Menopause and weight issues
How frustrating is weight gain just in a normal situation? Compound weight issues with the ongoing pandemic and add to that the myriad of issues associated with menopause, and we now have a formula for significant challenges. The more I workout, the less I see results. The better my diet, it doesn’t seem to be helping in the immediate term to reverse physical symptoms associated with menopause. I’m sure, ladies, I’m not the only one feeling this way or experiencing these issues. But we have to remember; if we lose the activity, we now increase heart disease risks exponentially due to possible insomnia associated with menopause and so, we do not want or need to remove the cardio component of our workout routine (Harvard Health Publishing, 2009).
According to Women’s Health Concern (2020), we ideally want about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Less than that amount or more than that amount can lead to serious cardiovascular concerns (Women’s Health Concern, 2020). We also need to be vigilant for mental health issues and cognitive changes associated with improper amounts of sleep and improper amounts of quality sleep (Women’s Health Concern, 2020). We now reconsider the importance of reducing stress, starting each day with a positive practice of meditation, exercise, and healthy breakfast (Women’s Health Concern, 2020). When we set our minds to positive and we start the day with less stress, we increase our chances of keeping stress under control throughout the day. This is not a guarantee, but it does help.
One course of action to reduce some of the syptoms of menopause include Hormone Replacement Therapy (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.) While this prospect may hold great appeal when you’re experiencing a hot flash or you are having trouble sleeping, remember that with reward comes risk. Yes, HRT does help alleviate common troublesome symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or achy joints; but the risks include substantially higher risk of breast cancer development and increased risk of blood clots or stroke (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.).
If you are a woman who starts HRT after you have been in menopause for at least 10 years, now you increase risk of dementia, a serious and debilitating form of cognitive impairment (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.). One important factor to keep in mind when considering HRT includes whether or not you have had a hysterectomy (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.). If you begin HRT in your 50’s, estrogen alone is not shown to increase risk of heart disease and if you are taking estrogen alone, your risk of developing breast cancer is lower (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.). The combination of estrogen-progesterone is the higher risk therapy (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.).
Essentially, you want to try and follow natural methods of symptom reduction, whenever possible. It is not a weakness if you feel you need HRT or some other assistance with menopause and symptomology, but always discuss any considerations with your doctor or medical professional and always be sure you have a clear understanding of the risks and the benefits before making any choices. I understand the frustration of working hard, eating right, and then seeing no outward benefit, but remember, sometimes, it takes a little longer to see the rewards. It does not mean you are failing or should relapse into poor health habits. It means that you are persistent, you are strong, and you understand that sometimes, extra work or time may be needed.
Hormone Therapy Risks / Benefits. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/15245-hormone-therapy/risks–benefits. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
Menopause and insomnia. Women’s Health Concern. (2020, December 15). https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/menopause-and-insomnia/.
Publishing, H. (2009). Dealing with the symptoms of menopause. Retrieved January 06, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/dealing-with-the-symptoms-of-menopause