How Menopause Negatively Affects Your Appetite?
Menopause has a lot of different effects on the body. Women going through menopause will often experience irritability, insomnia, hot flashes, and many other varied side effects and symptoms. Among these, one that is often not thought of until it presents itself is a negative change in appetite. While some medical conditions reduce hunger, menopause can actually increase your appetite and contribute significantly to weight gain.
The sudden increase in appetite is caused by the main cause of nearly all menopause issues – a change in hormones. As the body goes through perimenopause, estrogen production is reduced drastically. This in turn leads to lower levels of this important hormone. And when those levels are reduced, an increase in appetite may occur. And while you’re eating more, a number of other issues are also present during menopause that can actually help to lead to a large increase in weight.
There is a twelve percent increase in the number of women who are older and become overweight when compared to women who become overweight when they’re young. Certainly, estrogen levels are one of the main causes of this, but along with it several other issues have an influence as well.
- Metabolic Function – Your metabolism slows down during menopause. This means that your body will have a much harder time burning calories than it did before menopause occurred. And that means that the extra calories you’re eating due to your appetite increase will often lead to even more weight gain than before and also make it harder to lose the weight you’re putting on.
- Fatigue – Another side effect of menopause is fatigue, which can make it difficult to get motivated for exercise. This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and contribute further to weight gain.
- Insulin Increase – Insulin levels have been shown to rise during menopause, which can help increase the appetite as well as cause fat to deposit itself around internal organs instead of elsewhere in the body. Sugar levels are more difficult to manage during menopause.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – Many doctors utilize hormone therapy to help patients overcome other symptoms of menopause. When this occurs, the HRT can actually increase the body’s retention of fat and also boost appetite. This is one more reason that most patients prefer to only use HRT as a last resort.
Controlling appetite can be incredibly difficult when living with menopause. But when you consider the numerous health risks that arise due to being overweight, it’s very important to take a look at managing appetite. Eating healthy and adding high-fiber foods are two excellent options. Additionally, taking a moment to drink a glass of water is a good idea. Often, hunger is really triggered by dehydration and simply adding some water to the body can alleviate it. Fighting through fatigue and getting active by exercising is probably the most important step one can take to help. This way, the extra calories are burned off through exercise routines.
Menopause comes with a lot of challenges, and managing weight is one of the most important aspects of living healthy with menopause.