Tag Archives: hormone regulation

skin look younger

How the Right Balance of Hormones Make Your Skin Look Younger

Hormone replacement therapy makes your skin look younger by managing the natural changes in hormone production in your body as you age.

When you hear about what keeps your skin looking young and vibrant, you most likely come across lists of suggestions to stay hydrated, moisturize, eat a healthy diet, and take preventative measures as early as you can.

And these are all useful pieces of advice. But there’s more going on internally with our bodies as they age that influence our skin.

One of those things is hormone balance.

As we age, our bodies produce less estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones that contribute to healthy and youthful skin. The result is skin that starts to look noticeably different in ways that initially seem out of our control.

But there are new therapies that can prevent and reverse the changes made to skin as a result of aging and hormones.

How hormones influence our skin

Hormones are molecules that your body uses to send chemical messages throughout your body. These chemical messengers help every system in your body stay regulated and function properly.

After they’re made in the endocrine system, they travel through the blood to the organs and tissues in the body where they bond to specific receptors that give instructions to cells to carry out particular actions.

Some of the most common that influence our skin are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

These hormones do MORE than just help our skin function. They’re most commonly known as the reproductive hormones in men and women, but they impact other aspects of our bodies too, one of them being the health of our skin. As a result, when the amount of these hormones in your body changes, your skin changes too.

Estrogen

Estrogen is a hormone naturally produced in men and women.

When women go through menopause and their estrogen levels drop, it’s common to experience hot flashes, chills, difficulty sleeping, and excessive sweating.

That’s why post-menopause, estrogen can be given to women to 

  • Improve skin elasticity and firmness
  • Relieve menopause symptoms
  • Treat vaginal and ovary issues
  • Prevent bone loss

Testosterone

Testosterone is another hormone in both men and women. It’s most commonly known for being essential for male libido. As well as for the development of strong muscles. But it also plays a key role in many factors of health for both men and women:

  • Muscle mass 
  • Bone density and strength
  • Mood regulation
  • Memory and cognitive ability
  • Heart health

Progesterone

Progesterone is known for being a pregnancy hormone. It plays a greater role during reproductive years, but it does more than prepare the body for pregnancy.

When given as part of a therapy for women post-menopause, it also helps relieve and fix:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Changes in bone density
  • Mood fluctuations and overall mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

So how do you maintain healthy levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as you age?

One answer is to try Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

For aesthetic purposes, this means using hormones as directed by a doctor to replace some of the hormone levels that dropped from aging. 

Why HRT makes your skin look younger

As you age, your skin loses elasticity and produces less collagen. Part of this is related to how your hormone levels change.

Studies have shown that HRT improves skin in a variety of ways:

  • Improves collagen content and quality
  • Increases skin thickness
  • Evens skin tone
  • Makes skin more supple
  • Reduce wrinkles

The reason is that hormones like estrogen influence how much collagen your body produces. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your body. It’s an essential protein for bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.

Our bodies produce collagen, but that does diminish over time and there are things that further diminish collagen production aside from aging. Excessive sun exposure, too much sugar and refined carbs, and smoking can all lower the amount of collagen your body produces at any age.

As we reach middle age though, the process naturally starts to take hold and it shows up first in our skin which shows signs of aging. 

HRT has been shown to improve the amount of collagen produced by your body by replacing those hormones that are responsible for collagen production. The result is younger and more vibrant skin and outcomes that can even reverse some signs of aging that already took hold.

See if bioidentical HRT is right for you to make your skin look younger

We have a range of HRT gels, pellets, and creams that help our patients overcome hormone changes due to aging.

But when considering HRT, it’s important to factor in all aspects of your health history, age, and conditions before starting HRT. That’s why it’s required to work with a doctor who can make sure you get the safest and most effective treatment plan for your situation.

To learn about our Bioidentical HRT services provided by Dr. Keiffer, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location to book your consultation today.

sleep helps you lose weight

How Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

Seriously, how much sleep you get each night impacts your body weight

If you’re looking for ways to lose weight without having to step on a treadmill, you aren’t alone. 

And while I can’t advise avoiding exercise, there is one activity that requires zero movement and has a shocking impact on your weight:

Sleep. Glorious sleep.

The recommended amount of sleep each night is 7-9 hours for adults and 8-10 for adolescents.

But the unfortunate truth is that ⅓ of Americans don’t get enough sleep every night. And 70% of Americans report that they don’t get enough sleep at least one night a month.

Sleep issues affect around 50-70 million Americans every year and this impacts health in a variety of ways: increased risk of injury, depression, and high blood pressure (just to list a few).

Those might be expected results of not sleeping enough. But lack of sleep affects your weight too.

1. Poor sleep increases your calorie intake 

There are so many factors that can lead to increasing your calorie intake each day.

First, sleep helps you lose weight by regulating hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t produce enough leptin which suppresses hunger.

And it produces too much ghrelin which tells your brain that you’re full.

As a result of that, you may perceive an increased appetite. But it doesn’t stop there.

When you don’t sleep enough, you don’t just want more food — you want more high-calorie foods. Specifically high-carb and high-fat foods.

These foods are difficult enough to resist on their own under ideal conditions.

But choosing healthful foods over junk food becomes a titanic struggle when you take into account how sleep affects decision-making. 

When you are low on sleep you have a harder time making good decisions.

Lack of sleep is associated with lower performance in the frontal lobe of your brain. This is where decisions are made and you decide how to exhibit self-control.

So when you don’t get enough sleep, your self-control and smart decision-making suffer. And you’re more likely to eat foods that you’d rather avoid as you try to lose weight.

2. Sleep improves your physical activity 

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help you lose weight.

But when you’re tired every day you won’t want to exercise. It’s as simple as that.

If exercise isn’t part of your regular routine yet, it’s hard to get motivated. And you make it even harder to get motivated when you aren’t well-rested.

Poor sleep has also been shown to decrease performance outcomes. While getting enough sleep every night has proven to improve athletic performance.

And then there’s the matter of recovery. Sleep is essential for your body to properly recover after exercise. If you want to get better at exercise and see all the weight loss outcomes possible from your workouts, you need to get enough sleep each night.

3. Sleep improves your resting metabolism

Resting metabolism is how many calories your body burns while at rest.

There are some ways of increasing (or decreasing) your resting metabolic rate. And it should come as no surprise now that sleep is one of them.

Sleep helps you lose weight by increasing your resting metabolism.

One reason this may be the case is that inadequate sleep can cause muscle loss. And muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

Tips for getting enough sleep

It’s one thing to know how important sleep is for losing weight. But if you struggle to get to sleep at a good hour, you might need some help making the adjustment. 

So if you’re like many who have trouble getting to sleep early, here are some pointers to get to more sleep.

  • Turn all screens off an hour before bed

Put your phone on the charger, close your laptop, and shut the TV off. 

The blue light from screens reduces your melatonin production at night. Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. If you aren’t producing enough melatonin, you won’t fall asleep easily.

So turn the screens off and find something to do without a screen for the hour before you sleep.

  • Read in bed instead

Reading helps you fall asleep as long as you read from a classic bound book, not an e-reader.

It works because reading relaxes you. It takes your mind off your worries of the day. So if you have a hard time falling asleep because of racing thoughts, this is a useful tool to get out of your own head before bed.

  • Sleep meditation

Another tool to overcome any anxiety that keeps you up at night is meditation. 

There are meditations made specifically to help you fall asleep. So you can lie in bed, get all cozy, turn on your sleep meditation, and easily relax into sleep. Programs like the Calm app provide plenty of anxiety-reducing and sleep meditations to help you get a full night’s rest.

  • Create total darkness in your bedroom at night

Depending on where you live, you might have a lot of city light coming in through your window at night. 

If the brightness at night is keeping you up, getting better blinds, heavy curtains, or an eye sleep mask to keep out the light will help you sleep better at night.

  • Create a consistent sleeping rhythm

If you like going out for late nights on the weekend, this can be a frustrating suggestion.

But if you want to lose weight, then having a consistent sleep pattern is just as important as following a steady diet and meal plan.

Having a regular sleep schedule makes it more likely you’ll get tired at an early enough time to get your full 7-9 hours of sleep. 

Don’t let your sleep be an afterthought.

While sleep is just one component of your overall health, it’s an important one. When you get enough, sleep helps you lose weight and improves your quality of life. 

If you want more guidance about getting enough sleep and how that can help you based on your specific weight loss goals, we’re always here to answer your questions.

Sources:

  1. “National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times.” Sleep Foundation, 28 July 2020, www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times.
  2. “1 In 3 Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2016, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html.
  3. “The State of SleepHealth in America.” SleepHealth, www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/.
  4. Taheri, Shahrad, et al. “Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index.” PLoS Medicine, Public Library of Science, Dec. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/.
  5. Spiegel K;Tasali E;Penev P;Van Cauter E; “Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15583226/.
  6. Wu JC;Gillin JC;Buchsbaum MS;Chen P;Keator DB;Khosla Wu N;Darnall LA;Fallon JH;Bunney WE; “Frontal Lobe Metabolic Decreases with Sleep Deprivation Not Totally Reversed by Recovery Sleep.” Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16880772/.
  7. Pullen, Caroline. “7 Ways Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 June 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-and-weight-loss.