Can we blame our hormones

menopause Jul 11, 2021

Why does Meno belly happen, is it just my hormones?

Why does Meno belly happen, do menopause hormones cause weight gain?

The answer is that quite possibly during your perimenopausal and menopausal years, your hormones do play a part. Your hormones do not just steadily drop down.

Some people become oestrogen dominant because their progesterone is dropping lower than their oestrogen, so instead of having a nice balance, they have got one that is dominant and one that is recessive.

Some people might become oestrogen dominant, other people might become androgen dominant - they might have their hormones balancing out in another way.

These fluctuations in your hormones do affect the way that fat is stored, and there are other things that they affect too… the fluctuating causes two different types of people, two different types of shape:

Apple or pear.

Some people end up getting more fat all over their body; they have not only an increase in this abdominal fat, but they have more fat under their skin and turn into an apple shape around their stomach.

Other people who have different and menopausal hormonal issues might become more pear-shaped. They have less peripheral fat, the bottom goes, they may have reduced muscle. They become quite scrawny with no muscle on their limbs, but what they have got sits around their stomach.

It is not just the hormones, people often say, I am honestly not doing anything different.

There is no doubt that there are other factors at play. Walk down a busy town or high street on a Saturday lunchtime or a Thursday night, and you are quite likely to see hordes of menopausal and perimenopausal women out for brunch, out for lunch, out on girls’ nights, having gin club tastings, going for Proseccos. There is no doubt that around the menopause age, many of us can spend a little bit more time on our social interactions. We spend that money in restaurants. Whilst in the home, we might not be doing anything different when we are out and about, you may well be socialising and taking in far more calories than you ever used to.

The other thing that often happens is that we just stop moving as much. The reason that your muscle goes to is that you are not actively generating muscle, and if you are not actively generating muscle, then your body does not need as much fuel for calories to keep it going. You keep putting the same amount of food into it and it has not got the engine requirements to burn up that food, then that gets transferred to fat.

So yes, your hormones are a big part of this menopausal weight gain.

Depending on how your hormones fluctuate, and only somebody who is going to do hormone testing will be able to tell you which side of the fence you lie on, you might find that you have become a different shape, that any fat that you have got may well be focussing on your middle. It is often the other things that you are doing that will be contributing to that as well, such as eating out.

The other thing that tends to happen is we are not sleeping very well. In menopause we’ve got anxiety, we may not be eating particularly healthily when we are eating at home, and we may be exposed to something called Zano oestrogens. These are the fake oestrogen toxins, if you like, around us. We shall look at these things more closely next time…

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