Are you aged between 35 and 55? Are you in pre- or perimenopause? Are you increasing in weight or struggling to lose excess pounds? Have you recently developed belly fat?
All these problems could be connected to your age and time of life. Studies report that 90% of women experience perimenopause and weight gain between the ages of 35 and 55, even if their lifestyle and diet do not change. What's even more frustrating is that this new body fat remains stubborn despite all efforts to diet it off. Although it may not help you squeeze into your jeans, it can be a consolation to know that this is normal in perimenopausal women as estrogen dominance is a hallmark of this pre-menopause time.
This unwelcome weight gain is not actually caused by what you eat or lack of exercise. It is actually caused by hormone changes that start to take place in the body up to 15 years before full menopause becomes apparent. It is well known that too much cortisol or too little progesterone, testosterone or estrogen encourage the body to store belly fat.
This problem between perimenopause and weight gain creeps up gradually as women put on an extra pound or two every year. Once this fat has accumulated to 10-15 pounds, they are an entire dress size bigger. Those with continued levels of excess estrogen and other chemical imbalances can gain as much as 50 pounds. Overproduction of estrogen can also trigger water retention and sodium retention in the body. This leads to a sense of heaviness, bloating, weight gain and puffiness around the eyes and cheeks.
Related: The Stress Menopause Connection
Dealing with Perimenopause and Weight
If imbalanced hormones are the cause of the weight gain, then it makes sense that balancing estrogen and progesterone levels can stop or prevent the problem. Bioidentical hormone therapy may be suitable to help rebalance hormones and shed that unwanted blubber.
Some women may have intolerance to gluten, wheat and dairy products which increases bloating and weight gain. A quick test can ascertain whether this is likely. Those suffering with fluid retention, noticeably in the ankles and lower leg should reduce salt intake to help lessen the edema.
By understanding the connection between perimenopause and weight it becomes easier to deal with the cause of the problem, avoiding unnecessary stress at what should be some of the best years of your life.