In this section:
FAT, FRUSTRATED, OVER 40 and FEMALE!!!
If you're feeling fat, frustrated, over 40 and female, you are one of millions of women in America today facing menopause.
Yes, millions of baby boomers are keeping you company.
The onset of menopause can suddenly throw your life off center as your body begins to misbehave and you experience hot sweats, chills, insomnia, mood swings, loss of concentration and memory lapses...and of course, weight gain. All of this is enough to throw you into deep depression which, by the way, happens to be yet another accompanying menopausal symptom.
At first we are in denial with each little symptom that crops up. There's a certain sense of sadness that comes with knowing our childbearing days are coming to an end, especially if you are not married or never had children and feel life might have passed you by.
Many women who visit our Center show symptoms of peri-menopause (the years surrounding menopause) but do not recognize they have already entered this major cycle of their life and are quite taken back when the subject is introduced in the first evaluation segment of our Better Body program.
Like anything in life, everything is a journey. Menopause isn’t a day that happens when menstruation just stops and finally bids us farewell. Unfortunately, for most of us women it is a long slow process of battling with our bodies as our hormones continually fluctuate up and down in order to level themselves out as we finally release our reproductive years and prepare for the more challenging years of gracefully aging.
AM I IN PERI-MENOPAUSE?
No, I am not menopausal yet…..(she laughs)……the reason I came to Better Body is because I have been gradually putting pounds on these past two years and no matter what I do I just can’t seem to get it off! I’ve tried everything. It all seems to sit right here in my belly……ha!... I used to look like a pear and now I look like an apple…..oh yeah, and I am really tired lately. Just don’t have my usual energy level … get fatigued real easy now…..must be just old age setting in. (Hmmm……sounds like menopausal symptoms to me!)
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME DURING MENOPAUSE?
Peri-menopause is the cycle of time before your period actually ceases whereby you will begin to experience menopausal symptoms. This can begin as early as late 30's but normally starts around the early to mid 40's. Peri-menopause can last as long as 13-15 years but more typical is 6 years.
It is important to remember peri-menopause is not an event but a process. The ovaries begin producing less and less estrogen and this withdrawal produces such symptoms as hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings and weight gain even though actual menopause may be still a decade away.
In our initial consultation, many of our clients who note symptoms like irritability, short memory lapses and insomnia dismiss these symptoms as the result of stress more than acknowledge they may be already experiencing the cycle of peri-menopause.
Common symptoms experienced are as follows:
Most women experience a sudden physical change, with exhaustion, a fear that she was dying, heart palpitations, and mental depression. Each time her menstrual cycle passed the problem disappeared. Too much stress and not enough rest can increase the output of adrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to adrenal depletion or burnout, bringing panic attacks and adrenal hot flashes.
Menstrual periods will tend to reflect specific hormonal changes. Low estrogen levels will cause menstrual bleeding to become lighter and lighter, sometimes with spotting between periods. High estrogen levels will cause heavy, clotted bleeding, especially if progesterone levels are low. Women who are peri-menopausal often have more symptoms than postmenopausal women whose hormones have leveled out.
SO WHAT IS POST-MENOPAUSE?
When menstrual periods have not occurred for one full year, menopause is considered complete. The ovaries stop their major production of estradiol, the main female estrogen.
For some women the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause are so overwhelming that they are faced with a decision whether to take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) or not to take HRT. The current line of thinking from the American Heart Association and other notable Health Organizations is that if you are suffering from menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, etc., then their counsel is to go ahead and take HRT but conclusive studies at this stage have shown that HRT does not show a defense against cardiovascular disease or strokes which seemed to be the main line of thinking these past 5-10 years. Hopefully you have a physician you can discuss your alternatives with and between you both will come to the right action to take for your individual passage.
Do some research on the subject since this period of time is a major transition cycle in your life. However, we advise you not to begin your research with your feet in the stirrups of a pap smear examination. Neither you nor your doctor will benefit from a barrage of questions from your horizontal position. Make time for a one-on-one consultation. It could be the best investment of time and money toward your health for the next 40 years of your life.
NO BONES ABOUT IT!
Osteoporosis is the third greatest killer of women over age 60. 25 million Americans have osteoporosis of which 20 million are women! 15-20% of women who have hip surgery due to osteoporosis die within three months. Women die as a result of osteoporosis if their bones don’t heal.
One of the biggest health challenges faced by older women is osteoporosis. After menopause, when estrogen levels drop and calcium is poorly absorbed, there are more osteoclasts ( bone-chewers) and fewer osteoblasts ( bone-builders). This leads to bone loss.
Your risk can be determined by a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) exam which measures current bone mineral content. (this is much like an early mammogram establishes a baseline against which further screen tests are measured. Your physician can ascertain whether you are losing, maintaining or building bone mass in years to come.
That’s why exercising and a good nutritional diet is absolutely essential when you hit the bit 4-0.
Believe it or not your fat cells are your menopausal helpers! They have the amazing capability of observing the first signs of declining estrogen levels so they activate more fat storage enzymes and increase their size so they will be able to produce estrogen. The bigger they become, the more they will be able to produce estrogen.
Studies have shown women with the largest fat cells produce 40% more estrogen than those with smaller fat cells. Your abdominal fat cells are more conducive to producing estrogen. These fat cells surround the liver and adrenal glands which lend a helping hand to produce estrogen.
The adrenal glands produce a form of testosterone, the liver produces the enzyme to convert the testosterone to estrogen and the fat cells surrounding the liver and adrenal glands promote the laboratory to get the job done. The result is more estrogen...expanding waistline!
What every good doctor will tell you is EXERCISE and DIET are the best medicine for women entering their pre and menopausal cycle. There are two major stages in a woman’s life when she is forced to review her dietary and exercise program. They are during pregnancy and during menopause.
Many of our clients over 40 come to Better Body completely frustrated with the continual increase of their weight gain. They have tried just about every diet that is on the market today with little results for all their efforts.
At Better Body we understand this frustration and yet we have many of our clients between 40 - 55 years who have completed our Better Body program and lost 25 -30lbs or 3 dress sizes in just 12 weeks.
Just click on our Success Stories to view our testimonials of these "Ordinary women achieving Extra-ordinary results".
10 SECRETS TO BURNING MENOPAUSAL FAT!
There are 10 simple solutions to losing menopausal weight gain and keeping it off. When you begin our Better Body Weight Loss program we incorporate these extra steps into your program.