Large Size's Influence on Hormones
by Dr. Mo Lerner

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Menstrual problems seem to be a common concern. Most women understand that there are two basic "female " hormones at work in the body. Estrogen causes most of the characteristics that differentiate women from men. Some classic features include bodily curves, due to fat placement in various areas, feminine voice, and the lack of a true beard. I must emphasize that variation is great, just as personalities amongst individuals are refreshingly different.

Progesterone is derived from ancient Latin meaning literally "before pregnancy" which is probably appropriate since many of its jobs involve preparations for a baby. For example, along with its partner estrogen, progesterone makes the womb thicker and more vascular, in order to feed an implanting embryo. If a pregnancy progresses, the body gets a message to keep on producing valuable hormones in order to maintain a primed system. In the absence of fertilization, the uterus usually gets tired of waiting for pregnancy about the third week of most cycles and sends a message to the body not to bother with hormones any longer. Menstruation then occurs, as the unsupported uterus sheds its lining.

Many of you have asked why your periods are different or abnormal. Menstrual periods vary a great deal from woman to woman (even in the same woman) and it is unfortunate that society is obsessed with the term regular. Periods can come early, late, or in abnormal flow amounts if either of the hormones is out of balance or suddenly stops. For example, many women have lots of estrogen circulating which makes the womb thick, but it is a fragile build-up, because the partner hormone progesterone is not around to keep the lining strong. This results in intermittent shedding or late heavy bleeding.

Large women have many of these problems because fat acts like an extra oven where some estrogens are produced in excess, unbalancing the hormones. Fat youngsters often mature earlier partly because of this process.

Some of you have asked why you have more facial hair than thinner women. The explanation begins with a curious fact. Even women have some male hormones circulating, but these are kept quiet by a special neutralizing hormone. Sadly (depending on your point of view), in very large women, this masking hormone disappears and up crops the hair.

Take heart, beautiful ladies. If makeup and a variety of depilatory techniques are not to your liking, a physician can usually figure out which hormones are out of synch and replace them. Before you take any medication ask about side effects (like acne and bloating) and risks (which are thankfully few).

The key, of course, is to find a sympathetic understanding doctor. So until next time, keep the faith and enjoy life. Cheers! ß

Heretic Physician