Why some women gain weight around the menopause

Apr 12, 2016 | | Say something

Sad Middle-Aged Woman on Scale Weight gain during menopause is very common.

There are many factors at play, including hormones , aging, lifestyle and genetics.

However, the experience of menopause is very individual, and varies from one woman to another.

This article explores why some women gain weight during and after menopause.

Life Cycle Female

There are four periods of hormonal changes that occur during the life of a woman.

This includes pre-menopause, perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

1. Premenopausal

perimenopause is the end of the reproductive life of a woman while she is fertile. It begins at puberty -. From the first period and ending with the last

This phase lasts for about 30-40 years.

2. Perimenopause

Perimenopause literally means “around menopause.” During this time, estrogen levels become unstable and progesterone levels decrease.

A woman can start at any time between perimenopause their mid 30s and early 50s, but this transition usually occurs about 40 years and lasts 4-11 years ( 1 ).

Symptoms of perimenopause include:

  • Hot flashes and heat intolerance.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • changes in the menstrual cycle.
  • headaches.
  • mood changes, including depression, anxiety and irritability.
  • Weight gain.

3. Menopause

officially Menopause occurs once a woman he has not had a menstrual period for 12 months. The average age of menopause is 51 years ( 2 ).

perimenopausal Until then, he is considered.

Many women experience their worst symptoms during perimenopause, but others find that their symptoms intensify in the first year or two after menopause.

4. Postmenopausal

Postmenopausal begins immediately after a woman has gone 12 months without a period. The terms menopause and postmenopause are used interchangeably.

However, there are some hormonal and physical changes that may reoccur after menopause.

Conclusion :. A woman goes through hormonal changes throughout your life that can produce symptoms, including changes in body weight

how changing hormone affect metabolism

Woman Gaining Weight and Measuring Belly

in perimenopause, progesterone levels decline slowly and steadily, while estrogen levels fluctuate considerably from day to day and even within the same day.

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The first part of perimenopause, the ovaries often produce very high amounts of estrogen. This is because feedback signals between the ovaries disabled gland, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland ( 3 ).

Later in perimenopause, when menstrual cycles become more irregular, the ovaries produce little estrogen. Produce even less during menopause.

Instead, estrogen is made of androgens, such as testosterone. This occurs in other tissues such as brain and breast tissues. However, the amount of estrogen circulating in the blood is very low ( 4 ).

Some studies suggest that high levels of estrogen can promote fat gain. This is due to high levels of estrogen are associated with weight gain and body fat highest during the reproductive years ( 5 , 6 ).

From puberty to perimenopause, women tend to store fat in their hips and thighs as subcutaneous fat . Although it may be hard to miss, this type of fat increases the risk of disease lot.

However, during menopause, low estrogen levels promote fat storage in the abdominal area as visceral fat , which is related to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes , heart disease and other health problems ( 7 ).

Conclusion :. Changes in hormone levels during the menopausal transition may lead to fat accumulation and an increased risk of various diseases

Weight changes during perimenopause

Weight Scale

it is estimated that women earn 2-5 pounds (1-2 kg) on ​​average during the perimenopausal transition ( 8 ).

However, some gain more weight. Unfortunately, this seems to be particularly true for women who are already overweight or obese.

Weight gain may also occur as part of aging, regardless of hormonal changes.

When researchers looked at weight changes and hormones in women aged 42-50 years over a period of 3 years, there was no difference in mean weight gain among those who continued to have normal cycles and those who entered menopause ( 9 ).

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The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a large observational study that followed middle-aged women throughout perimenopause. During the study, women gained belly fat and lost muscle mass ( 10 ).

Another factor contributing to weight gain in perimenopause may be the increased appetite and calorie intake that occurs in response to hormonal changes.

In one study, the levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin were found to be significantly higher among perimenopausal women compared to premenopausal and postmenopausal women ( 11 ).

Low levels of estrogen in the later stages of menopause may also impair the function of leptin and neuropeptide Y , hormones that control satiety and appetite ( 12 13 ).

Therefore, women in the late stages of perimenopause who have low estrogen levels may be driven to eat more calories and store fat.

effects of progesterone on weight during the menopausal transition has not been studied much. However, some researchers believe that the combination of estrogen and low progesterone could further increase the risk of obesity ( 12 ).

Conclusion :. Fluctuations of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones can lead to an increased appetite and fat gain during perimenopause

Weight changes during and after menopause

Apple And Calculator

hormonal changes and weight gain may reappear as perimenopause women leave and enter menopause.

A predictor of weight gain may be the age when menopause occurs.

A study of over 1,900 women found that those who entered menopause before the average age of 51 were less body fat ( 14 ).

In addition, there are several other factors that can contribute to weight gain after menopause.

Postmenopausal women are generally less active than when they were younger, reducing energy expenditure and leads to loss of muscle mass ( 15 16 ).

Menopausal women also often have higher levels of fasting insulin and insulin resistance, which promote weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease ( 12 , 17 ).

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Although its use is controversial, the hormone replacement therapy has demonstrated efficacy in reducing belly fat and improve insulin sensitivity during and after menopause ( 18 ).

Keep in mind that the average prices observed in the studies do not apply to all women. This varies between individuals.

Conclusion: increased fat tends to occur during menopause as well. However, it is not clear if this to a deficit of estrogen or the aging process is due.

Preventing weight gain around menopause

Menopause-Age Woman Sitting

Here are some things you can do to prevent weight gain in menopause

  • reduce carbohydrates: reduce the number of carbohydrates in order to reduce the increase in belly fat, which boosts metabolic problems ( 19 , 20 ).
  • add fiber: Eat a high fiber diet that includes linseed , which can improve insulin sensitivity ( 21 ) [
  • work out :. Participate in strength training to improve body composition, increase strength and build and maintain lean muscle mass ( 22 23 )
  • rest and relaxation :. Try to relax before going to bed and getting enough sleep, in order to keep your hormones and appetite under control ( 24 )

If you follow these steps, it may even be possible to lose weight during this time.

Here is a detailed guide to weight loss during and after menopause .

Conclusion :. Although weight gain is common during menopause, there are steps you can take to prevent or reverse

Take Home Message

Menopause can be challenging, both physically and emotionally.

However, eating a nutritious diet and getting enough exercise and rest can help prevent weight gain and reduce the risk of disease.

Although it may be hard, do your best to accept the changes in your body that will inevitably happen with age.

This article was originally published on authoritynutrition.com

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