Menopause and weight gain


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Definition – What is the Menopause?

There is a time when a woman’s periods permanently stop. The age this happens varies. However, it’s usually between the ages of 40 and 60. The average age for women to reach the menopause in the UK is 51.

This process happens when your ovaries stop producing eggs. Your ovaries make the hormone oestrogen, so when they stop functioning there is a drop in the levels of oestrogen in your blood. This fall in hormone level disrupts your menstrual cycle and can cause the associated symptoms.

Symptoms – What are they?

This happens gradually. Your periods may become irregular and infrequent before they stop completely. You may also have other symptoms. Some of these can begin up to six years before your final menstrual period and continue for several years after your last period. Symptoms of the menopause can include:

  • hot flushes and night sweats
  • feeling your heart racing (palpitations)
  • changes to your vagina, such as dryness, discomfort, itching and pain during sex
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • loss of interest in sex (libido)
  • changes in your mood, such as feeling tired, irritable, depressed or anxious
  • having difficulty concentrating or poor memory
  • urinary problems – such as recurrent urinary tract infections, loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)

While there are options for avoiding some of these symptoms such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), many women are interested in trying natural approaches. These alternatives work in a different way that prescription medications. When applied optimally, they work with your body, meaning that they can be very effective in preventing or reducing the severity of symptoms instead of just temporarily relieving them.

Self Help – Natural Treatments and Remedies to consider

Focus on Nutrition

Balanced DietFood can often be the best medicine and you’ll want to focus on your diet. Aim to eat a balance of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein on a daily basis. You should also be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal, even breakfast. For the best nutrient delivery, you should eat three meals a day and two snacks to keep your blood sugar stable. The most important area to focus on, with your diet, is to reduce your carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbohydrates and sugars.
You achieve optimal nutrition when your diet contains adequate vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. There are some natural supplements that you can add to your daily schedule. This is a great option when you feel overwhelmed with daily life and it’s a challenge to follow these dietary recommendations every day.

Many women have busy schedules and they find it hard to eat balanced meals and snacks every day. For example, B-vitamins and vitamin D are often deficient in your diet. If you feel tired and listless, you can supplement these nutrients and keep your energy levels high.

Herbal Remedies that Act like Hormones

Plants and herbal remedies contain an incredible strength and can be used to prevent menopausal symptoms. It’s even more amazing that plants and herbs can adapt to your body’s unique needs. They can do this because they share molecular features with your own hormones, allowing them to support hormone production by mimicking your body’s hormones, depending on your own unique needs. Some of the herbs that can reduce  symptoms include passionflower, chasteberry, black cohosh, red clover and wild yam. When you use these supplements on a regular basis, you may notice that many symptoms  are eliminated or at least lessened.

Exercise to Maintain Oestrogen/Progesterone Ratios

Many women feel like they’re gaining weight when they hit menopause, especially in their stomach and abdomen areas. It’s particularly frustrating because this weight seems to stick to unusual places in their bodies and it’s almost impossible to slim down. One of the reasons why weight gain is so common is due to fluctuating oestrogen levels which cause your body to hold on to fat. Additionally, fat actually produces oestrogen which then leads to even more fat. The cycle continues unless you take steps to stop it in its tracks.

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