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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is weight gain a symptom of menopause?

    I have been going though menopause for about 3 years and I seem to have put on weight. I have not been eating anything extra. My diet has stayed the same.
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    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    As women approach menopause they endure many symptoms, but one that proves the most difficult for many women to accept is menopausal weight gain. Your metabolism slows down and your hormone balance changes. Not only can a few extra kilos (or maybe more) ravage a woman´s self-esteem and self-image, but weight gain can usher in a host of health concerns that put a woman at risk of developing life-threatening conditions.  About 90% of menopausal women experience some amount of weight gain. Although weight gain is a natural and common aspect of getting older, there are ways to reduce it. Women who are educated about this symptom are more likely to find ways around the typical spare-tyre waist or extra centimetres  here and there.
     Weight gain takes place when an individual increases her body mass, whether as a result of fat deposits, additional muscle tissue, or excess fluid. However, weight gain associated with menopause typically involves increased amounts of fat around the abdomen.

    On average, women gain between 5 and 7 kilos between the ages of 45 and 55, the stage in life when menopause typically occurs. This extra weight generally does not evenly distribute itself throughout a woman´s body. The weight tends instead to accumulate around the abdomen, and women often notice the shape of their bodies slowly lose their hour-glass figure and begin to take on a rounded shape.  Weight gain during menopause entails more than just aesthetic concerns. Although no one enjoys looking in the mirror and seeing a softer, plumper body looking back, weight gain can lead to very serious health conditions that transcend visual displeasure. Several diseases and other conditions can spawn as a result of a body burdened with excess pounds. Here is a list of conditions weight gain can lead to:
    • Heart disease, stroke.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Osteoarthritis.
    • Breast cancer.
    • High cholesterol.
    • Kidney disease.
    • Sleep apnoea.
    • Insulin resistance (increasing
    diabetes risks).
    • More severe menopausal symptoms.
     

  • Tracey Bouchier

    HealthShare Member

    Thank you for the answer.

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