Menopause and weight gain - causes and solutions
Menopause, the period in a woman’s life when ovulation and menstruation cease, most often starts between the ages of 45 and 55. It’s a natural process, and the symptoms and their severity vary from person to person. Menopause officially begins when a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months.
About a third of menopausal women experience symptoms such as decreased bone density, increased nausea, high cholesterol, sleep disorders and hot flashes.
One of the common symptoms is weight gain. Over half of menopausal women gain, on average, 4.5 kilos. Studies have shown that during menopause, fat oxidation decreases by more than 30%.
The factors connected to weight gain during menopause are:
- The basal metabolic rate decreases - the values of energy consumed during rest decrease by about 200-300 calories.
- Fluctuations of hormones - both high levels and low levels of oestrogen can lead to fat storage in the abdominal area, which is connected to an increased risk of myocardial distress, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels and other problems.
- Loss of muscle mass - both age and lack of physical activity contribute to this.
- Sleep problems - many women report problems with sleep - and lack of sleep is associated with weight gain too.
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