Male Hormone Replacement Therapy And Weight Loss

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Around middle age, men begin to show obvious signs of hormone deficiency. One of these is unwanted weight gain. Can hormone replacement therapy result in weight loss? You bet it can. Here’s how it works:

Testosterone Therapy And Weight Loss

Obesity and low testosterone go hand in hand. Low testosterone levels are seen in 75% of obese men, including those below 20 years of age. While the mechanism is not fully understood, it seems that central obesity (“belly fat”) both inhibits testosterone production and promotes the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Likewise, high testosterone is associated with low body fat. In a long term study of men being treated with testosterone therapy for erectile dysfunction, researchers observed significant weight-related changes, including a decline in body mass, a decease in waist size, and a loss of excess pounds, even though these men did not intend to lose weight. In most weight loss studies, people begin to regain weight within 6 to 12 months. However, men being treated with testosterone did not show this pattern. Some men were able to discontinue testosterone replacement after losing weight, as long as they remained physically active.

DHEA, Pregnenolone And Weight Loss

DHEA and pregnenolone are used to treat adrenal fatigue, a condition which occurs when chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to produce either too much or too little cortisol. Excess cortisol results in increased blood sugar levels, diminished muscle, and estrogen dominance, among other things. Low cortisol results in weight gain, particularly around the waist, a craving for sweets, and decreased energy which leads to diminished physical activity. A first measure in restoring adrenal function is a wheat-free and sugar-free diet, habitual sleep, and regular exercise. This should be supported by vitamin and mineral supplements, particularly B complex and vitamin C, and hormone replacement therapy in deficient individuals.

Hormone replacement includes prenenolone, which is a precursor to cortisol, testosterone, and DHEA.  DHEA functions as an androgen (male hormone), increasing the percentage of muscle and decreasing the percentage of body fat, while reversing many of the effects of excess cortisol. It increases testosterone levels, and testosterone helps maintain an aggressive metabolism. It also promotes the use of stored body fat for energy, in the same way that testosterone does.

DHEA also inhibits the craving for sweets. DHEA is not a diet pill and will only work in men who are DHEA-deficient. It does not cause weight loss, but instead promotes the lost o body fat. In a landmark study, DHEA supplementation enabled men to lose 31% of mean body fat over the course of 28 days. The same decrease in body fat was seen in a followup study at the Medical College of Virginia.

Growth Hormone And Weight Loss

Growth hormone (GH) promotes the breakdown of stored fat, the conversion of this fat into energy, and the production of lean muscle mass. Obese individuals have low growth hormone levels, due to a complex series of interrelated body processes. GH replacement therapy has been effective in reducing fat mass, especially visceral adipose tissue. One study showed a 1.6-fold increase in fat loss due to growth hormone compared with placebo. Because growth hormone can promote glucose intolerance, a precursor to diabetes, it is often used with insulin sensitizers in severely overweight individuals who may already have insulin issues.

Thyroid Hormone And Weight Loss

The relationship between thyroid hormone deficiency and weight gain is well documented. Thyroid deficiency is not always easy to diagnose and is often accompanied by adrenal fatigue, which cause similar symptoms. Although hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is diagnosed more often in women than in men, thyroid production can be suppressed by excess cortisol – a common condition in men. Testosterone deficiency is common in men with low thyroid, and can even by caused by a subclinical thyroid deficiency. If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, you should look into cortisol and thyroid production as ancillary conditions. The greatest weight loss will occur when hormone replacement therapy takes care of all hormone deficiencies, instead of one or two.