The Truth about Middle-Aged Spread
Middle-aged spread, also commonly known as the hormonal spread, is a sad fact of life for anyone over the age of 40. It is the time when your hormones seem to gang up on you, and everything you eat lands up on your belly or your thighs. No matter how hard you try, nothing moves the extra layers of flab.
This midlife spread in both women and men is actually a body-shape shift, due to midlife hormonal imbalances. When you are younger and healthier, there is a fine balance between the 3 sex hormones, progesterone, and testosterone.
Unfortunately, as we age, that balance changes, and with it comes body-shape shifts – and hormonal spread. Unusual and unexplained bulges seem to pop up, although nothing on the scale appears to have changed.
Studies have shown that the changes in the body shape, are definitely because of a hormone imbalance as you grow older.1
How to tell if your hormones have gone awry
The hormone imbalance, in both men and women, applies specifically to low progesterone and too much estrogen.
When a woman is in her 30’s, progesterone, which is made in the ovaries, begins to drop. This is at a time when a healthy woman’s estrogen levels are still good, and the result is too much estrogen, which has some unpleasant symptoms.
In men, there is a similar decline in progesterone, an important hormone for men as well, which is produced in the adrenal and testicular tissue. Progesterone is used to produce testosterone, and low levels of progesterone means lower levels of testosterone. The cycle then shifts into estrogen dominance in the male body.
It may come as a surprise to many men that they also need a certain amount of estrogen, which is actually produced in their bodies, and is essential for healthy bones, brain function, and a healthy libido.2
If you have experienced at least 2 of the following symptoms for the past 3 months, your hormones may be haywire.
- Mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats.
- Fatigue and headaches.
- Memory lapse beyond the normal.
- Heavy periods, tender breasts.
- Unusual weight gain, especially around the middle.
- Water retention in the ankles and feet.
- A loss of sexual desire.
- Poor concentration.
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping.
- Feelings of depression.
- Night sweats from too much estrogen.
- Weight around the belly area.
- In some cases, a man’s breasts may start growing because of the estrogen dominance.
- Reduced libido and possibly erectile dysfunction.
The latest scientific research has confirmed that it is harder to get rid of bulges, especially in the belly area, when you age.3 This applies to both male and female.
Health risks of too much estrogen
Estrogen dominance can mess with your weight and your health, whether you are male or female.4 In addition to the weight and body-shape issues, your risk for more serious illnesses is raised by too much estrogen, compounded by lower levels of progesterone and testosterone.
- Estrogen dominance affects the thyroid which controls the metabolism, making you feel sluggish and gain flabby weight.5
- Raised risk of heart disease and stroke.6
- Elevated estrogen put women at a higher risk of breast cancer, especially the tumors which feed on estrogen, and which potentially become very aggressive.7
- There is also a higher risk of endometrial and cervical cancer if there is estrogen dominance over a long period of time.
Get a medical check-up if you notice any lumps or bumps in the breasts, or if you feel sluggish and run-down due to possible thyroid malfunction.
Foods to help beat the middle-spread
These foods can help you to avoid the hormonal spread, and conquer estrogen dominance.8
- Boost your intake of insoluble fiber, which is found in foods such as leafy vegetables, whole grains, wheat, and bran. Insoluble fiber binds itself to excess estrogen in the digestive tract, and eliminates it from the body.
- The veggies include asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, beetroot, celery, and cabbage.
- Citrus fruits contain an organic compound known as d-Limonene, which studies have shown helps eliminate extra estrogen from the system.
- If possible, try and eat protein with every meal. Healthy protein includes nuts, seeds, fish, dairy, and lean meat. Protein builds muscle and reduces the fat cells where extra fat is stored.
You do, however, need to exercise and use the muscles, to burn up and wipe out the extra body fat.
Foods to avoid in order to keep middle-aged spread at bay.9
- All soy products must be avoided, as unfermented soy is extremely high in estrogen, and adds to the estrogen overload.
- Cut out the carbs, especially those foods made from refined sugar and refined flour.
- Consumption of fatty meat and chicken should also be reduced.
- Get accustomed to having much smaller portions of whatever you eat. If you do not burn extra food intake, the excess will be stored in your fat cells and add to belly and thigh size.
Studies have indicated that estrogen is produced in fatty tissue, so the more fat you have, the more estrogen will be added to your system.10
Because of estrogen dominance, the root cause of several serious illnesses, is essentially a sign of hormones out of kilter, research has shown that hormonal support is necessary. Supplementing with progesterone will help restore the balance between estrogen and progesterone.11
Doctors are also recommending the use of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy or BHRT, for progesterone, which is safe to use by both women and men who may be battling with estrogen dominance.12
We can help
BHRT hormones are natural hormones manufactured by using plant extracts, and are exactly the same as the hormones produced in the body. They have fewer side effects than the potentially dangerous side effects which are common to chemical, synthetic hormones.
At Renew Health and Wellness, our procedure is designed to provide lasting improvements in the matter of a hormonal imbalance – with little or no side effects.
For information about the BHRT treatment, contact us at www.renewmetoday.com and take the hormone health test to see how we can help you restore your hormonal balance.