It’s not you, it’s Menopause.

December 7, 2022

By: Rachel Noonan, PharmD

Unrealistic expectations are placed on the female body every day. The constant onslaught is exhausting – your weight can weigh on you.

And yet, the science is clear: midlife women struggling with weight management are at real risk. Obesity. Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes. The combination of natural aging and menopause can wreak havoc on the female body.

Perimenopause triggers a cascade of unfavorable changes. When estrogen levels drop and androgen levels rise, an imbalance occurs. That imbalance causes the body to distribute fat differently. Hormone shifts have visible consequences. Muscle mass begins to deteriorate. More fat can accumulate around the midsection. Metabolism slows. Weight fluctuates. And if your physical activity has relaxed, expect this series of unfortunate events to hit even harder.

The result? You may find your reliable diet and exercise routine has fallen flat. Your efforts to stay healthy and energized aren’t working as well as before. If you are dissatisfied with these unexpected changes, understand this:

It’s not you, it’s menopause.

What many don’t realize is estrogen affects energy balance. Without it, your body doesn’t operate as efficiently. Throw in the realities of aging, and it’s no surprise your health suffers.  Entering menopause, the odds are stacked against you.

Research reveals the burden of your body changing inside and out is overwhelming. Spikes in anxiety and depression during menopause are expected. Body image concerns complicate these feelings further. Studies strive to understand the enormous physical and mental toll of midlife.

Fighting a losing battle isn’t fun but rooting for the underdog lifts the holiday spirit. Small steps can make a big impact.  

First, embrace that ever-changing, never-boring body of yours. As women, we carry the world on our shoulders (and occasionally, in our middle). Your body is a force to be reckoned with. Appreciate it.

Second, eat well and get physical. Sedentary lifestyles promote metabolic problems. Prioritize strength training. Give the Mediterranean diet a whirl – it’s anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. Pick healthy habits that stick.

Third, address your hormonal imbalance. Estrogen is key. Restoring your body’s balance gives you a fighting chance to adapt and thrive.  

Menopause can suck the merry right out of the room if you let it. So, don’t. Settle in under the mistletoe and kiss inaction goodbye.


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