Most women gain weight as they get older. In fact, weight gain is more profound in women during their menopause. Increased weight in women can hamper her self esteem and self image.
About 90% of menopausal women experience some amount of weight gain. Although weight gain is a natural and common aspect of getting older, there are ways to reduce it. Weight gain takes place when a woman increases her body mass, whether as a result of fat deposits, additional muscle tissue, or excess fluid.
In a woman approaching menopause, weight gain mainly occurs due to hormonal variation. As woman´s hormones fluctuate prior to menopause in preparation for a permanently reduced hormone level, she is likely to experience weight gain.
A woman´s hormones have complex functions in her body, including weight control. Different hormones have different effects on a woman’s body weight.
During menopause the woman’s body produces less oestrogen. Fat cells produce oestrogen, so her body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels which causes weight gain.
Menopause leads to decreased progesterone levels in the woman’s body. This causes bloating and the weight of water causes weight gain.
The amount of this hormone increases at the onset of menopause. It´s responsible for sending new weight to the mid-section instead of to the hips.
Insulin resistance can occur during the menopause. Due to this a woman´s body becomes geared to convert every calorie consumed into fat.
Testosterone helps a woman´s body create lean muscle out of the calories consumed. As testosterone levels drop during menopause, fewer calories are transformed into lean muscle mass, thus a woman´s metabolism slows down increasing the body weight.
Age and lifestyle are the other two factors which cause weight gain during menopause. As the age progresses, physical activity decreases which result in weight gain. Stress, change in eating habits, drinking excess amount of alcohol and medication use enhances the probability of weight gain during menopause.
Increased weight gain during menopause can result in many serious problems such as heart diseases, stroke, osteoarthritis, breast cancer, cholesterol, kidney disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and more severe menopausal symptoms.
There's no magic formula for preventing weight gain after menopause. Weight gain during menopause is quite common and it can be avoided by paying attention to healthy eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.
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