Can Menopause affect Your Appetite?
Changes in appetite are recognized as a fairly common occurrence, thought not usually thought of as a symptom associated with menopause.
The average age of menopause onset in the U.S. is 51. This being said, it is not uncommon for women to experience menopause between 45 and 55. ‘Early menopause’, as well as ‘premature menopause’ are on the rise. In recent years, women in their 20’s and 30’s have begun to experience symptoms commonly associated with menopause.
An increase or decrease in appetite is one of the lesser discussed symptoms associated with menopause. Obviously, both conditions are cause for concern.
As to percentages, an increase in appetite (associated with menopause) far outweighs the number of women with decreased appetite levels.
Though concerning, it should be recognized that appetite changes are naturally occurring menopause events. Thankfully, there are now effective means of coping with these symptoms.
Too often, satisfying cravings or specific food urges might be construed as “guilty pleasures”.
As with the other symptoms associated with menopause, one should not attach feelings of guilt, remorse or regret with these symptoms as they ought to be considered as naturally occurring physiological events.
A positive mind set will help to improve the successful transition during these changes and provide a realistic approach to weight management.
While menopause can be thought of as a change in the body’s chemical composition and completely natural, accompanying cravings and appetite increases can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain.
It is unfortunate that these appetite changes occur when the body’s own metabolic rate begins to slow. As we age, it becomes more difficult to effectively burn calories, especially the extra calories that often accompany food cravings.
The net result is that women of menopausal age must work doubly hard to make up for an increase in appetite and a sluggish metabolism.
The struggle to maintain pre-menopausal weight levels is not an easy one. Advancing age is usually accompanied with a decrease in physical activity. As a result, women (of menopausal age) are most likely to fight an uphill battle in order to maintain consistent weight levels.While additional physical activity is recommended following menopause (including weight and resistance training) these goals may be difficult to achieve. Osteoporosis, joint pain, restricted range of motion, and chronic arthritis (symptoms often associated with advancing age) may make additional physical exercise problematic.
Rethinking the current diet plan can provide a fresh approach and help to stabilize weight gain (or loss). Many women can recognize the fact that healthy eating, including a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber, can do much to maintain healthy weight levels during and after the transition to menopause.
Some sacrifices might be necessary and these may include the exclusion of fast foods, fried foods, foods high in fat, and food choices laden with non-nutritious, unnecessary calories and carbohydrates. Obviously, changes to life-long eating habits are not easy.
Anyone who can count themselves among the lesser number of women with decreased appetites might want to consider vitamin and mineral diet supplementation.
Clinical evidence supports all natural plant based supplements containing powerful phytonutrients that have been shown to safely and effectively balance female hormones and manage the symptoms associated with menopause.
It is important to consult with a family physician, nutritionist, or other health-care provider prior to undertaking any new health, physical, or diet regimen or changes.