Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology MBBS, DNB
Published on: 24/06/2022
Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle.
This condition is diagnosed when a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 47 and 55. It may begin early in certain women due to underlying medical issues or previous procedures.
Now the question is, why menopause leads to weight gain?
Menopausal hormone changes cause women to gain weight. During menopause, the production of estrogen reduces. As a result women gain weight, especially around the hip area. However, hormonal changes alone may not always result in menopause weight increase. Weight gain can also be caused by ageing, as well as lifestyle and hereditary factors.
Muscle mass usually diminishes with ageing, whereas fat mass increases. Loss of muscular mass reduces the body's usage of calories (metabolism). This can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. You are more prone to gain weight if you avoid physical activity.
Menopause weight gain can also be caused by genetic factors. Women are more likely to accumulate abdominal fat if their parents do.
Other factors, such as a unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep, may contribute to menopause weight gain. People who don't get enough sleep tend to snack more and absorb more calories.
Menopause causes weight gain! Can these weight gain after menopause be risky?
Weight gain during menopause might have major health consequences, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart and blood vessel diseases
- Breathing problems
Excess weight also increases the risk of various types of cancer, including colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
Let's try to control the weight gain after menopause and avoid these risks!
Menopause can be a life-changing experience in one's physical and mental state of being, with noticeable changes. However, with healthy habits, it’s possible to renew the post-menopause life and live to the fullest.
Lifestyle Changes Post-Menopause
There's no magic formula for preventing or reversing menopause weight gain. However, here are some lifestyle changes that can help to control weight:
- Exercise: Regular physical exercise is essential not just for reducing menopausal weight gain, but also for controlling other menopausal side effects such as hot flashes and mood swings. It improves insulin resistance, lowers the risk of osteoporosis,, and improves overall health.
- Healthy Diet: To maintain a healthy weight, consume more nutritional foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid eating manufactured foods and c onsume foods high in calcium, fibre and iron. Follow a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat (partially hydrogenated fats).
- Limit alcohol: Alcoholic beverages increase calorie intake and increase the risk of gaining weight. Therefore, it should be avoided.
- Sleep routine: Getting enough sleep is important for controlling one's weight. Avoiding too much caffeine or alcohol can help you sleep better. Exercising during the day can also help manage sleep.
During menopause, women may experience excessive bleeding. This could be related to the uterine lining thickening. Because of elevated oestrogen levels or a missed period, uterine lining may accumulate. Some women also experience bleeding after menopause. This is not normal, and you should see the doctor right away because it could be an indication of endometrial cancer or any other health complications.
Care for yourself the way you care for your family.
Be Happy, Be Beautiful!