Combat Menopausal Weight Gain

A Way To Combat Weight Gain Caused By The Menopause

Here at The Beauty Clinic we offer help for ladies with weight gain issues caused by the Menopause. This is usually caused by a lack of hormones. To help combat this we can arrange a simple saliva test to help to ascertain your current hormone levels. In addition, we will also provide you with a personal plan to help to get you back into shape.

Facts about why hormones can affect our bodies in different ways and gain weight around the middle

Estrogen deficiency (e.g. hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, generalized aches and pains). It would be worthwhile to consider natural progesterone therapy as this is often helpful for treating many of the symptoms of estrogen deficiency. If progesterone alone is not helpful, it may be beneficial to consider including bioidenical estrogen therapy (assuming no contraindications).

Testosterone is within range, but low-normal. Low testosterone is consistent with symptoms of androgen deficiency (eg. low libido, incontinence, vaginal dryness, fatigue, memory lapses, bone loss, and depression). Testosterone is an anabolic hormone essential for creating energy throughout the body, maintaining optimal brain function (memory), regulating the immune system, and building and maintaining the integrity of structural tissues such as skin, muscles, and bone. Low salivary and serum testosterone has been correlated with low bone mass in both perimenopausal and postmenopausal women (Oronzo et al. Eur J Epidemiology 16: 907-912, 2000; Slemenda et al. J Clin Invest 97: 14-21, 1996). Because testosterone is within low-normal range, it would be worthwhile to evaluate bone density periodically (yearly) and to consider androgen supplementation to prevent long term health issues, particularly osteoporosis and increased fracture risk. DHEA supplementation has been shown to raise both DHEAS and testosterone levels in women (not in men) (Morales et al. 1994. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 78: 1360-67). When DHEAS AND testosterone are both low, DHEA supplementation is often preferred to testosterone supplementation since DHEA therapy increases both DHEAS and testosterone, and DHEAS has additional benefits to the immune system not seen with testosterone.

DHEAS is higher than the age expected range. DHEAS is highest during the late teens to early twenties (10-20 ng/ml) and drops steadily with age to the lower end of range by age 70-80 (2-9 ng/ml). Mid-life DHEAS levels in both males and females are usually in the range of 5-8 ng/ml. Higher than normal age-range DHEAS levels are common in well trained athletes and individuals supplementing with DHEA or adrenal adaptogens that stimulate adrenal production of DHEA. A high DHEAS could also indicate a condition of insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome, where the high levels of circulating insulin drive adrenal and ovarian synthesis of androgens. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. High DHEAS may be associated with high androgen symptoms (loss of scalp hair, increased facial/body hair, acne) when the DHEA is converted to testosterone and dihydrotestosterone directly in the pilosebaceous gland of the skin.

Low cortisol levels often reflect HPA axis dysfunction usually caused by a stressor-emotional, physical, and chemical. This often contributes to symptoms such as fatigue, allergies (immune dysfunction), chemical sensitivity, cold body temp, and sugar craving. Cortisol is normally highest in the morning and then steadily drops throughout the day reaching the lowest level at night before bed. Because these results indicate low output of cortisol by the adrenals (hypoadrenia), it would be worthwhile to consider adrenal support. It would be worthwhile to test cortisol four times throughout the day (morning, noon, evening, and night) to evaluate the circadian rhythm and adrenal capacity for cortisol output. Adequate sleep, gentle exercise, naps, meditation, proper diet (adequate protein), natural progesterone, adrenal extracts, and nutritional (vitamins C and B5) and herbal supplements are some of the natural ways to help support adrenal function (consult with a health care provider for proper dosing). Normal physiological levels of cortisol are essential for optimal thyroid function; therefore, symptoms of thyroid deficiency may result from low cortisol. For additional information see: “Adrenal Fatigue”, by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D. and “The Cortisol Connection”, by Shawn Talbott, PhD; “The End of Stress As We Know It” by Bruce McEwen).