Menopause is actually a natural part of aging that occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, because the oestrogen levels in women drop. It is characterized by less frequent periods over several months or years before they stop altogether. In some cases, they can stop suddenly.
Many women who have entered or are approaching menopause think that once they reach this point, they should not manage their hormones. Although menopause is meant to keep you healthy for as long as possible, you should not ignore it.
A large number of women are more prone to gain weight because of elevated fat storage once they reach this stage. But, keep in mind that menopause itself isn’t responsible for weight gain. In fact, there are several factors that play a key role here and result in elevated fat storage, once the bodily estrogen production reduces.
When you enter your teen years, the production of estrogen in your body elevates to a great extent, thus resulting in ovary activation as well as egg release into your fallopian tubes. In addition, this keeps occurring until your late forties and early fifties with a slow drop as you age. Then, you reach a phase in which your estrogen levels drop enough, so that the release of eggs is halted and your body shifts its energy use from reproduction to health maintenance.
Moreover, when you reach this phase, your body can become more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations and variations, thus increasing your risk of fat storage in your midsection.
But, estrogen isn’t the only hormone that plays a role in this process. Other hormones that play a key role in this process include leptin, cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones:
You fat cells produce a hormone known as leptin. This hormone informs the hypothalamus in your brain that you are satiated. Additionally, the levels of this hormone are elevated in response to higher levels of sugar such as fructose. However, over time, high fructose and high blood sugar levels can contribute to leptin resistance in the cells of your hypothalamus. Furthermore, this can make you feel hungry when you are actually full. This is one of the main culprits of overeating because of leptin resistance.
Your adrenal glands release the main stress hormone called cortisol. This hormone works by elevating your blood sugar levels, providing your body cells with enough fuel to do their job. If you experience a chronically high blood sugar levels, you can experience adrenal fatigue and cortisol resistance because your body cells cannot keep up with the demand of using the sources of fuel.
It is a hormone that plays a key role in reducing circulating blood sugar. You should follow a diet high in foods with lower glycemic index to help balance your insulin levels. On the other hand, in case you follow a diet high in carbs and foods with a high glycemic index, your insulin levels will spike and drop, thus contributing to inconsistency over time. That’s not all, this can also contribute to insulin resistance, in which your body cells have reduced sensitivity to insulin when the levels in your bloodstream are very high. Furthermore, this can also cause elevated weight gain since your bloodstream eliminates the blood sugar and transports it into your fat cells for storage.
– Thyroid Hormones
The amount of energy your cells can produce depends on the levels of your thyroid hormones. Specifically, when the levels of your thyroid hormone elevate, your cells will burn more fats and carbohydrates to create cellular energy in your mitochondria. In addition, improper thyroid hormone function can result in problems with your energy production and an inability to burn enough fats and carbohydrates.
Here Are a Couple of Steps You Can Take in Order to Keep Your Hormones Balanced:
The good news is that this can help keep your hormones balanced, and prevent weight gain related to menopause.
– Use Functional Lab Testing
You may also want to use functional lab testing in order to get your cellular health and hormones tested. Some of these tests include testing Urinary hormone levels and Urinary Organic Acids.
– Adopt a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Proper digestion and a healthy, balanced diet play a role in maintaining good health. The regular consumption of certain foods could help you balance your hormones and blood sugar levels. Additionally, opt for organic dark green leafy veggies. Make sure you are not buying genetically modified foods or foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides to prevent the negative effects on your cellular and body systems. You should also opt for lean meats, seeds, and nuts and foods rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and prevent weight gain.
– Get Physically Active
In fact, one of the most common problems that affect women over 50 is muscle loss because of inactivity. Moreover, this problem can also be associated with osteoporosis. You can stay active by walking for about half an hour, three-five times a week. You can also work out and compete at a Crossfit gym on a daily basis. This means that you should identify what you are capable of doing and what works for you.
- Welch, Claudia. ˮBalance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Scienceˮ;
- Turner, Natasha. ”The Hormone Diet: A 3-Step Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Strength, and Live Younger Longer”;