Ayurvedic View for Imbalanced Female Hormones Leading to Obesity

Abstract

Women, Our hormones are the most valuable thing we have. These hormones make us what we are. Our hormones give us the ability to sustain, fight, tolerate, handle situations, and most important to love. All women do not belong to the same category or have the same mindset. Some of us want to go as far as possible from this dominating world on the other hand some of us want to stay in this dominating world to prove our dominance, some want to have kids and some don’t want to have kids, some want a beautiful family and a caring husband but some just want to enjoy their own company for a while. Whatever you feel, it’s your choice and of course, you should be the one to decide about your life. This difference in perspective of women is mainly due to the hormones we posses. This article is about understanding and nourishing your hormones to avoid some drastic changes in our body leading to obesity. Here I am not mocking anyone for their body type but just want to share information that why it is important to avoid obesity because it leads everyone towards many health conditions.

Obesity

Introduction

As we talk about female hormones, there are two popular hormones that strike every woman’s mind estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are said to be the building block of a female’s body. Estrogen is important for maintaining the menstrual cycle which is prime for childbearing. On the other hand, progesterone is understood as pregnancy maintaining hormone. It also helps in maintaining the uterus lining and provides favorable surroundings for fertilization. Additional functions of these two hormones will be discussed in detail in this article. There are many other hormones that are present inside our bodies and perform their function silently.

Causes for hormonal imbalance leading to obesity

In females the hormonal imbalance can be the result of stress, bad eating habits, intake of spicy food articles, lack of exercise, long working hours, relationship worries, postpartum stage, lactating female, constipation, bloating, menopausal stage, pregnancy etc.

Now let us understand the system that is responsible for making hormones

1. Endocrine System

This system is group of glands that secrete hormones into blood stream. These hormones behave as chemical messengers that regulate body process. Human body comprise of three major endocrine glands that are thyroid gland, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. This system helps in controlling mood, development and growth. It also controls metabolism and reproduction.

Definition of Gland

The gland is the part of body that makes hormones and put them out to do specific work in the body.

Parts of Endocrine System

The endocrine system is connected to the nervous system via hypothalamus and has the following part:

  1. Pituitary Gland: It is termed as the master gland of this system. It carries information from the brain to other glands in order to regulate their work. It secretes many important hormones like prolactin (breastfeeding hormone), growth hormone, luteinizing hormone that manages estrogen levels in women.
  2. Thyroid Gland: The gland secretes thyroid hormone. This hormone is responsible for normal metabolic functioning but if secretion of thyroid hormone is less then slow metabolic rates will be absorbed. Like slow heart rate, constipation and also leads to weight gain. If the secretion of thyroid hormone increases then every metabolic activity inside body speeds up.
  3. Adrenal Glands: This gland is responsible for fight and flight response. This response is the result of adrenaline hormone also known as epinephrine. Adrenals control metabolism and sexual activity mainly.

Female Hormones and Obesity

1. Estrogen

This hormone is of three types:

  1. Estrone or E1: It is produced by the body after menopause.
  2. Estradiol or E2: Women of child bearing age have this type.
  3. Estriol or E3: Produced by the body during pregnancy.

This hormone is responsible for maintain bone health, menstrual cycle, reduces cholesterol levels in blood. It is very important for childbearing. Generally low hormone levels in menopausal females are considered as a reason for obesity. Other than menopause eating disorders like anorexia, premature ovarian failure, turner syndrome and low functioning of pituitary are also considered as the reasons for low estrogen.

2. Progesterone

This hormone is released by ovaries. Change in progesterone levels can contribute to abnormal or irregular menstrual cycle. It is also responsible for implantation of fertilized egg with the uterus wall. Lower progesterone levels are directly related to obesity. Lack of this hormone makes body to produce more amount of thyroid binding globulin that binds up with thyroid hormone making it inactive. Thus leads females towards hypothyroidism.

3. Leptin

It is released from adipocytes in equal amount to that of body weight. This hormone reaches brain and bind with receptors. It plays very important role in storing and using energy. In obese people leptin resistance is observed. Their blood usually have high levels of leptin and due to this resistance brain do not response to hormone and the person keeps on eating even after having normal levels of fat stores in body.

4. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

This hormone is produced and released in anterior pituitary. This plays an important role in sexual development of a woman. It controls menstrual cycle by triggering release of egg from ovary. High level of this hormone causes infertility and directly impact reproductive cycle. Increases LH levels are also related to polycystic ovarian syndrome in which there is infrequent or prolonged menses and also have high testosterone levels. This condition can also be understood as a reason of obesity in reproductive females.

5. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

This hormone is responsible for adequate growth of ovarian follicles. The levels of this hormone are highest just before ovulation. Fat deposition in excess in body results in low levels of FSH thus leading to disturbed menstrual cycle and weight gain.

6. Insulin

There are two conditions either insulin resistance results in obesity or obesity can be the result of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. This helps cells to take up glucose and use it as a source of energy. But if cells become resistant to insulin then body produces more insulin and thus resulting in polyphagia (increased hunger). If obesity leads to insulin resistance then this is due to abnormal deposition of fat within skeletal muscles.

7. Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate

The presence of this hormone is generally seen in the patients of polycystic ovarian syndrome. This condition generally develops due to obesity.

Obesity is a condition that is increasing predominantly in women especially due to hormonal imbalance. In ayurveda our aacharyas had wrote many reasons which are responsible for obesity (sthaulaya). It is describes as medoveh strotas dushti (imbalanced fat metabolism) due to which aati vriddhi of meda dhatu (accumulation of fat) is observed. In female such fat accumulations can result in imbalanced hormones and increases chances of heart, kidney and liver disorders, also hit their menstrual health really bad.

Definition of Sthaulya According to Ayurveda

Ancient References

An obese gist of body is termed as sthaulya or increase of body size horizontally (physically).

Reasons for Obesity

Ancient References

Ancient References

  • Snigdha and guru aahar sevan (excessive intake of fatty, oily food articles)
  • Consuming large meals
  • Adhyashan (eating before digestion of previous diet)
  • Eating in case of indigestion
  • Excessive Consumption of new crop (naveen anna)
  • Lack of exercise (avayayam) sleeping in day time (divaswapan),  disinterest in sexual activity (avyvae), excessive happiness (aati prasanta), use of excessive kapha vardhak aahara are some of the life style related reasons for obesity.

Symptoms of Obesity

Ancient References

  • Excessive hunger (kshut)
  • Excessive thirst (trita)
  • Increased sweating (prasawed)
  • Breathlessness on mild exertion (shwas)
  • Excessive sleep (atinidra)
  • Difficulty to perform heavy work (aayas akshmta)
  • Sluggishness (jadya)
  • Short life span (alpa aayu)
  • Decreased body strength(alpa bala)
  • Inertness ( alpa vegaat)
  • Foul odor of body (durgandhya)
  • Unclear voice (gadgadtav)

Eight dosha Told by Aacharaya Charaka Wrote Under Sthaulya

Ancient References

  • Short life span
  • Inability to work
  • Loss of libido
  • Weakness
  • Foul odour of the body
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive appetite
  • Excessive thirst

Being obese is very challenging both mentally and physically. For this condition reasons can be many but the end result will always make you prone to a lot of diseases. On, addition being a female with obesity means fighting with two things one is being obese and second is your disturbed hormones. This condition will be associated with a lot of mood swings, depressive thoughts, lack of confidence, and some anger issues. So to overcome such situations and also for maintaining your body along with your hormones here are some tips that might help you.

1. Exercising / Yoga

Exercising or yoga stimulates our whole body metabolism including our endocrine system. If you want to lose weight or you just want to maintain healthy hormones, exercising or doing yoga is important in both conditions. Physical exercises should be done in adequate amount and slowly the duration and amount should be raised. Like in starting you can just try running then slowly should include static exercises like lunges, pushups, sit-ups, and many more. If you want to go exclusively for yoga then you should start from simple yoga like surya namaskar which includes twelve poses of yoga then with an increase in flexibility you can try many things.

2. Eating Healthy

Healthy eating habits are very difficult to build, especially for females because we are fussy eaters like children. But it’s important to adapt in order to maintain your hormones at a calm and healthy state. In your diet, you can include grains, lentils, and green leafy vegetables, and fruits, fresh juices without or with little sugar. You can also include some home remedies that will help you to regularly detoxify your body.

  • Lemon Water with Honey: Lemon and honey are the most common ingredients that are easily found in the kitchen. Extract lemon juice, add a glass of water at normal temperature, and then mix two teaspoon of honey with it. Honey increases your digestion and lemon is known to have detoxifying properties. With this remedy, you can see results in a few weeks.
  • Mint Pepper Tea: Mint and pepper in a combination have amazing properties. Lemon contains pectin fiber that prevents frequent hunger attacks and piperine in black pepper reduces fat storage. Mint is having a strong fragrance that helps you in avoiding post-dinner sweet treats. The remedy usually gives good results in some weeks.

3. Meditation

Meditation is recommended because it is considered as the mental exercise for everyone. This is the way to calm your mind and your emotions. It also increases your concentration and fills you with new and creative ideas. It also brings positivity in your thoughts, helps you to be more confident about yourself, and let you discover your inner self.

4. Lifestyle Modifications

There are certain old habits that have to be left behind and there are some new patterns that have to be accepted in place of the old ones. Try sleeping early during night, drink warm water empty stomach in the morning, avoid anger, eat less junk, try to control your cravings, stop eating junk minimum 10 days before your cycle starts, don’t wash your hairs during menses, try not to have sex while on periods and keep yourself happy until the matter is very serious.

Conclusion

As we all know being a woman is never easy. People around us judge us frequently even we judge each other very often. We women are having a tendency to think a lot and react on small things but on the other hand, we can tolerate many big things too. All thanks to our hormones. So ladies basically we should try keeping our hormones and body maintained for our own good, so as we can protect ourselves from various diseases and enjoy our lives to the extreme boundaries. In case of any query or any doubt related to this topic kindly visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.