Obesity and menopause, an inseparable pair??
At menopause, obesity is a risk factor for various diseases, such as diabetes or cancer.
Menopause is associated with an increased weight. Although the changes seen in this stage tend to gain kilos and a change in the distribution of body fat, actually a significant weight increase is more related to ingest more energy than is expended. The following describes why the prevalence of obesity is higher in menopause and what are the risks associated with excess weight. There are also several guidelines on the recommended diet for this time. Menopause is associated with an increase in body fat. According to the Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause, EMEA, body fat ratio, which at 20 years is 26%, up to 33% at 40 years and 42% at 50 years. Although in some women is given a slight change in the figure by the change in body fat distribution, in other was a significant weight gain. However, this would be more related to an increased intake and decreased energy expenditure, which promotes weight gain or worsening of obesity.
On the other hand, according to the study, “Obesity and menopause”, conducted by the Endocrinology Service of the Hospital Universitario de Getafe (Madrid), some causes of weight gain during menopause have no direct link to the menopause itself, but with the age and others depend on endogenous estrogen decline.
Risk of obesity in menopause
At menopause the prevalence of obesity is higher. In fact, being overweight is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death among menopausal women is ischemic disease), diabetes mellitus type 2 (for insulin), musculoskeletal disorders (such as osteoarthritis) and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon). In addition, the risk of contracting these diseases increases in proportion to the increase in BMI.
Obesity predisposes to hot flashes and night sweats arise with greater frequency and intensity
According to the “Clinical Practice Guidelines on Menopause and Postmenopausal” by the Spanish Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the Spanish Association for the Study of the Menopause, Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine and the Cochrane Collaboration, an increase weight and obesity predispose to hot flashes and night sweats arise with greater frequency and intensity. But, according to the authors, it is unknown whether losing weight can reduce the risk of suffering. Also described is that the increased cardiovascular risk is associated mainly to increased risk factors that arise with age. Aging, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and family history are the most important factors, and must be taken into account, which are mutually reinforcing.
Menopause, obesity and breast cancer
According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, AECC, breast cancer is the second most common worldwide after lung cancer. In our country, about 22,000 cases are diagnosed annually, a figure embodies almost 30% of all cancers in women Spanish. Most are diagnosed between 35 and 80 years, with tipping between 45 and 65. One of the risk factors associated with breast cancer is obesity in menopause. In obesity or overweight, excess adipose tissue (in menopause, most estrogen comes from fat tissue) can increase your chance of getting breast cancer. In addition, obese women have higher blood glucose (blood sugar) higher, which also relate to the development of various cancers, including breast.
Available studies shuffled possibilities: first, it appears that the risk of cancer increases in those who gain weight in adulthood and seems to follow the same pattern in those who have had excess kilos since childhood, and, on the other hand , that excess abdominal fat-besides being a cardiovascular risk factor, increased cholesterol levels and blood pressure, would be more dangerous than the same amount of fat in the thighs and hips.
According to a recent study, published in ‘Cancer Research’, obese women may reduce the risk of breast cancer after menopause if, before entering this stage of life, avoid weight gain. The authors also point out that postmenopausal obese women have increased risk of breast cancer and to suffer worse clinical outcomes than those with the disease, postmenopausal too, are slim.
Diet for Menopause: Recommendations
Although hormonal and metabolic changes of menopause tend to weight gain and a change in the distribution of body fat primarily be banished beliefs as this increase and menopause go hand in hand or as the extra kilos that can not be lost or, as claimed by some myths, it may even be harmful. Overall, the diet for women in menopause is not too far from the recommendations should take into account the rest of the population.
Ensure the intake of calcium, vitamin K and magnesium. Therefore, it is ideal to consume fat dairy, oily fish and vegetables (especially greens).
Increasing levels of vitamin D, which is found in foods such as milk and eggs. Ensure daily sun exposure 15-30 minutes, at least, on face and arms.
Reduce salt intake.
Increase consumption of plant foods for their contribution in phytoestrogens such as soy isoflavones.
Increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts and reduce the consumption of fatty foods.
In addition to these diet tips, experts stress the importance of following a healthy lifestyle, leaving toxic habits, such as snuff and alcohol use, and increase physical activity, which will help keep a lid on cardiovascular risk factors and to improve the mood of women, as well as promote the maintenance of bone and muscle mass to prevent fractures and slow down the aging process.