Hormones – Estrogen or Testosterone?
We’re just a little obsessed with fat!
Almost everyone seems to have a problem with where they keep their fat, and we’re not talking about which shelf to put the extra tub of butter. We’re talking about where your body chooses to store adipose (fat) tissue. It’s a common misconception that the more you exercise a certain body part, the more body fat you’ll lose in that area. Not entirely true! Will that area become more developed? Yes. More toned? Yes. Less fat? Unlikely. The two main hormones responsible for this nonsense? Women, say hello to estrogen, “the destroyer of your hips and thighs”. Men: your friend is testosterone, “the keeper of beer bellies”. We can suck out fat and put it wherever we want but it’s no match for mother nature. She does what she wants when she wants.
Let’s talk about (sex) hormones, baby….
As we develop, our hormone balance shifts, which in turn shifts our fat. With puberty comes big bodily changes due to our two main sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, which are also responsible for a lot of our secondary sex changes. For everyone, that includes growing body hair: for women that means wider hips and breasts. For men it means the ability to put on muscle and deeper voices as their testicles mature. This is when we start to see the shift in our body fat and the difference in male and female body shapes. There are receptors for different areas of adipose tissue on the body that respond to either estrogen or testosterone. Visceral fat (the fat surrounding our organs and most commonly found in the belly) tends to respond well to testosterone. However, subcutaneous fat (the pinchable fat right under the skin) responds to estrogen and continues to act as a producer and storage facility for the hormone. Even more fun, estrogen promotes the growth of new fat cells. Stop the madness!! We can’t take any more fun fat talk!
What goes up must come down!
If an increase in these hormones causes the increase in our fat storage and production, shouldn’t the reverse be true? Just when you thought it was over, confusingly, the opposite is true. For women, menopause causes such a drastic decrease in estrogen levels that the body will shift fat storage to the belly. For men, their levels of testosterone decrease with age and with that comes the inability to build muscle, therefore, causing more of a beer belly. The fun is never ending!
Choose your weapon of (body mass) destruction and let us help you!
We might not get to choose where we keep our fat, but we can choose how to get rid of it. At Gayoso Plastic Surgery we love fat! It is our job to help sort out which permanent fat reducing procedure is for you: liposuction or Coolsculpting. Both are effective at permanently removing fat. One is surgical (liposuction) and one is non-surgical (Coolsculpting). Working in a plastic surgery office, our Coolsculpting staff has advanced training and knowledge in both and can help guide you to the procedure that fits your lifestyle and body contouring goals the best.