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Does progesterone cause weight gain?

  Weight gain is tricky and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Many women are aware that birth control can promote weight gain, and this may lead them to believe that progesterone can do the same! Progesterone is unlikely to promote weight gain on its own. Changes in hormone levels throughout your cycle, on the other hand, can impact your appetite and make you feel like you’re gaining weight. Oestrogen reduces food intake during the first part of your cycle, so your hunger levels may be lower than usual. Progesterone levels rise after ovulation, improving your metabolism and increasing your appetite. While progesterone does not cause weight gain directly, it does stimulate your appetite, making you feel as if you are eating more and gaining weight.  

Can low progesterone lead to weight gain?

Hormone imbalances, such as low progesterone, can contribute to weight gain, as oestrogen and progesterone imbalances are one of the most common causes of this. Progesterone levels that are healthy support the thyroid in producing hormones that control your metabolism; or how quickly food is converted into energy. Your metabolism will slow down if your thyroid isn’t maintained and therefore can’t create enough hormones. In some cases, low progesterone might indicate oestrogen dominance. This is due to the fact that oestrogen and progesterone must remain balanced in order for the body to function correctly. If low progesterone is caused by oestrogen dominance, you may be at a higher risk of gaining weight. Oestrogen is responsible for the accumulation of fat in many places of your body – you may retain more fat cells than usual if you don’t have enough progesterone to counteract the effects of too much oestrogen.  

Weight gain caused by hormonal imbalances

You may have a hormone imbalance if you aren’t losing weight despite burning more calories than you consume. As previously stated, imbalances in the progesterone and oestrogen balance can lead to weight gain. Weight gain is also a possibility for women with hormone imbalance illnesses like PCOS. Women with PCOS have an overabundance of androgens (male sex hormones) in their bodies, which can lead to hormone imbalances, irregular periods, and weight gain. Insulin resistance is also a possibility in women with PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. When you’re insulin-resistant, your blood sugar stays high, which can contribute to weight gain.  

How to prevent hormonal weight gain

As we’ve discussed, weight gain can be caused by a hormonal imbalance. If you’re eating well and exercising consistently but still haven’t lost weight, a blood test might identify the source of your weight gain. Of course, if you’re concerned about unexplained weight gain, you should always visit a hormonal healthcare professional. He or she will be able to do in-depth hormone testing that will reveal any existing hormone imbalances. While progesterone doesn’t always trigger weight gain directly, a larger hormone imbalance can certainly be the cause. Having regulated hormones aids in overall wellbeing and leading a healthy lifestyle.
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