It is a fact that a lot of women prior or during the menopause gain additional weight. For that can be various reasons. Some women can find it quite difficult to accept, but there is always a way how to deal with it. A few extra pounds as weight gain might lower the self-esteem and self-image, but it can also cause some health problems that should be taken care.

According to the recent researches, around 90% women who have menopause experience some weight gain.[1] It is a natural occurrence due to gaining, but for women, it can be more. Luckily, there are ways how to reduce it.

Weight gain nowadays is a typical concern for many people. Nowadays in the US, today up to 66% people are affected by it.  There are facts that increased fat causes hormonal and biological changes such as insulin resistance. In this case, cells lose responsiveness to insulin and absorb glucose from the bloodstream. The other name of insulin is “fat-building hormone”.1 It stores glucose as fat in fat, muscle and liver cells. In a case of insulin resistance, glucose that doesn’t get into cells is transferred to active fat and reduces the control of the appetite. This is the reason why many people tend to overeat and feel bad about it. This increases the glucose levels and development of fat.

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There are different factors that can lead to overweight or further health complications like:

  • Obesity that leads to fat dumping. The result is insulin resistance
  • Low exercise as exercising burns calories and fat. There are proofs that the growth of lean muscle mass is crucial to prevent IR.
  • Refined carbohydrates – based on the meta-analysis, high-fructose corn syrup is the first cause of the rise in obesity. Refined sugars and white flours have low nutrition level and a lot of calories thus promoting insulin resistance and hormonal changes.
  • Saturated fats that increase the ingestion. The reason for that can be eating of grain-fed, grass-fed and grass–finished meats, fast food, and processed food. Cells also become insulin resistant.
  • Gluttony that comes from excessive calories in sugar saturated fat and other food. It leads to obesity and insulin resistance.
  • Hormonal imbalances that are decreasing metabolisms and increase production of glucose from the liver. At the same time, these imbalances decrease muscle and body building as well as lead to abdominal weight gain. These hormones are mainly thyroid, sexual reproductive, and adrenal hormones.
  • Environmental toxicities from chemicals like “bisphenol A, ammonium perfluorooctanoate (in Teflon), phthalates.” [2]
  • There are also researchers that have focused on postmenopausal women and their weight. Many of the patients have insulin resistance and gain a pound in a year on average. It is clear that when women age, they also have less time doing exercises. Women with menopause have higher cholesterol (at least 10-20%). In some women also, the hormones like testosterone and free androgen index were high. High tend to be also cortisol and inflammatory markers. Increased effect of insulin resistance and weight are also with the lack of D vitamin. Overweight can also result in having type 2 diabetes mellitus. Also, lifestyle as such has an important effect on weight gain during menopause. Further reasons can be stress, drinking a lot of alcohol and even a good habit as quitting smoking. It is not a secret that a lot of smokers appear to think as smoking lowers the must for eating.
  • Some results also show that woman between 45-55 years of age gain around 12-15 pounds. It is also a time when the menopause typically occurs. In these cases, additional weight focuses on the abdomen area as it doesn’t spread through the whole body. To maintain usual weight becomes extremely difficult. The overall body shape doesn’t look like a pear but like an apple. Some women can find a positive indicator that their breasts also become bigger.

Additional consequences that typically appear due to the weight gain:

  • The risk of breast cancer – mostly to women who gain more than 20 pounds during their menopause. And women who achieve to lose 20 or more pounds lower the risk of cancer by 23%.[2]
  • Stroke and other heart diseases1-1
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insulin resistance
  • Diabetes risk

 

Rapid weight gain can also accord to women who pursue a healthy lifestyle. In these cases, it can be even more upsetting as that might seem unwanted and random.

Of course, also women in their menopause age still can and should stay active and consume enough water for cleaning the body, but that isn’t everything they can do. Nowadays there are many treatments that can help with the natural aging and other problems. However, it is important to try less strong medicaments for a start and then only try something stronger. Important is also to know the fact that women in their menopause require around 200 fewer calories per day due to 5% decrease in metabolic rate.[1]  It is highly suggested to firstly start with some changes in the lifestyle including a healthy diet that has a lot of nutrients.

A further step is to try alternative medicines. Due to hormonal imbalance due to menopause, it is important also to have some herbal supplements to achieve some hormonal balance naturally. It should also help dealing with weight. As the last step would be prescription medication and surgeries. A lot of women in this step choose diet pills and liposuction which is a simple taking out of the excessive fat. However, any surgical intervene can cause side effects and risk. Healthcare professionals should suggest the right choice in each case.

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Weight gain during menopause shouldn’t be a surprise, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any solution to deal with it. Some women have successfully overcome it with the right diets and other changes in their daily habits. In each case, it should be taken seriously to avoid more severe health problems.10-4

Reference:

[1] Weight Gain During Menopause. Accessed from: http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/weight-gain.htmrel=”nofollow”