Expert’s Name: Dr. Sarah LoBisco, ND
Menopause and Weight Gain
Recently, webmd featured an article on the effects of hormonal changes on your belly. When the body’s output of estrogen and progesterone is altered by less ovarian output, the adrenal glands take lead to make up for the effects. The problem is that most women already have overstressed adrenals to begin with, adding an extra task may literally serve as the straw that broke the camel’s back!
As stress hormones are increased, whether it is through emotional or physical factors, a decrease in fat burning chemical mediators results. The body is less able to digest and absorb nutrients as survival mode takes over reproductive capacity, and inflammation and immune disorders can occur along with hot flashes and flabby skin.
So, what’s the best course of action? As far as food, most women already know what to do. American Dietetic Association spokesperson Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, recommends:
Eat plenty of low-calorie vegetables to help you feel full.
Drink plenty of water so you don’t confuse hunger with thirst.
Clear the house of tempting foods.
Stay busy to prevent eating out of boredom.
Eat only from a plate, while seated at a table.
Always eat three meals and one snack daily — no skipping meals.
Here’s the issue for most women, when the brain chemistry is off from the hormonal effects on neurotransmitters, then following through with the “correct eating behaviors” can be tough. This is why it’s important to assess all contributing factors of imbalances in order to not just aid in restoring function, but to create lasting changes that will support brain functioning through the shift to better health. One method, which goes alongside a complete health history, is using conventional and functional lab testing.
These tests enable your doctor to get a specific snapshot of how stressors on your body are curtailing your ability to lose that spare tire. A comprehensive look at hormones, neurotransmitters, digestive metabolites, inflammatory mediators, food sensitivities, and more should be assessed to effectively balance your biochemistry and set you up for success. It leads me back to my famous Dr. Sarah quote, “biochemistry will trump willpower, every time”!