Weight gain is a common concern for women of all ages. While there are many factors that can contribute to weight gain, a regular question asked by patients is, “Does menopause cause weight gain”? Unfortunately menopause can instigate changes to the body that unfortunately cause the number on the scale to increase. Let’s explore the possible causes of weight gain post menopause plus some solutions on how to maintain your figure.
What is Menopause?
The reproductive life cycle of each woman begins the day she is born. At birth, females possess their lifetime supply of egg cells, approximately 1-2 million in total! Women do not produce new egg cells from this day forward, but instead the number of egg cells decline, leading eventually to menopause, when no eggs remain. There are multiple stages of the reproductive life cycle. Menopause follows Perimenopause.
Perimenopause – As a woman nears menopause, her ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone. These are the hormones that regulate menstruation and influence fertility. The transition from perimenopause to menopause can take 4-11 years. While each woman is different, the fluctuation in hormones can cause some unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Menstrual Cycle Changes
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Changes
- Sleep Disruption
- And, you guessed it…weight gain!
Menopause – Once a woman’s egg cells are all or nearly depleted and she has gone without a period for 12 months, menopause has been achieved. The average age for menopause in the United States is 51.
But, does menopause cause weight gain?
There are multiple influencing factors leading to weight gain in peri and post menopausal women. A direct impact on the body caused by menopause is the decline in estrogen levels. The decline in estrogen has been linked to an increase in body fat percentage, particularly in the abdominal area. Whereas, premenopausal women tend to store fat in the lower half of their body.
While declining estrogen levels can be linked to an increase in body fat percentage, there are other factors that can lead to weight gain that are not caused by menopause. Unless there are medical reasons that cause a woman to go through menopause early, most will be at an age in their 40’s or 50’s. In saying that, as we age, our muscle mass declines and our metabolism can slow down. We may also have a reduction in activity. These factors and more, can also lead to weight gain.
Consequences of weight gain
If weight is not managed through menopause there may be consequences to your health. Especially with the prevalence of increased fat storage in the abdominal area, women are at an increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as various types of cancer.
How do I manage possible weight gain?
To discover the answer to this question, Dr. Jeyalingam will be conducting a video interview with Matt Estridge, owner of Fit Diesel. Matt is changing lives by his approach to rebuilding his client’s metabolisms. With a clientele of post menopausal women to professional athletes, a former Mrs. America and Mr. Olympia, Matt uses the science and data from each individual’s own body to rebuild their metabolism. As a result, many of his clients are eating 800-1000 MORE calories per day than they were before of the foods they enjoy, while their body fat percentage is declining. Interested to hear what Matt has to say? Stay tuned for the upcoming video interview between Matt and Dr. Jeyalingam! More information will follow on Dr. Jeyalingam’s Facebook and Instagram pages!