Hormonal drugs – timeless medical horror stories. There is always a colleague, an aunt or an unfamiliar woman in the queue, ready to ardently oppose the unwise doctors to write these terrible pills. One of the main side effects associated with hormonal therapy in the national consciousness is the almost inevitable weight gain. About why recovering from hormonal drugs, what drugs specifically cause the appearance of extra pounds, and what to do about it,
In the human endocrine system, there are seven major endocrine glands, in addition there are many cells scattered, for example, in the gastrointestinal tract, which also have the ability to produce hormones. Themselves as hormones, natural biologically active substances produced by the human body, there are several dozen.
Hormonal drugs that can be prescribed to women for one reason or another, many. And it is wrong to combine them into one frightening whole, overgrown with myths and superstitions. If the drug was prescribed by a doctor and the patient takes it correctly, there is no point in asking about the expediency of treatment. There are situations when hormone therapy is indispensable.
As a rule, hormonal preparations are prescribed in order to compensate for the insufficient formation of some hormones in the body, or to suppress their excess production. Some types of hormonal drugs, such as glucocorticoids, are prescribed for diseases that are not directly related to the endocrine system — for example, for bronchial asthma, severe allergic reactions, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on.
One of the diseases in which hormones can be prescribed, in particular, the hormone insulin, is diabetes. The most commonly prescribed groups of hormonal drugs are synthetic thyroid hormones in the form of a levothyroxine sodium monopreparation (for example, L-thyroxin and Eutirox), as a combination of levothyroxine and liothyronine, i.e. T4 and T3 (in thyroid, Novotiral) or in combination with iodine ( Jodtirox, Tirokomb). These drugs are used to treat hypothyroidism or thyroid insufficiency.
A large number of women periodically or constantly use hormonal agents with a contraceptive effect. Gynecologists can prescribe such tablets not only for family planning, but also as a treatment for some gynecological diseases. Contraceptives are also prescribed to change the level of estrogen in the blood in estrogen-dependent diseases, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
Sometimes, with the help of progesterone drugs, they compensate for their own deficiency of this hormone with a common reproductive problem, known as insufficiency of the second phase of the cycle (dysfunction of the corpus luteum, which may prevent the desired pregnancy).
But preparations for hormone replacement therapy, when the lost hormonal functions are restored with the help of pharmacology, are still used quite rarely in our country. Although in European countries, the appointment of such drugs for a long time and successfully practiced.
“There is a strong opinion among the people” that as soon as you begin to accept these insidious “hormones”, and in any form, you will definitely get better. And, admittedly, such an idea cannot be called wrong.
When using glucocorticoid drugs for a long time (talking about months and even years), for example, due to systemic connective tissue disease, or bronchial asthma, patients recover because glucocorticoids increase glucose levels, that is, indirectly contribute to an increase in adipose tissue .
Weight gain is also common in people with diabetes with an overdose of insulin. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, that is, it stimulates the processes of utilization and storage of glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, and at the same time inhibits the catabolic processes of the breakdown of glycogen, fats and proteins.
But the use of thyroid hormones by itself cannot provoke an increase in body weight. These hormones accelerate metabolism, increase the production of heat by the body, increase the activity of the cardiovascular system, that is, cause processes that are associated with weight loss.
If you are participating in the discussion of the fact that “on hormones” a girlfriend, acquaintance, colleague from a neighboring office, a celebrity from TV, recovered, do not rush to apply this information to yourself. Starting hormonal medications does not automatically mean that it is time to buy clothes on the rise.
The first question that arises when you hear about the hormonal weight gain: how did the woman eat? Body weight can not increase in the absence of excess nutrition. In any case, if the doctor prescribed the drug to you after a thorough examination and strictly according to indications, and it is impossible not to take it, you first need to look closely and honestly at your desk and the degree of physical activity. If you are sure that you eat right, move enough, and the weight continues to “arrive,” you should understand the reasons individually and together with your doctor. Independently cancel and replace treatment, go on a strict diet, and especially not starve in any case. Just like using someone else’s experience of losing weight after taking hormonal drugs.
The most mass of all hormonal drugs can be called contraceptives, respectively, the lion’s share of the discussion of the problem of losing weight due to hormones is associated with their reception.
There are three main reasons why women who use hormonal contraceptives for a long time can get better:
Progesterone, one of the hormones contained in contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, contributes to some fluid retention in the body.
Acceptance of hormonal pills can affect the change in eating behavior, namely, increase appetite.
Relatively new data: if a woman is gaining weight when prescribing contraceptive drugs, then, most likely, at the time of the appointment she had subclinical hypothyroidism, which “aggravated” when hormonal changes. With a decrease in thyroid function, weight gain is characteristic.
No hormonal drugs have their own caloric content. Accordingly, by themselves, they are not capable of causing an increase in body weight. If this happens, the reason lies deeper, and to get rid of the consequences of its manifestation should be under the control of a specialist, without thoughtless experiments and haste.
Also, we must not forget that the preparation of the drug is different. The first artificially synthesized female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone – were obtained in 1929 and 1934, and the first contraceptive pill hit the market in the 60s of the last century. Since then, the doses of hormones in the preparations have significantly decreased, and the active ingredients themselves have become bioidentical. For example, in the latest generation of contraceptives, estradiol valerate is used, turning into the intestines into estradiol, identical to its own.
There are varieties of progestogens that make up contraceptives and hormone replacement drugs. These substances, for example, drospirenone, have the property of removing excess fluid from the body. Also, to reduce the risk of side effects, you can ask the doctor to prescribe progressive contraceptives: for example, gel applied to the skin, minimally involved in the metabolic processes inside the body.
Studies of newer products containing female sex hormones demonstrate that the latest generation of drugs not only contribute to weight gain, but also reduce fasting glucose and insulin resistance, as well as improve the state of the lipid profile, reducing the level of total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipids.
It is important to know for women of any age: correctly selected drugs for hormone replacement therapy during menopause will help avoid sad and unpleasant manifestations of the metabolic syndrome characteristic of this period, including not only weight gain and the appearance of fat deposits in the abdomen, but also “hot flashes” , Thinning of hair on the head and growth on the face, risk of osteoporosis, vascular pathology, atrophic processes in organs.
But! With all the advantages of properly prescribed hormone therapy, it must be remembered that the hormones cannot be started on their own only because the wonderful pills have helped someone from the environment. All, even the most modern drugs, have contraindications. Hormonal drugs are prescribed by the doctor strictly individually, and with long-term treatment the doctor must be visited at least twice a year. Only in this way will you be able to achieve safe medication intake and do not “launch” undesirable consequences