Menopause is often a very challenging time to manage for many women. For this week’s blog we will discuss some of the common changes and difficulties women experience, and how we can help manage these.
Body Shape and Composition
Many women going through menopause report weight gain. There is no direct correlation between menopause and weight gain per se, however there are many ways in which this can occur at the same time a menopause1.
As we age our skeletal muscle mass decreases, while our body fat mass increases1. Our muscle mass burns energy and keeps our metabolism burning along, whereas our body fat mass does not burn energy. Therefore this can be one of the mechanisms that can lead to an increase in weight.
Furthermore, during menopause there is a decrease in oestrogen levels. This causes a shift of body fat mass from the hips and thighs to around the middle1. Women often notice this change and associate this with weight gain.
This increase in central fat mass increases the risk of various metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes1. As such monitoring cholesterol levels and choosing foods low in saturated fat and refined sugars, and higher in unsaturated fats is very important.
Risk of Osteoporosis
The low levels of oestrogen post menopause also affect bone health, and increase the risk of osteoporosis1. To help in the management of this, calcium requirements increase following menopause. Aim to have 4 serves of dairy a day to meet this.
What should I eat?
Take Home Points
How can we help?
The Melbourne Health and Nutrition Specialists team are very happy to support you through menopause. Our dietitians Julie and Amy are available to provide individual, tailored dietary advice, and ensure a healthy diet is easy and fits within your lifestyle. Our exercise physiologist Jennifer can develop an exercise plan just for you, based on your personal goals. Finally our psychologist Georgie is here to help support you through menopause and all the changes it brings. We hope to provide a holistic service that is tailored to you personally! Call us anytime for more information or to make an appointment.