How Estrogen Causes Insulin Resistance

As we discussed in our last entry: insulin causes you to store fat — regardless of how healthy your diet may be. It doesn’t matter how many calories you cut out of your daily eating habits: high insulin retain stubborn weight that won’t go away. And as we touched on: diet is not the only factor that affects your insulin. So why may someone with a healthy diet have high insulin, and consequently, stubborn weight that won’t go away?

Our years of lab-work have shown us that when estrogen is too high it stimulates ErbB receptors in the pancreas. ErbB receptors cause that pancreas to make more insulin. This clearly demonstrates that the more estrogen you have, the higher your insulin level. In a woman’s normal cycle there is a balance between estrogen and progesterone. In the beginning of the month estrogen levels are usually normal. Ovulation occurs around day 12 and increases progesterone production. If ovulation does not occur estrogen remains high throughout the month. And it is common for women to not ovulate.

When we have patients come in with high insulin, we test their estrogen and progesterone levels. And we test those levels after day 12, when most women should have begun ovulation. If we find high estrogen and low progesterone, we know we’re on the path to discovering the root of the problem. The next question is: how do we manage these abnormal hormone levels?

Remember the ErbB receptor in the pancreas? That receptor is modulated by progesterone. Giving a woman progesterone during the second half of her cycle calms down the ErbB receptor, and in turn the ErbB releases less insulin. Less insulin, means less stored fat. Our next step is to address dietary habits to help holistically treat insulin resistance caused by high estrogen. Everybody is unique, and every body is unique. That’s why we run in-depth labs, and consult with you on your diet. Together, we can get to the root insulin resistance, and solve stubborn weight-gain.