The Causes of Cellulite (and Behaviors That May Favor Its Onset)

The causes of cellulites are of varying nature. They can include both hereditary genetic factor (gender and family history) and factors tied to our lifestyle.

As previously noted, cellulite is accompanied by a considerable accumulation of fluids and toxins originating from metabolic processes and lymphatic circulation has the function of removing these products from the body.

Lymphatic circulation is aided and driven not only by blood circulation but also by muscle contractions: therefore, a total lack of movement will cause the system to function inefficiently. 

Moreover, the lymphatic ganglions, or lymph nodes where lymph is filtered, are located in critical regions of the body (malleolus, popliteal cavity , groin, underarms, sternum and neck) which are often subject to daily stresses caused by wearing tight clothes, crossing legs, wearing unsuitable footwear, etc. which have the effect of hindering natural flow, causing it to become sluggish. The result is s stagnation of lymphatic circulation and retention of liquids.

A sedentary life and lack of physical exercise result in muscle tissue loss and decreased metobolism, which causes weight gain and a loss of body tone, with an increase in visible cellulite.

Being overweight is an important factor, and weight should be kept under control to help combat cellulite.

other factors that can contribute to the formation of cellulite are:

-alteration of hormonal functions, caused for example by the pill or by the intake of food with hormones; the increase of ADH, antidiuretic hormone that favors the accumulationof water in the tissues, or any imbalance in the hypophysis-gonadal axis, pituitary-adrenal glands, as well as the problems related to thyroid dysfunction (ex: hypothyroidism) and pancreas.

-Digestive alterations, intestinal dysbiosis(first manifestations of all tissue degenerative changes such as arthritis, fibroalgia, vasculopathies), postural alterations (walking in a wrong way, standing up or sitting with crossed legs for long time), psychosomatic alterations (apathy and anxiety)

-Taking some types of medicines, especially hormonal based ones.

-Eating disorders: eating too much or following an unbalanced diet (Excess of: refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, salt, industrial sweets, animal fats, alcohol, coffee, etc)

Below is an outline summing up the most important factors which may cause cellulite.

GENECTIC FACTORS There may be a genetic predisposition (white race, female gender and family history). It is important to prevent causes such as a sedentary lifestyles and an improper diet.

ESTROGENS Female hormones favor the accumulation of fat and fluids in the area of the buttocks, hips, and thighs. Here in particular, there are enzymes that enable adipose cells to encapsulate a larger amount of fat since in the event of pregnancy women will need a larger store of available energy.

CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS The quantity of estrogens contained in the pills may lead to the onset of cellulite.

SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE Lack of movement hinders a correct circulatory flow, causing fluids to stagnate in critical points.

SMOKING Too many cigarettes negatively affect the oxygen supply to tissues. Consequently, it is preferable to avoid not only direct, but also indirect smoking.

WINE It provokes vasodilation and, consequently facilitates edematous imbibition, i.e. it causes an increase in the accumulation of fluids in the interstitial spaces of the body. Drink in moderation.

TIGHT CLOTHES It is not advisable to wear very tight-fitting clothes, underpants with too tight an elastic, excessively close-fitting leotards or girdles, garters or thigh-high hold up stockings, since they hinder blood circulation.

SHOES WITH HEELS OVER FOUR CENTIMETERS HIGH Excessively high heels force women to walk in an incorrect position, which  has the affect of reducing local blood circulation.

FRENETIC EXERCISE It is not advisable when cellulite is in the fourth stage. The lactic acid produced as a result of prolonged exercise is drained with greater difficulty due to the already impaired local circulation and can worsen the situation of the tissues.

PREGNANCY During pregnancy, estrogen, combined with an excessive weight gain (over 12 kilos), favors an increase in the build-up of cellulite in the thigh area. Blood circulation is thus slowed down and as a result legs become heavy and swollen.

KITCHEN SALT An excess os salt (sodium chloride) predisposes one to greater water retention: it is therefore advisable to limit one's intake.

SUPER-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES An excessive amount og super-alcoholic drinks, besides causing an extra intake of calories, does not supply any essential nutritional substances and places excessive strain on the liver during digestive processes, making digestion more difficult.

CONSTIPATION When one is suffering from constipation, the toxins produced by the by-products of digestion remain in circulation for a longer time. An appropriate diet should includes fibre, which serves to increase the peristalsis of the intestines, thus favoring evacuation.

AGGRAVATING FACTORS In addition to the causes already mentioned, there are other factors which underlie the formation of cellulite and ay aggravate some conditions related to it; these are closely connected to the female hormonal cycle. One of moments when the problems linked to cellulite seem to be accentuated is when women experience the so-called swings, recurring monthly during the last phase of the menstrual cycle. An insatiable craving for carbohydrates or fatty foods is one aspect that manifests itself among minority of women. 

The explanation for this is not entirely clear; it seems that the metabolism of the hormone called serotonin is involved, and perhaps melatonin itself as well. Women prone to this syndrome often suffer from recurrent seasonal depression and an extreme craving for carbohydrates (season pattern bulimia); a slight increase in appetite is thus to be considered requiring medical or psychological attention.

Another moment when the risk of excessive weight gain is lurking is during MENOPAUSE. The natural process by which the ovaries gradually lose their ability to produce estrogen, the female sex hormone; this may occur between ages 45-50, when menstruation ceases.

During this phases many women gain weight because as their metabolism slows down, adipose tissue tends to increase, especially as the engage in less physical activity. To relieve the discomforts arising during menopause, women may seek advice from practitioners of traditional or alternative medicine in order to find the most suitable approach.

In any case, the natural weight gain that occurs in this period can be controlled with a balance diet and adequate physical exercise. 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.