Madison Hormone Help: What Causes Belly Fat?

Balancing the calories you eat with the energy you burn, largely determines the amount of weight that you gain. However, belly fat can be more complicated than that. It often appears with age, especially in women after menopause. The tendency to carry weight around the mid-section may also have a genetic component. Did you know that belly fat could actually be the indicator of other health concerns?

Unfortunately, belly fat is not just an excess layer of fat below the skin; it also includes visceral fat that is located deep within your abdomen, surrounding all of your internal organs. It’s visceral fat that poses more serious health concerns such as cardiovascular disease; type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Belly fat has also been linked with premature death.

When you research what causes belly fat you will find the standard responses of:

  1. Over Eating
  2. Unhealthy Diet
  3. Sedentary Lifestyle
  4. Genetics

However, did you know that belly fat might also be caused by adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance? Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands have produced so much stress fighting hormones called cortisol that they no longer function properly, and your body suffers as a result.  Too much cortisol results in a variety of health issues. Unfortunately, if your hormones are imbalanced, exercise and nutrition will not be enough to get rid of excess belly fat or regulate your hormones.

Many patients are finding success through functional medicine. These practitioners are trained to examine your body as an entire operating system and not just treat isolated symptoms. They start by determining the root cause of your condition through comprehensive lab testing. This shows them which of your body systems are out of balance.

Because they understand that no two patients are alike, once they’ve determined what’s causing your condition, they will then create a customized care plan based on your specific needs. Functional medicine is a very thorough and comprehensive approach that is designed not only to help you reduce belly fat, but also improve your overall health.

Fitness and nutrition play a large role in any health condition, and both should be given the proper attention. But because your body systems may also be failing and causing you other health issues, it’s important to work with a practitioner who understands how to help you. Take the time to find a functional medicine doctor who can help you determine the underlying causes of your condition, create customized care based on your unique condition, and mentor you through the recovery process.

-Dr. Ashley Woyak, Forward Natural Medicine