Updated: 2019, Aug 2

A Growing Health Concern: Menopause and Obesity

A Growing Health Concern: Menopause and Obesity

Overview of menopause and obesity

Menopause is a natural condition, which will be seen among women after a certain age, while obesity is a problem, which is getting rather very common in the United States. Menopause is simply an absence of a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. The average age of menopause depends on various factors, such as nationality, race, and other factors.

In the case of the United States, the average age of menopause is 51 years. Women go through various uncomfortable symptoms during menopause periods, such as irregular periods, chills, hot flashes, sleep problems, and others.

On the other hand, obesity is now seen as a new normal in the United States. According to the statistics, more than 2 out of 3 adults in the United States are either overweight or obese.

Obesity is one of the major health issues in the United States. It increases the risk of various unfavorable health conditions, such as heart diseases, blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and others.

The combination of obesity and menopause can create a plenty of problems for women. We will take a deeper look at the issue in the upcoming sections of this article.

Can obesity cause early menopause?

It’s very critical to be at a normal weight from the very beginning because there are periods in women’ lives when they are bound to gain weight. The perimenopausal women gain weight, and the average weight gain in perimenopausal women is around five pounds.

However, there are women who gain 10 pounds or more as well during the perimenopausal period. According to the study, the women who underwent hysterectomies are at a higher risk of weight gain. This is not good for them. The increase in weight will not only make them overweight or obese, but it will also be followed up with a drop in the level of estrogen.

The women are likely to feel out of energy when there is a low level of estrogen in their body. The gain in the body fats may not always show up on the weighing scale. There are some women who find no change in a weighing scale, but they find difficulty in buttoning their pants.

Relationship between obesity and menopause:

Despite all these surprising changes that happen in women, they may not notice a change in their dietary intake and activity. The researchers were not able to find out specific causes of the increase in obesity among menopausal women. However, the researchers have made some arguments regarding the causes of the increase in obesity among menopausal women.

Some of the researchers argue that the lack of estrogen is the cause of obesity. The reduction of estrogen causes metabolic dysfunction, which can lead to obesity. One of the important functions of estrogen is fat storage and distribution.

When the level of estrogen in enough in the body, which is before menopause, the body stores its facts on various parts of the body, such as thighs, buttocks, hips, and other parts of the body. However, the drop in the level of estrogen can disrupt the whole process of fats storage and distribution.

During and after the menopause, the fats are not distributed properly in the body. The majority of the fats are stored in the midsection of the body due to lack of estrogen. Another cause for obesity during or after menopause could be due to an increase in calorie intake because of hormonal change in the body.

The hunger hormone, ghrelin (growth hormone-releasing peptide), is higher in women during the menopausal period, which makes them consume more calories than usual. The lower level of estrogen also affects the functions of neuropeptide Y and leptin. These hormones are responsible for controlling fullness and appetite. When these hormones are affected, women crave to consume more foods.

What is the solution for obesity during menopause?

The combination of obesity and menopause is a growing problem, but it does not mean that it’s not possible for middle-aged women to prevent themselves from obesity. It’s true that middle-aged women need to work harder to prevent obesity, but it’s important to give an extra effort to stay away from obesity and risks related to obesity.

Here are some of the ways that can help you in preventing obesity.

1.Calorie reduction

A number of calories we need decreases as we age. It’s like we need 200-300 calories lesser in our 50s in comparison to how many calories we needed in our 30s and 40s. Furthermore, the calorie burn is lesser during menopause despite no change in the activity level.

In the middle-age one needs to increase their activity level and decrease their calorie intake to reduce or maintain their body weight. Opt for the diet plan with lesser calories.

2.Reduce carb intake

Many people focus a lot on calorie intake, but they do not emphasize on from what foods they are getting calories from. A person can get their calories from junk foods, meat, peanuts, and many other foods. However, the calories that one gets from junk food is very different from the calories one gets from meat or peanuts.

The body easily stores the excess calories from carbs to fats and stores it in the belly. It’s recommended to reduce carb intake to reduce the fat storage in the belly.

3.Regular exercises

There are numerous health benefits of regular exercises, and regular workouts help a lot in accelerating weight loss process, increasing muscles, and body composition. It’s recommended to be involved in at least 150 minutes of workouts in a week.

Opt for both strength training and cardio. An increased muscle mass and bone mass will also help in the prevention of osteoarthritis, which is a very common problem among the elderly group of people.

4.Add fiber

There are many foods that are rich in fiber. Consuming foods with fiber help in insulin sensitivity. Some of the foods that are rich in fiber are flax seeds, peas, lentils, beans, and others.

5.Rest and relaxation

The body burns calories while sleeping as well. A person needs enough rest to keep their hormone and appetite in a right state, which is very important to maintain body weight.

6.Be involved in other activities

There are middle-aged people who consume foods to reduce their stress. It’s because they are often left alone in their homes. One can go for a walk, practice deep breathing, read a book, schedule a time with a friend, and more to divert the mind from eating.

Conclusion

Although menopause is a very natural thing among women, it’s not an easy period for them. There are some women who go through premature menopause too. The study shows that premature menopause increases the risk of heart diseases.

Women go through a lot of hormonal changes and difficulties during this period. And, obesity can make the condition worse for women going through the menopause period.

Like mentioned in the above section of this article, there are ways to deal with the combination of obesity and menopause.

If you are looking for other alternatives, then you may also consider menopause relief supplements.

Follow the tips; Visit the doctor and take their help if needed, and live a healthy life.

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