Keith Allen West, with his hormone belly, and without it

Balancing My Hormones Help Me Lose My Love Handles

Treating my estrogen imbalance boosted my energy and transformed my body.

I’m a high-energy person; I’ve never really struggled with fatigue. That all changed during the pandemic.

For about two years, starting around January of 2020, I had no energy. It got to the point where I couldn’t even get through a full day of work (in addition to being an actor I own a skincare lab and mix and manufacture products for brands around the world). I would get up, work for maybe 20 minutes, and then I’d have to take a nap with Priscilla (she’s my pet potbellied pig.)

My body started to change, too. I’ve always been tall and skinny, but the love handles and back fat started creeping in. I tried adjusting my diet and doing more cardio workouts to get rid of it, but nothing seemed to help. 

At first, I blamed my symptoms on the pandemic. I figured the total shift in routine had to be why I felt so awful.

But as time went on, my friends helped me see another possibility.

I’m 50, and most of my friends are women in their fifties. We would go out to brunch, and they would talk about menopause and how much better they felt after starting hormone replacement therapy. I could relate to so many of their issues—weight gain, low energy, lack of sex drive. It got me thinking: maybe hormone therapy could fix my issues, too. Maybe it wasn’t my diet or workouts, but hormone belly.

Can High Estrogen Cause Love Handles?

Once I realized my problems could be rooted in hormones, I looked around for someone who could help me figure things out. I came across Hone Health on social media and decided to give it a go.

They sent me a hormone test in the mail. The instructions were super easy to follow, and even though I’d never pricked my finger before, I was able to get a blood sample without a problem or even leaving my house.

When my results were in, I met with a doctor through a telehealth portal on Hone’s website. The physician—a wonderful man with a big handlebar mustache—walked me through my results.

I loved that the test covered so much territory. It didn’t just measure testosterone; it looked at eight other biomarkers that affect libido, energy, and focus.

Those biomarkers ended up giving me the answers to my problems. Because while my testosterone levels were normal, my estrogen was two to three times higher than it should be for a man my age. That’s what was causing my love handles and other symptoms.

Checking your hormones is easy with Hone’s at-home assessment. You can knock it out before your AM coffee. 

If your hormones are out of whack, our physicians can help you find your “after.”

The Estrogen Connection

I’ve had hormone tests for erectile dysfunction (ED) in the past, but those never checked estrogen, so I had no way of knowing I was out of range. And I probably wouldn’t know today if I hadn’t taken the Hone test.

Because my estrogen was higher than it should be for a man, my doctor prescribed me Anastrozole, an estrogen-blocking pill that would bring my levels back down to a healthy range. He told me I would feel better within two or three weeks—and sure enough, I did.

My weight started to even out as my estrogen dropped. I no longer have an extra bit of belly around my middle. I can throw on a medium-sized shirt, and it doesn’t feel snug; it fits the way it should. That’s been amazing, because how my clothes fit and how they make me feel matters a lot.

Before I started the treatment, I always felt like I was dragging, just trying to get through the day. It was like, how much coffee can I drink? Once I was on medication for two or three weeks, I had a whole new outlook on life. I was excited to get up and go to the gym in the morning.

Being an actor sometimes means long days of filming. When I was feeling my lowest, there’s no way I could have made it. But recently, I filmed 14 hours without any issues.

I’ve been taking Anastrozole three times a week since December 2021. Around the 90-day mark, I took a follow-up test and my doctor delivered the great news: My estrogen was within the typical range. We’re going to keep monitoring every three months and adjust as needed.

Hormone Belly, Gone 

The body is a very complicated machine, and I don’t believe in ordering a pill off an infomercial and crossing my fingers. I want to know that what I’m putting in my body has been backed by someone who understands the science behind it.

I loved that my Hone doctor not only understood, but he also talked to me about my lifestyle and medical history. He didn’t prescribe me a pill and call it good. He took the time to get to know me and understand my concerns—like high blood pressure from my ADD medication—before making a recommendation.

My experience with hormone therapy has completely changed my life. I’d like to be around for a long time and be as healthy as I can be, and this is leading me in the right direction. I’m excited to see what’s next!

Testing your estrogen levels is easy with Hone’s biomarker assessment. And treatment? Just as simple.

 

 

 

 

RELATED