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The Link Between Menopause and Weight Gain

The Link Between Menopause and Weight Gain

Each year more than 1 million women reach menopause, a time that marks the end of the reproductive years. You officially reach menopause when 12 months have passed since your last period. 

Menopause isn't a sudden event. In the years leading up to menopause, while the ovaries gradually reduce their production of hormones, you can experience a slew of changes and symptoms, including weight gain.

OB/GYN Sharon Breit, MD, and our team at the Center for Women's Health in Wichita, Kansas, take pride in providing top-quality care and compassionate guidance for women through all phases of life. 

While menopause is a natural part of growing older, it doesn't mean that you must accept symptoms that have a major impact on how you feel and function day to day. We offer solutions to help ease symptoms so you regain your vitality and good quality of life. 

Most women reach menopause during their 50s, but menopause can occur from your 30s and on. Hormonal changes that occur in the run up to menopause (a time called perimenopause) can influence how you feel physically, as well as psychologically. 

Different women cope with the changes that occur during menopause differently. Some women have minimal symptoms, while others are greatly affected.

Managing weight in menopause

Many women notice weight gain or difficulty losing weight in the years leading up to menopause and once they reach menopause. Among its many functions, estrogen plays a role in how your body controls weight and distributes body fat. 

As estrogen levels decline and menstruation stops, the scale may start to creep up. You may notice weight gain even if you haven't changed your eating habits or lifestyle. And as you age, you may become less active and lose some muscle mass, which lowers the amount of calories you burn each day.

Increasing your physical activity is one way to help stave off weight gain. As you age, it's important to keep your bones and muscles strong. 

We can discuss exercise strategies, which may include weight-bearing exercise to strengthen your bones and increase and retain lean muscle mass. Together with a nutritious diet, these changes can help manage your weight.

BioTE pellet therapy

Dr. Breit offers hormone replacement therapy with BioTE to treat bothersome symptoms of low estrogen. BioTE is a form of bioidentical, plant-based hormone therapy. The hormones in BioTE are chemically similar to the hormones your body produces naturally. 

When you receive hormone replacement therapy with BioTE, your body treats BioTE hormones the same as it does its own hormones. 

Unlike other forms of hormone replacement, BioTE is highly individualized so you receive the right amount of hormones for you. 

Lab results guide treatment and enable Dr. Breit to determine an appropriate starting dose to bring your hormone levels back into balance. She relies on repeat labs to make any necessary tweaks and adjustments to your treatment. 

BioTE contains custom-compounded hormones delivered in a tiny pellet about the size of a grain of rice. We insert the pellet under your skin, where it delivers hormones when you need them, instead of all at once. This mimics your body’s natural hormonal release rhythm so you receive the dosage needed to feel well. 

You can expect to receive a new pellet every three to five months.

If you’re struggling with weight gain due to menopause, contact our office for the latest solutions in women's health. Telehealth appointments are available. Please call our clinic to determine if your visit is eligible for a telemedicine appointment.

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