin (metabolic syndrome) and/or Low DHEA-S
  • Back (We’ve talked about the dreaded back fat in the previous post)- high testosterone (rare but possible), high insulin or metabolic syndrome and the inability to tolerate carbs.
  • Armpit and side- thyroid hormone imbalance
  • Muffin top (love handles) – Insulin and blood sugar handling issues (especially too many carbs or excess alcohol!)
  • Abs- cortisol imbalances and other stress hormone influence
  • Thighs- excess estrogen, xenoestrogen exposure, and/or low progesterone
  • Knee/calf area- denotes need to address detox pathways as this can indicate toxin accumulation.  It also shows low growth hormone which can be a sign of leptin resistance.
As you can see, the body knowing how to read the body and where we store fat is incredibly beneficial in telling us what is really going on in the body and where the imbalances are occurring.  Knowing how to “hormone map” makes it easier to treat and gauge the efficiency of that treatment as, when the hormones are in balance, the diet and the lifestyle is addressed, the fat stores are easier to shed.
 
In my practice I use hormone mapping as well as other functional testing such as saliva testing as well as measuring liver enzyme activity to monitor the results of treatment.
 
Limiting your exposure to xenoestrogens, controlling your blood sugar with healthy macronutrient balancing and eating regular meals can help with blood sugar handling issues and high insulin, along with following a lower carb diet for a time.  Reducing stress can dramatically cut exposure to chronic elevated cortisol.  Meditation, exercises such as yoga, ballet and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can do wonders to combat all kinds of hormonal imbalances.  Supporting your adrenals and thyroid can help with low progesterone as well as eating plenty of healthy fats.  

 

 

Wishing you health, beauty and elegance,

 

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For more information about hormone imbalances and how they affect your health and to schedule your own consultation feel free to Contact Me or schedule a consultation

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