What exactly is menopause?
Simply put, menopause is a very natural aspect of the female aging process. It is not a disease, but we may think of it as a “disease” because of the problems that can occur while in this stage of life. The average age for menopause is 51 years of age. At this point, the ovaries are no longer producing estrogen. This lack of estrogen comes with a laundry list of changes for most women. Not too many women escape this stage of life unscathed in terms of symptoms. The symptoms experienced are in large part due to this decline of estrogen in the body. This decline in estrogen can affect women both physically and mentally. Common problems include menopause weight gain, brain fog, depression, and sleep difficulties.
Menopause weight gain and estrogen
Estrogen is a power packed hormone. As our production declines in aging, there is a physiological impact on both our bodies and brains. You are definitely not imagining that you feel differently! As estrogen levels drop in approaching menopause, several factors occur that impact our weight and our outward appearance.
- Our fat distribution changes. More fat is now settling in where your waistline used to be!
- There is loss of muscle mass. This is known as sarcopenia. This occurs with aging in both women and men.
- And, if that wasn’t enough, decreased estrogen levels actually drive us to eat more.