Menopause and perimenopause


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Menopause and perimenopause

  1. 1. Menopause And Perimenopause<br />When we talk about the weight gain of menopause , we need to clarify that menopause includes not just the time when your periods stop. There is a time leading up to that point when your body is changing hormonally and preparing for the ending of your childbearing years and the beginning of your menopause . This time is called perimenopause .<br />During perimenopause , your body is making the shift from regular ovulation and periods to less regular and changing periods. Your periods become longer or shorter, lighter or heavier, and, perhaps, more or less than 28 days apart.<br />Other changes you may experience include sleep problems, fatigue, vaginal dryness, hot flashes and, in 90% of women, weight gain. Perimenopause can begin as early as your 30’s or 40’s. When you go for 12 months in a row without a period, you have reached menopause .<br />During the perimenopause and menopause , your hormones are fluctuating and that directly affects your appetite, the way you store fat and your metabolism, or the way you burn fat.<br />The major hormones of perimenopause and menopause are:<br />* Estrogen<br />* Progesterone<br />* Testosterone<br />Each of these hormones plays a key role in perimenopausal and menopausal weight gain.<br />Hormones And Weight Loss<br />When you look at all the factors of weight loss, studies indicate that what you eat accounts for 70% of your success or failure, exercise and lifestyle about 25% and your hormones about 5%. But, when that 5% gets unbalanced, the remaining 95% does not function well enough to lead to successful weight loss.<br />Typically, our body is designed to handle to normal fluctuation of our hormones, even those during the perimenopause and menopause stages. But, today there are lifestyle factors that we all have that can impair the way our body works and throw our hormones out of balance. These include:<br />* Chronic Stress<br />* Lack of sleep<br />* Lack of exercise<br />* Poor diet<br />Hormones And Weight Gain<br />During the time of perimenopause and menopause , estrogen levels decrease to stop ovulation. As this happens, your body looks for other sources of estrogen and the main one is your fat cells. So, to make up for the missing estrogen, your body begins to convert more calories into fat and you gain weight.<br />Another thing that estrogen does is it enables the protein hormone leptin, which, in turn, works to control the way your body stores fat. menopause And Weight Gain<br />Leptin also helps to control your appetite by making you feel full. When your estrogen levels decrease, so do your leptin levels.<br />The next hormone, progesterone, also decreases. While this decrease does not cause you to gain weight, it does cause you to retain more water and your clothes soon feel tighter.<br />Testosterone, which women also carry, is a hormone that helps to build and maintain muscle mass. But, during the menopausal years, women produce less of it and this means lower muscle mass. Lower muscle mass means you burn less calories (remember, muscle burns more calories pound-for-pound than does fat), and, unless you eat less calories, you will gain weight.<br />Other hormones that factor into weight gain with menopause are insulin and the stress hormone, cortisol.<br />Menopausal Weight Gain<br />In menopausal weight gain, the majority of the weight women gain is not when the periods stop (menopause ) but during the time of the perimenopause . So, we are looking at ten, or perhaps twenty years of battling hormones and weight gain.<br />Unfortunately, the excess fat tends to accumulate around your waist. This belly fat is a dangerous type of fat because it can lead to heart disease, metabolic syndrome and early death. Menopausal weight gain can be dangerous. Fortunately, it is also avoidable.<br />How To Avoid Weight Gain With menopause <br />If your hormones are in balance, avoiding weight gain with menopause can be done with five simple steps:<br />1. Eating less calories<br />2. Improving your nutrition<br />3. Moving more<br />4. Getting adequate sleep<br />5. Managing your stress<br />However, if your hormones are out of balance, these five steps won’t be all you need to do. You must get your hormones into balance in order to support your overall health. Balanced hormones will help in either preventing menopausal weight gain or achieving success in weight loss during menopause .<br />Keeping Your Hormones In Balance<br />Certainly lifestyle factors play a major role in keeping your hormones in balance. But, unfortunately, there are many factors we can’t control. Some of those factors include the food additives and chemical pollutants we encounter every day that work to wreak havoc on our hormonal balance.<br />But the good news is that there are now natural and safe hormones that you can take that can help keep your hormones balanced at healthy levels. These are known as bio-identical hormones. In next week’s article we will take a look a bio-identical hormones and how they can help you to finally achieve the weight of your dreams.<br />