Weight Gain after Menopause

by Sharon Hopkins


Menopause occurs in women when the monthly period or menstruation stops and when they also stop ovulating. On an average, women who are above 45 years tend to go through menopause. Those who experience menopause before 40 years of age are said to be going through premature menopause. Some of the most common symptoms of post menopause in women are changes in the skin such as wrinkling and increased dryness, changes in hair texture, thinning of the lining in the vagina, sagging breasts and so on. Additionally, during and after menopause there is rapid bone loss in women which may even result in osteoporosis. Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) ceases. Menopause actually means the last menstrual period. The average age of the natural menopause is 51 years, but can occur much earlier or later. Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause and before the age of 40 is premature menopause. Weight gain after menopause is a common complaint in around 2 out of every 3 women. On an average, menopausal women tend to gain almost 12 to 15 pounds during and after menopause. Additionally, it is noticed that the gained weight tends to accumulate mostly around the abdomen rather than the thighs and hips as the case may have been before menopause. During the early stages of menopause it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain one’s pre menopausal weight and to even lose any weight gained. This is because the hormonal changes in the body have a direct impact on the fat storage, metabolism and even one’s appetite. During menopause and even later, women tend to develop an insulin resistance which makes their bodies store fat rather than burn the calories. If weight gain is unusually high post menopause it could also indicate something serious that requires medical attention such as high blood pressure, breast cancer, risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and even diabetes.

Some simple methods to control weight gain post menopause is to consume food that are low in sugar, cholesterol and saturated fats. Instead, menopausal women should consume plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits as part of their daily diet thereby reducing their calorie intake. One should also drink plenty of water throughout the day as this helps in keeping the body well hydrated. Regular exercise is also essential during menopause to control weight gain as otherwise physically inactive women are more prone to coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other such conditions.


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