What do weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and all have in common? Perimenopause and menopause!
What is Perimenopause
Perimenopause is the transitional time that occurs prior to menopause. During this time, estrogen levels fluctuate, and progesterone levels decline.
Women enter perimenopause anytime between their mid-30s and early 50s, and it lasts an average of 4–11 years.
The symptoms of perimenopause include:
Hot flashes, night sweats
Irregular menstrual cycles
Changes in mood
What is Menopause
Menopause is officially recognized when a woman hasn’t had a menstrual cycle for 12 months.
Many women experience the worst of their symptoms during perimenopause while others find that their symptoms worsen in the first year or two after menopause.
So What’s the Skinny … or Where is the Skinny?
During perimenopause, progesterone levels fall while estrogen levels become erratic. These hormonal changes impact mood and metabolisms resulting in issues with weight maintenance and weight gain. It is estimated that women gain approximately 2–5 pounds during the perimenopausal transition phase. Women who are already overweight, struggle with weight issues, or suffer from obesity are likely to gain more weight.
As menopause takes place later in life (the average age being 51) there is the added element of muscle mass loss which impacts the metabolism and weight gain. Peri and menopausal hormonal changes also impact the appetite which can lead to a higher caloric intake.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are measure you can take to avoid weight gain, maintain weight and even lose weight!