Menopause is the absence of menstrual periods, and it usually occurs in your late 40s or early 50s. Weight gain during menopause often settles around the abdomen rather than hips and thighs. Many premenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal people complain of gaining 10-15 pounds. The weight gain is mainly caused by decrease in women’s metabolism and estrogens production. However, excessive weight gain during menopause may be a warning sign that indicates something is wrong with your hormones levels, blood sugar levels and eating habits. Weight gain after menopause increases the risk of some health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, breast cancer, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and colorectal cancer.
6 causes for weight gain during menopause:
- Estrogen: Estrogen is the women sex hormone that is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. Low estrogen levels during menopause causes the female body to stop ovulation. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and glucose less effectively which in turn causes you to pack on the unwanted pounds.
- Progesterone: Progesterone is a hormone that is produced in the ovaries of women. During menopause, progesterone level will also decrease. Low level of this hormone may be responsible for some of the symptoms of menopause that include weight gain.
- Exercise: Women who have reached menopause usually exercise less than other women. This decreased level of activity can result in weight gain.
- Stress: Chronic stress also contributes to menopausal weight gain. Stress not only tends to add weight around your belly but can also boost your appetite.
- Genetics: Genetic factors may also lead to menopause weight gain. If your parents carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same.
- Metabolism: Another primary cause for weight gain after menopause is your changing metabolism. As we age, our metabolism process slows down which in turn burn fewer calories.