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Weight Gain and Menopause
Weight gain during menopause is one of the most common symptoms of this difficult life transition. Maintaining our ideal weight is always a challenge, yet it becomes more and more difficult as we age and begin menopause. While diet, exercise and lifestyle are all factors in weight gain, the main culprit is hormonal imbalance during menopause.
Hormonal imbalance directly affects our appetite, fat storage and metabolism. In addition, many women experience new, uncontrollable food craving, such as sweets.
The majority of women gain weight gradually. The average is about a pound a year, yet those women that don’t exercise or experience early menopause, as a result of a hysterectomy, tend to gain weight more rapidly.
The Role of Hormones in Weight Gain
Hormonal imbalance of the sex hormones directly affects our insulin levels putting them in constant limbo.
Insulin controls our blood sugar levels. During menopause and hormonal imbalance, too much insulin is released causing our blood sugar levels to overshoot and drop too low. This sudden drop leaves us feeling shaky, weak and craving sugar. Our body craves a double chocolate candy bar, yet the processed sugar actually works against us, sending blood sugars levels shooting up and unbalancing our sugar levels more.
Insulin is heavily dependent on progesterone and estrogen blood levels. Estrogen triggers insulin release and progesterone moderates it. As progesterone quality decreases during menopause, estrogen is imbalanced and releases insulin more and more rapidly. The increased release of insulin causes sudden and persistent sugar cravings that contribute to weight gain.
Hormonal imbalance of the sex hormones can have a direct affects on weight gain in other forms as well. (could be bullets rather than sentences) Diminished estrogen can cause the body to search for other sources of estrogen through fat cells, which systematically, teach your body to convert more calories to fat. Decreased levels of Progesterone during menopause cause additional water retention and bloating and decreased testosterone causes the loss of muscle mass and lower metabolism.
If not treated, a fluctuation in sugar levels and increased body fat can wear and tear on our body and accelerate the aging process.
How Can Bioidentical Hormones Help Weight Loss?
Naturally rebalancing your hormones after the imbalance of menopause is vital to maintaining a healthier weight and overall well-being.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) with natural hormones provides a gentle, safe and effective way to restore hormonal balance, relieving many of the symptoms associated with aging and resulting in the recovery of youth and vitality. Unlike the synthetic hormones (HRT), which are produced from plant progesterone, animal estrogens and not identical to our hormones, bioidentical hormones are exact replicas of the hormones produced by our bodies naturally. Based on compounds found in nature, typically soy beans and wild Mexican yams, bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are recognized by the body as its own.
Diet, exercise, and proper nutritional supplementation also play an important role in controlling weight gain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
To assess your symptoms and to learn more about how bioidentical hormones and other safe and effective tools of Age Management medicine that can lead to hormonal balance and natural weight maintenance, contact a certified RestoreMD doctor in your area.
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