Women and menopause are inseparable. Being a woman definitely means that you will experience menopause at some stage in your life, especially when you attain the age around 50 years. Your ovulation ends gradually, with cessation of menstrual flow. This change of life is certainly not free of challenges. You are bound to experience various signs of menopause before its onset. The signs should make you prepare psychologically for the eminent change.
Experiencing any menopause symptom presents a challenge, which you have to deal or bear with until such a time that your body gets used to the change. Some of the signs of menopause you are bound to experience include hot flashes, sleepless nights and irregular or missed menstrual flow. You are also likely to find sex intercourse painful and after intercourse burning sensation. Decreased hormones cause these symptoms and while they are bound to make you very uncomfortable, various ways are available that you can employ to manage the same and have a trouble-free menopause period. Such include medications and lifestyle changes.
While you may not experience all the signs of menopause, you are bound to experience some, which every woman experiences. One of these is weight gain. Weight and menopause are closely related because of decreased production and action of related hormones and in particular, estrogen. You are bound to experience increased weight especially around your abdomen. This definitely changes your overall shape. Although weight gain with menopause occurs gradually, it can occur quickly if you are experiencing early menopause. Weight gain with menopause is caused mainly by various hormones. These include:
- Estrogen – This is the major hormone responsible for monthly ovulation and menstrual flow. As your ovaries produce less estrogen during menopause, your body naturally turns to other areas of your body for the same. Since your body fat cells also produce estrogen, your body will increase the conversion of calories into fat so that your body fat cells can produce additional estrogen. Your body fat cells do not however burn fat as your muscle cells do. The result is that you will end up with a lot of fat deposits around your abdomen, in effect increasing your weight.
- Progesterone – It is not only the production of estrogen that reduces during menopause. The levels progesterone hormone also decreases. Progesterone is responsible for preventing water retention. This is bound to raise your weight with some pounds.
- Androgen – Unlike other hormones, the level of androgen hormone in your blood rises during menopause. This hormone is responsible for directing excess weight to your mid-section and not to other parts of your body. In effect, you add weight at your mid-section only.
- Testosterone – Testosterone hormones are responsible for enable your body muscles in the burning of fat, which results in lean muscles. During menopause however, the production of testosterone decreases, meaning that your muscles can no longer but fat as usual. This creates a build up of fat, which androgen hormone directs to your mid-section, increasing your weight.
Apart from lack of these hormones, other factors such as insulin resistance and stress hormones can also cause weight gain. The use of hormonal supplements has shown positive impact in managing some of the symptoms that come along with menopause. Apart from a menopause diet that should provide your body with nutrients necessary for the production of estrogen, you may consider natural estrogen supplementation.
Menopause and weight gain is perfectly normal and should not be a course for alarm. What you need to do is accept the change and continue with a healthy menopause diet. In any case, such weight gain is only a symptom, which is bound to fade away in the post menopause stage. However, you seriously need to undertake exercises that will not only help you burn some of the fat deposits but keep you physically fit.