Reasons for Menopausal Weight Gain in Women
A vast majority of women will notice that they start gaining weight slowly but surely once they enter the beginning stages of menopause, and once it really gets going, the pounds will usually add up to between 10 and 15 pounds. The menopause symptoms may arrive slowly enough that you don’t realize the extent of your gain, and sometimes this can lead to secondary health issues like higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol and even insulin resistance. Clearly, there is much more at stake than your wardrobe – it can be exceedingly dangerous to simply give up and let the pounds have their way with you.
As menopause gets started around the 50-year-old mark, the estrogen and progesterone levels begin to dwindle. Estrogen is the primary culprit behind most weight gain for a very important reason – when the estrogen levels get low, the body starts storing away fat to use as a future source of estrogen. This means that you will have a slower metabolism and will often have less energy as well. Estrogen is responsible for your reproductive health, so as you age, the body lets these functions slow down and stop. Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, and can control almost every aspect of mental and physical functioning to a surprising degree, and this often catches women off guard when the realize the importance of estrogen for their daily lives. Many menopause symptoms may also involve memory function, verbal ability and mood.
There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help you through this time of turbulent changes. Eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis can improve your overall health and bone density, while using some form of menopause supplements can also lessen the severity of the menopause symptoms.
Some types of estrogen replacement involve using soy products as a natural estrogen substitute. These soy products can come as supplements or as food products. You can choose between Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or synthetic hormones or you can go without hormones at all, but this will bring on full blown menopause and the menopause symptoms will be more severe.
Menopause will be different with every woman, and some may begin as early as forty while others may not start until their late fifties. It can take several years to run its course and can be uncomfortable and confusing, so keep on a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise to minimize your risks.