It's not a coincidence that women find themselves gaining weight or experience trouble losing weight around menopause. About 30% of women between the ages of 50 and 59 are considered not just overweight but obese. Several reasons explain this troubling phenomenon.
For one, as women get older, they tend to become more sedentary and less active. It's important as you get older, and especially after menopause, to not only exercise regularly but to increase the time you spend exercising or being active.
Around menopause, your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn calories while doing nothing, slows down and a reduction in muscle mass. That means it's harder to "get away" with being sedentary and, more important than ever, to stay active and burn calories throughout the day. If not, you'll likely see the number on the scale inch up and a spare tire develop around your midsection.
The other piece of the weight gain puzzle is hormone imbalances. If certain hormones are low or fluctuating, the result can be unexplainable weight gain and moodiness, and sleep disturbances, making it harder to maintain good habits.
Hormones and weight
During menopause, women's estrogen levels drop as their childbearing years come to an end. There are many types of estrogen, with each type being responsible for different bodily functions. Estradiol, one type, for example, helps regulate metabolism and body weight.
When your body produces less estradiol, as is the case when women reach menopause, you tend to gain weight. When this happens, it's common to gain weight around your midsection, specifically, which is difficult to eliminate and has serious health risks.
This type of fat is called visceral fat, and too much of it can raise your risk for many medical issues such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers. While polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and breastfeeding can also affect estrogen levels, menopause is the main culprit in hormone-related weight gain.
Correcting hormone imbalances to lose weight
There are several ways to combat weight gain caused by hormone imbalances. The obvious ones are to consume fewer calories and burn more calories through exercise and activity. But, during pre-menopause, perimenopause, and menopause, those tried and true strategies don't always work. Increasing or balancing your hormone levels may be the answer to your weight loss struggle.
At Lotus Health, our providers can help you balance your hormone levels with Bio-Identical Hormones Replacement Therapy, also called BHRT. BHRT can help increase the hormones that regulate your weight and metabolism. The therapy can also reduce other troubling menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.
If you've noticed the number on the scale creeping up or are having trouble losing weight, especially the weight that seems to have settled in your abdomen, call Island Lotus Health for an appointment. You can also make an appointment online through this website or by calling the office.