Menopause obesity

Why is the menopause conducive to obesity?
As you know, it slows down from the age of 18 by about 2% every ten years of life. The so-called lean body mass, i.e. muscle mass, which decreases with age, is important in the formation of this phenomenon. In women during the menopause there is also an impaired loss of heat from the body, which is associated with a change in the secretion of hormones produced by the thyroid and ovaries. The situation is worsened from year to year by lower physical activity. Moreover, during this period of life, depression often occurs, which is associated with aversion to physical activity and quite often with excessive appetite, which of course aggravates the existing obesity. A characteristic feature of obesity developing during the menopause is the accumulation of fat inside the abdominal cavity. In these women, 7% less fat is found in the gluteal-oral region and 10% more fat inside the abdominal cavity compared to pre-menopausal women. For many women, this is a cosmetic problem because the “large abdomen” and lack of waistline deform the figure. However, it is worth emphasizing that abdominal obesity is primarily a health problem. As we know, it is associated with the so-called hyperinsulinemia, i.e. excessive insulin secretion by the pancreas, which occurs as a result of existing tissue resistance to this hormone. As a result, a number of diseases develop at an accelerated rate, of which the most important are type 2 diabetes, hyperlipemia (increased blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels), hypertension and a number of other metabolic disorders that lead to the development of atherosclerosis, which sooner or later is the cause of a heart attack or stroke to the brain. Obesity in the perimenopausal period poses a threat of so-called hormonally dependent cancers, i.e. cancer of the uterus mucosa and breast cancer. As demonstrated, abdominal obesity increases the risk of uterine cancer 15 times. An increase in weight of 10-20 kg increases the risk of breast cancer 3 times and as much as 10 times when overweight exceeds 20 kg. The main cause of the increased incidence of uterine cancer is the overproduction of estrogen in adipose tissue in postmenopausal women. On the other hand, both genetic and hormonal factors in the form of overproduction of estrogens are considered the main causes of breast cancer. It has been shown that in premenopausal women, both lean and obese, the incidence of breast cancer is similar. On the other hand, in obese women after the menopause breast cancer is much more common than in slim women. Also, there is a link between fat intake and the formation of this cancer. The menopause is associated with the accelerated development of osteoporosis. The disease affects mainly slim women with low physical activity, smoking cigarettes and drinking large amounts of coffee. Osteoporosis is much less common in obese women. Excessive strain on the bone tissue, related to the excessive amount of fat in the body, helps to preserve the existing bone structure. Also important are estrogens produced in adipose tissue, because they protect bones against the loss of calcium. This does not mean that osteoporosis does not threaten obese women. Women who in the past have often used various “miraculous” slimming diets as well as people with little physical activity and addicted smokers are at risk of osteoporosis. Obesity in the periopausal period in particular poses a health risk and requires strong prophylactic and therapeutic measures. The basis of treatment is a rational low-energy diet combined with increased physical activity. In these women, both elements of therapy should be determined individually. The 1200 kcal diet developed in the Institute of Food and Nutrition is most often recommended. From the point of view of atherosclerosis prevention it is the diet of choice, because it has a reduced content of animal fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt in particular. However, it does not contain the right amount of calcium. It meets the recommended calcium intake standard of 85%. Thus, in many cases there is a need to supplement the diet with this element, usually in combination with vitamin D. Doses of calcium and vitamin D should be determined by a doctor. Obese women during the menopause, due to numerous potential health risks, should remain under the care of their family doctor, which will ensure the proper conduct of prophylactic activities, early detection of obesity complications and their proper treatment. Practical tips for obese women during the menopause daily consumption reports, periodically discussed with a dietitian nutrition according to prepared written menus shopping by list, never with an empty stomach drink 1.5 – 2 litres of still water a day choose low-fat products choose high calcium and low-fat products (milk, yoghurt, kefir) buy brews

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