Most menopausal women believe that once they reach this point, they are unable to fight in terms of dealing with their hormones and health. Note that menopause is a normal process and that women are designed to enter this stage when they reach a certain point in their lives.
Many of these women complain that menopause causes them to gain weight due to increased fat storage. However, menopause itself is not the one responsible for weight gain, but many other factors that lead to effects of increased fat storage instead.
Estrogen production increases when females enter their teen phase, which leads to activation of the ovaries. This goes on until the late 40`s, although with a slow decline. Ultimately, a phase is reached in estrogen decreases and the body shifts to using energy from reproduction to maintenance of health. At this point, it is very common for the body to store fat in the midsection.
Estrogen is not the only hormone to blame, as insulin, cortisol, thyroid hormones, and leptin also contribute to fat storage in the midsection.
Insulin is in charge of decreasing circulating blood sugar. In order to maintain stable insulin levels, it is imperative to eat a diet with low GI. If you eat foods with high GI and carbohydrates, insulin levels will continuously spike and drop, leading to insulin resistance. Consequently, this leads to increased weight gain as the sugar has to be removed from the bloodstream, so it is sent into the cells for storage.
Cortisol, the major stress hormone in the human body, is released from the adrenal glands. It works by increasing the blood sugar levels, which in turn allows the cells to have fuel available to perform their functions. Having high blood sugar levels, in the long run, leads to cortisol resistance and adrenal fatigue as the body cells are unable to keep up with the demand of using fuel sources.
3. Thyroid hormones
When the levels of thyroid hormones increase, the cells start burning more fats and carbs to produce cellular energy in the mitochondria. Having poor thyroid hormone function leads to energy production problems and inability to burn enough fats and carbs, which in turn causes storage of fat and carbs in the cells.
Leptin is produced by the fat cells and sent to tell the brain that we are full. Its levels increase in response to higher levels of sugars. Over time, high fructose and high sugar levels can cause insulin resistance in the brain cells, which leads us to believe that we are not satiated. Consequently, this causes overeating and weight gain.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your hormones in check and optimize your health:
1. Stay active
Staying active can be simple as a 20-minute walk outdoors or complex as working out in the gym.
2. Eat Green, Clean and Lean
Digestion and diet are extremely important when it comes to staying healthy. Choosing foods that are green, clean and lean is shown to keep blood sugar levels and hormones balance. Green in terms of veggies; clean in terms of organic; and lean meats and foods in terms of their omega-3 fat content.
3. Functional Lab Testing
Test your hormones and cellular health using functional lab testing, including tests like urinary hormone levels and urinary organic acids.