Lack Of Sleep Can Also Contribute To Weight Gain During Menopause
Studies show that people who dont get enough sleep tend to consume more calories and be more overweight.6 Missing out on sleep also causes our hormones to get out of sync with one another and leads to food cravings.1, 6 Getting a good nights rest is one of the most underrated healthy living tips, and its important for everyone, regardless of age or weight.
Do Hot Flashes Burn Calories 4 Things You Need To Know
Hot flashes, one of the most familiar, and most obvious symptoms of menopause are not pleasant. Far from it. They are natural, and nothing to be worried about, but they can be very uncomfortable. In this article, we will talk a little about this phenomenon, helping you understand what is going on in your body. Also, we will answer one common question “Do hot flashes burn calories?”. Grab a glass of something icy, as we dive into the world of hot flashes.
Menopause And Its Impact On Your Body
Every single woman will eventually go through menopause in her life.
Despite the fact that so many women go through it, many women arent prepared for the transition or what it means for their body!
So, with that in mind, lets dispel the uncertainty and talk about it in plain English.
First of all, what is menopause?
Menopause is a state which occurs in the female body which marks a sudden and rapid decline in the sex hormones estradiol and progesterone.
The sudden decline in these hormones is responsible for all of the symptoms associated with menopause, including weight gain.
These sex hormones are some of the most important hormones in biology because they help define the female phenotype.
You can imagine why the sudden decline in these hormones cause many problems in the body .
For our discussion, we are going to be focusing primarily on weight gain, but just realize that much of the information presented here may help with other issues as well.
So is it an inevitability that you will gain weight during your menopause transition?
Not necessarily, and this is something that we will touch on later in this article.
But first, lets discuss what actually causes weight gain when you hit menopause:
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Up To 14 Years Of Hot Flashes Found In Menopause Study
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By Pam Belluck
Conventional wisdom has it that hot flashes, which afflict up to 80 percent of middle-aged women, usually persist for just a few years. But hot flashes can continue for as long as 14 years, and the earlier they begin the longer a woman is likely to suffer, a study published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found.
In a racially, ethnically and geographically diverse group of 1,449 women with frequent hot flashes or night sweats the largest study to date the median length of time women endured symptoms was 7.4 years. So while half of the women were affected for less than that time, half had symptoms longer some for 14 years, researchers reported.
Its miserable, Ill tell you what, said Sharon Brown, 57, of Winston-Salem, N.C., who has endured hot flashes for six years. At her job at a tax and accounting office, she has had to stop wearing silk.
I keep one of the little fans with me at all times one in my purse, a couple in my desk, some in just random places in the office, she said. Ill be so glad when they stop if they ever stop.
Over all, black and Hispanic women experienced hot flashes for significantly longer periods than white or Asian women. And in a particularly unfair hormonal twist, the researchers found that the earlier hot flashes started, the longer they were likely to continue.
None had had a hysterectomy or both ovaries removed, and none were on hormone therapy.
Sex Drive: Treat Vaginal Dryness
As you age, your estrogen levels drop off and vaginal tissues arent as moist, which means sex can become unpleasant and even painful. And when this happens, most people dont want to have sex, Wu says. Many products can potentially remedy the discomfort, from creams and lubricants to feminine moisturizers. If youre not satisfied with any of these, prescription local estrogen products may help. Talk with your doctor about which one might be best for you, Wu says.
A surprising remedy for vaginal dryness is to have more sex, according to Waddell. Maintaining frequent intercourse is helpful for elasticity and lubrication, she explains. The more intercourse a woman has, the better for keeping the vaginal tissues healthy.
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Why You Gain Weight During Menopause
Symptoms associated with menopause can start as early as four years before your last period and persist for an additional four years or longer. While many symptoms eventually subside as your body adjusts to hormonal changes, menopausal weight gain can make a permanent change in your long-term well-being.
Understanding why menopausal weight gain occurs is key to taking control and maintaining good health in this new phase of life. The menopause specialists at Ovation Wellness in Madison, Mississippi, provide the guidance and support women need to remain healthy and adjust to their changing bodies. The professional and caring staff members help you find the strategies and treatments necessary to address your symptoms and establish long-term well-being.
A Guide To Menopause And Weight Gain
It seems like women can’t catch a break – the period in their lives when menopause occurs usually coincides with other life events that can cause anxiety and stress – changes in career, taking care of aging parents, the empty nest syndrome, and the sudden realization that they won’t be young forever.
”The ’50s is a kind of fulcrum decade, a turning point in the aging process during which people, more sharply than before, are made to feel their age, says renowned sociologist David Karp, founder of Tumblr, who has spent years studying how hormonal and lifestyle transitions affect menopausal/middle-aged women.
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Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Weight Gain After Menopause
If lifestyle change sounds scary to you – dont worry. Menopause doesnt require you to set your bedtime at 9PM, quit coffee, wine, or conform to a strict diet of kale and protein shakes.
But – we understand – making sense of it all is hard on your own. This is why weve put it all in one place and created the Meno-PAUSE List of lifestyle recommendations – based on scientific studies, medical recommendations, and nutritionist advice.
Removal Of Ovaries With Hysterectomy
A sudden drop in estrogen, such as after ovaries are surgically removed, can cause severe hot flash symptoms, says Gerardo Bustillo, OB/GYN at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. Dramatic symptoms can happen when women are cut off from estrogen abruptly.
The removal of the uterus alone will not cause an immediate drop in the hormone, since the ovaries will continue to produce estrogen.
Chemotherapy that puts women into early menopause may also trigger hot flashes.
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What Can I Do To Help Myself
To help you manage hot flushes, simple things like wearing light clothing, using a fan and keeping your bedroom cool could help.
If youre struggling with your mood, consider trying self-help measures like relaxation, getting enough sleep and staying active. Regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can also help to improve menopausal symptoms.
How Can You Lose Menopause Weight Gain
You can lose menopause weight gain the same way you can lose weight that isnt associated with menopause.
Restrict calories with a healthy diet. Exercise regularly, and aim for a combination of aerobic exercise to burn calories and strength training to build muscle. Prioritize your sleep.
Lastly, reduce stress. Stress can lead to things like overeating, excessive alcohol use, sleep disturbances, and other issues that can lead to weight gain.
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Hiit Your Menopause Symptoms Where It Hurts
Exercise routines that we used to stay fit and healthy in our 20s to early 40s no longer work the same way as we age. The key to losing your menopause belly fat is to shake things up. One of the single best types of exercise during menopause is high-intensity interval training , shown to help you lose weight faster and keep it off, especially during times when this can be more challenging, like menopause.
HIIT workouts are usually quite varied, which helps keep them from getting boring
Weight Loss Reduces Hot Flashes In Overweight And Obese Women
July 12 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine
A new study shows that overweight and obese women who suffer from hot flashes can reduce the severity of their hot flashes if they lose weight through diet or exercise.
Hot flashes, which are associated with sleeping problems, anxiety and depression, are the most common complaints of women during menopause and persist for five or more years past menopause in up to one third of women, according to the researchers. In multiple observational studies, women with a higher body mass index have reported more frequent or severe hot flashes compared to women with lower BMI, but the effect of weight loss on hot flashes has been unknown.
We still dont understand the underlying mechanism of hot flashes, or why some women experience flashes and others dont, said Alison J. Huang, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine in the UCSF Department of Medicine, who was the lead author on the paper. The good news is that millions of women who are overweight and troubled by hot flashes may be able to reduce their discomfort through diet and exercise.
Findings are available July 12 in the online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Bothersome hot flashes and other baseline menopausal symptoms were assessed at baseline and at six months using self-administered questionnaires. Participants were asked to indicate intensity of hot flashes in the past month with responses ranging from not at all to extremely.
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Hormonal Changes Change How Your Body Stores Fat
The hormonal changes that come with menopause may change how your body stores fatfrom storing it around your hips and thighs to your abdominal area. Hormone levels in a menopausal woman can therefore influence body fat or the location where excess weight is stored. Menopause may increase the fat surrounding organs like your liver, intestines and other organs, which is different from subcutaneous fat, the belly fat right beneath the skin. Both may draw extra attention to waist circumference, but visceral fat is associated with certain health risks. While these changes can cause your body to store fat in a different place, they dont necessarily make you more likely to gain weight.1 Weight gain during menopause is more often caused by a combination of lifestyle factors and how our bodies naturally change with age.
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Vegetables And Leafy Greens
Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens are your secret weapon in fighting the unwanted symptoms of menopause. Generally, the more fruits and vegetables the better – they are low in calories and their long-term higher intake will contribute to weight loss and significantly lower your menopause symptoms.
It might take some lifestyle changes, but try to get your hands on these:
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A Quick Guide To Menopausal Weight Gain Solutions:
We’re going to admit it – it is harder to ward off weight gain after menopause. But it doesnt mean its impossible!
You can approach post-menopausal weight loss just as you would any project at work – with some goal-setting and planning. There are some lifestyle changes you should consider and make permanent.
What Is A Hot Flash
It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.
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Some More Useful Tips
Be sure to meet your calcium requirements
You already know that youre at a greater risk for osteoporosis so clearly calcium is a must in a good premature menopause diet. Low fat dairy products supply you with much needed protein too, and help keep your bones strong. Calcium-rich vegetables, like broccoli, are another good source.
Read more about your calcium intake in our ultimate guide on calcium and early menopause.
Try to eat more before 5:00 PM and try not to eat anything after 8:00 PM
So-called intermittent fasting may be of significant help in keeping the added weight off.
Some have argued it makes no difference that calories are calories, no matter when you eat. But other studies have shown youre best off eating large meals earlier in the day, and potentially even fasting through the evening into the next day.
During the day youre more active, so you can burn off some of the calories youve taken in. In fact, to put it more scientifically, it takes about four hours after eating for your blood-triglyceride levels to rise.
So, if you have a large dinner at 7:00 or so, your triglycerides might hit their height around 11:00 right when youre going to bed or lying on the couch watching television.
In general, it might be worth following that old saying: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a peasant.
Drink water whenever you can remember to and definitely before meals
Eat more soup!
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Safely Lowering Calorie Intake
Many women may obsessively count calories and even set targets that are dangerously low. While it is good to keep track and be aware, having taking an obsessive approach can do more harm than good. Getting too few calories can actually disrupt your metabolism and put your body into survival mode, where it retains more fat than it would if you consumed enough calories.
A daily calorie intake to lose weight safely will cause a one to two-pound decrease a week. To figure this out, simply subtract 500 to 1000 from the number you found above. Under no circumstances should your intake be lower than 1,200 calories per day.
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Menopause And Excessive Sweating: When Medication Is In Order
Some women find relief with lifestyle changes, but others need more. The most important thing to remember: talk to your doctor and think about all of the possibilities for treatment, says Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City.
Finding a treatment that works for you is a highly individual thing. âI tell patients to keep trying,â Polan says. Sooner or later youâll find relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is the most effective way to treat hot flashes, but the Womens Health Initiative study found an increased risk for heart disease, blood clots, and stroke, and an increase in breast cancer when women took oral estrogen and progestin long-term, Omicioli says. The increased heart disease risk was in older women who were 10 or more years postmenopausal, she says.
But thereâs emerging evidence that non-oral forms of estrogen a cream, gel, patch, or ring may have safety advantages in reducing risk of blood clots and stroke, Omicioli says.
The WHI study didnât find an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took estrogen alone, Omicioli says. The study also looked at one dose of oral estrogen and synthetic progestin. âThere may be a lower risk with progesterone vs. synthetic progestin,â she says.
The supplement black cohosh may also help some women reduce hot flashes, although the results of scientific studies have been mixed.
Why Take Hormone Replacement Therapy
Most women in perimenopause and menopause are struggling with their weight on some level. As we discussed, hormones control metabolism and weight balance.
The most effective way to get hormones back on track, halt the ever-present scale creep, and return to a healthy weight is to correct hormonal imbalances with HRT. Once hormones are back in balance, weight loss can begin.
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There Are A Few Reasons Way Menopause Causes Weight Gain And Its Not All About The Metabolism At Least Not Directly
You see, research indicates that menopause actually changes your body composition. It takes away muscle, and gives women more fat. And that fat is redistributed around the midsection, that well-known muffin top that so many women try to get rid of.
At any rate, this muscle loss slows your metabolism, leading to weight gain. In addition, before menopause, estrogen improves insulin sensitivity, and both estrogen and progesterone control the negative effect of cortisol. During and after menopause, when estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your cells may become resistant to insulin, a known risk factor for obesity. Plus, with cortisol no longer controlled, belly fat accumulates even more.
But despite all the changes of menopause, there are some changes you can make today to increase your metabolism and lose weight.
Weight Loss & Hot Flash Relief
About 80% of women report hot flashes and night sweats as they progress through menopause, according to Caan. Up to half of them have moderate or severe symptoms. The others have mild symptoms.
In other research, experts have found that women with a larger body size, including either a higher body mass index or a higher percent of body fat, have more frequent or more severe menopausal symptoms.
For the new study, Caan and her team evaluated women who had taken part in the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. That study included nearly 49,000 women, with 40% following a low-fat diet and the others serving as a comparison group.
In all, Caan and her team focused on more than 17,000 women who had participated in the trial. At the start of the study, they were ages 50 to 79. None were on hormone therapy.
Those in the low-fat-diet group ate just 20% of their calories from fat, had five servings of fruits and vegetables, and had six servings of whole grains daily.
All the women reported on their menopausal symptoms, including how often they occurred and how severe they were.
The researchers classified the symptoms as:
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