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Dr. Frank Goicoechea
Does menopause cause weight gain?
The relationship between weight gain and menopause has been somewhat unclear, but research findings demonstrate that the increase in weight among menopausal and premenopausal women is a function of age, and is not caused by hormonal changes related to menopause. However, there is evidence that menopause causes an increase in body mass index (BMI) and an accumulation of abdominal fat in women.
How is an increase in BMI and abdominal fat linked to menopause?
Hormonal changes experienced by perimenopausal and menopausal women contribute to a more rapid increase in fat mass and redistribution of abdominal fat. In addition, the degree to which women experience menopause symptoms correlates to the amount of weight gain. Obesity in perimenopausal women is associated with an increased likelihood to have more frequent hot flashes, night sweats and other related menopause symptoms.
Should women be concerned about increased fat around their midsection? How can women determine whether they are carrying excess fat around their waist?
Yes there is concern, as studies have linked increased abdominal fat to increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Abdominal fat can be measure several ways:
What can be done to reduce abdominal fat?
Keeping weight and body mass index at a healthy level is important in reducing risk of obesity and associated vascular and metabolic diseases. Women can incorporate the following techniques to reduce and manage weight.
What are some of the benefits associated with weight loss among menopausal women?
There are multiple benefits to weight loss for women during midlife, including improvements in menopausal symptoms among previously obese and overweight women. In addition, they experience improved psychological well being, health-related quality of life and self-esteem.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about how to manage weight during menopause. There are various options available to aid the weight-loss process and reach a healthy BMI. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, a successful weight management and weight maintenance program can be achieved.
Find a San Diego OBGYN
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.