Menopause, Weight Gain, and HRT
According to the National Institute on Aging, “Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman's last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body's production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.”
For something that affects over half the world’s population, often in ways that can cause both physical and emotional challenges, perimenopause and menopause are poorly understood.
That is, until recently.
Dr. Louise Newson, a general practitioner and menopause specialist, has been on a mission to educate both her patients (women) and the medical community on more effective ways to transition from fully hormonal into perimenopause to menopausal.
Also, you can learn more about these conditions on the Zoe Science and Nutrition Podcast.
This is a simple breakdown of what I learned about weight gain and menopause.
Dr. Newson refers to a study that examined thousands of women from multiple racial backgrounds who were divided into three groups:
1. Group one had very little refined carbohydrates in the diet in their twenties, thirties, and forties, and continued this way through menopause.
2. Group two ate a typical Western diet high in refined carbohydrates in the first three decades of adulthood, but greatly reduced them once they began perimenopause, and continued this through full menopause.
3. Group three also ate a Western diet high in refined carbohydrates and continued throughout the transition into menopause.
Researchers in this study looked at gut bacteria balance, inflammatory markers in the blood, weight gain, and the body’s reaction to glucose. Their findings are not surprising.
Group one either maintained their weight or had a slight increase. Their bodies’ ability to handle glucose was normal, with no spikes leading to hyper- or hypoglycemia, and inflammation was not an issue.
Group two gained some weight, but were able to manage it through exercise and the improved diet.
Group three gained the largest percentage of weight, had the largest spikes of blood-sugar variance, and had greater presence of inflammation in their bodies.
Dr. Newson points out that a clean diet can be part of a proactive approach to managing the transition from perimenopause to menopause. Sugar leads to an increase in inflammation and fat-cell production. Fat cells produce a toxic form of estrogen, which are pro-inflammatory and increase weight around the body’s midsection.
I agree with Dr. Newson and believe that hormone replacement therapy is an excellent and safe way to balance a woman’s hormones.
However, I would also like to suggest another option. Hypothalamus Reset Technique (HRT) offers the opportunity to reset through the hypothalamus gland, also known as the ‘brain of the brain,’ to balance the hormones for an age-appropriate level.
Balancing hormones is a complicated process that will include examining other aspects of the person’s life: food choices, level of activity and stress management. In my practice we look at all these aspects and then begin to balance your hormones through the HRT approach.
I have worked with men and women who have been on prescribed hormones and report little or no change. If if they are noting improvement, re-establishing the endocrine system to self-regulate is, in my opinion, a more natural way for the body to function. Testing using the HRT principles and protocols, we determine whether or not the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid and adrenals are even recognizing the hormones they have been taking.
Using HRT to reset the endocrine system back into self-regulation allows the body to produce the correct age-related hormone balance. Often I find other factors have been interfering with, either the production of the required hormones or the assimilation- into the cells. Low minerals, lack of proper glucose management, high adrenal output- all will interfere with your hormone production and use.
If your hormones are out of balance it can have a devastating effect on your physical and emotional health. The HRT approach offers a natural and self-empowering program for a healthy and simple route to better health.
As always, Health.Simply attempts to provide you with ideas that are easy to follow and implement into a healthier and more energetic lifestyle.
Cameron Moffatt DOMP