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Women burn fat even after menopause?

Peak fat utilization rate was measured during a bicycle test. The highest rates were achieved by women with the highest fitness and physical activity levels. Again, postmenopausal women did not differ from women who had not reached menopause or used HRT…reports Asian Lite News

Women’s ability to utilise fat as a fuel source is thought to be impaired by the oestrogen deficit that occurs after menopause. The rate at which middle-aged women are able to use fat at rest or during activity is not clearly determined by menopausal state or blood oestrogen levels, according to a study done at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences of the University of Jyvaskyla. Better glucose tolerance was not associated with higher fat consumption.

Estrogen is viewed as a hormone promoting fat burning. After menopause, estrogen levels drop. The resulting estrogen deficiency is thought to reduce women’s ability to use fat as an energy source, leading potentially to weight gain and metabolic health impairment. Estrogen levels can be restored with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A study performed at the University of Jyvaskyla found that the influence of menopause on fat utilization is likely minor compared with nutritional status or fitness levels.

When the rate of fat utilization was measured at rest after overnight fasting, its primary determinant was energy balance. Women whose energy intake was lower compared with their energy expenditure used fat at a higher rate. Higher fat utilization was also characterized by higher blood fatty acid and ketone levels. However, fat utilization of postmenopausal women did not differ from women who had not yet reached menopause or were using HRT.

“This was an expected result. Women burn fat also after menopause if their energy intake is less than their expenditure,” said Doctoral Researcher Jari Karppinen.

Peak fat utilization rate was measured during a bicycle test. The highest rates were achieved by women with the highest fitness and physical activity levels. Again, postmenopausal women did not differ from women who had not reached menopause or used HRT.

 “If you want to improve the ability to burn fat during exercise, focus on improving your fitness with endurance training,” Karppinen continues. “In this case, you do not need to worry about menopause that much. Previous research has shown that the ability to burn fat while exercising improves with training even after menopause.”

The study also looked at whether higher fat utilization indicated better glucose tolerance. The results were somewhat surprising. In women who used fat at a higher rate while resting, blood glucose and insulin levels rose more during a subsequent glucose tolerance test. Higher peak fat utilization during exercise did not indicate better glucose tolerance.

“This finding can be explained by basic physiology,” Karppinen says. “When you use more fat at rest as an energy source, eating carbohydrates may raise your blood glucose levels more. The body is momentarily tuned to use more fat.”

The ketogenic diet is the current trend diet. Its effectiveness in weight loss is marketed with the claim that when a person follows the diet, the body begins to burn more fat from bodily sources.

“This is a common misunderstanding,” Karppinen emphasizes. “A high-fat diet indeed raises the total amount of fat used in energy production. However, this is due to increased fat intake and does not mean that you suddenly begin to shed more body fat. When energy intake is less than energy expenditure, the weight drops similarly regardless of diet macronutrient distribution.” (ANI)

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No pause for life after menopause

Regular exercise can keep your bones strong, improve your mood and combat symptoms like weight gain as your body changes. You can attempt the following activities…reports Asian Lite News

Each woman is affected by menopause in a unique way. Numerous symptoms, including irregular periods, hot flashes, sweating, sleep difficulties, mood swings, irritability, hip and back pain, and more, are associated with this transition for many women.

“Indian women typically go through menopause early, at the average age of 46.2 years, five years earlier than in western nations. Hormonal changes begin even earlier during peri menopause or the time around menopause, which lasts four years or even up to a decade. During this period, 80 per cent of women are affected by menopausal symptoms. A holistic approach to managing this phase can help women relieve the discomfort and stay healthy,” said Jaideep Malhotra, former President of the Indian Menopause Society and South Asian Federation of Menopause Societies.

The secret to a healthier life is to prepare for this time, just as we do for other life milestones like job interviews and parenthood. Here are four general actions you can take to manage menopause better:

Maintain a balanced diet

Good nutrition is a game changer for managing menopause symptoms from hot flashes to bloating. Foods to include and to avoid in your diet are:

Include

* Fruits and vegetables: These are full of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs. You cannot go wrong with seasonal vegetables and fresh fruits.

* Fibre: Rich foods and foods rich in calcium and vitamin D: High-fibre foods like leafy greens, kidney beans and wholegrains can also support better health. Dairy products and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good sources of nutrition.

Avoid

* Fatty meats & processed foods: Fast or fried foods, processed snacks and meat are high in sodium, making you feel bloated. These foods can also affect cholesterol levels or increase your risk of heart disease. Also, spicy food may trigger symptoms like hot flashes.


* Alcohol: Moderation is key. Regular alcohol consumption can lead to amplified menopausal symptoms, problems sleeping and heightened mental health issues.

* Caffeine: A caffeine kick makes you more likely to have hot flashes. Resorting to alternative warm drinks is suggested.

Stay active

Regular exercise can keep your bones strong, improve your mood and combat symptoms like weight gain as your body changes. You can attempt the following activities:

* Cardio: Aerobic activities or cardio include endurance activities that encourage you to use your large muscles. You can start with 10-minute a day of brisk walking, jogging, swimming, running, cycling, or even dancing, and build up the intensity as you go

* Strength training: Lifting dumbbells or using weight machines can help strengthen your muscles and bones, while also reducing body fat

* Yoga: Yoga poses — from restorative and supportive to power yoga — are also a good source of targeted symptom relief, helping relax the body. Paired with meditation or breathing exercises, these can also prompt relaxation and mindfulness.

Mental health

Emotional and mental health may be impacted by hormonal changes during peri menopause or menopause. Women going through this stage may exhibit symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, immobility, exhaustion, stress or depression. The majority of the symptoms can be controlled by altering one’s lifestyle. These symptoms may be lessened by exercise, healthy eating habits, drinking plenty of water, and relaxation techniques for restful sleep. Find what works for you and make realistic, attainable goals.

Consult with a doctor

Co-morbid disorders, such osteoporosis and heart disease, which menopausal women are more likely to develop, can be prevented by maintaining good health. Additionally, there are a variety of therapeutic choices for menopause symptoms, such as menopausal hormonal therapy, which can help keep your body’s oestrogen levels stable and control symptoms. If you experience symptoms that concern you, it is always advisable to see a doctor.

“Menopause is a time of transition for women, which can prove challenging. At Abbott, believe it is vital to raise awareness on the physical, mental and overall emotional aspects of menopause, so that women can seek the help they may need and live this life stage fully. At the same time, we partner with healthcare professionals to share therapy best practices and change how we address women experiencing menopause, to support women holistically, beyond physical symptoms,” said Jejoe Karankumar, Medical Director, Abbott India.

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Steps to navigate emotional roller coaster of menopause

Protect your mental health – Menopause can have a profound impact on your daily life by inducing mood changes, lack of motivation, stress, and mental health problems5…reports Asian Lite News

The number of menopausal and postmenopausal women in the world is anticipated to reach 1.2 billion by 2030, with 47 million new members joining each year. But because of shame or fear, many women experience uncomfortable but manageable menopausal symptoms in silence. In India, menopause typically occurs at the age of 46.2 compared to 51 in western nations.

The health, wellbeing, and general quality of life of a woman are all greatly impacted by this change. Women’s social lives, according to 33 percent of them, have suffered as a result of menopause.

Women are more susceptible to psychological side effects such as sadness, anxiety, sleep loss, and exhaustion in addition to usual physical symptoms (such as hot flashes and night sweats). Mood problems provide additional difficulties since they might cause you to feel more irritable, have trouble concentrating (or “brain fog”), and have reduced self-esteem, all of which can impair your capacity to cope in general.

So, what steps can you take to navigate the emotional rollercoaster of menopause?

Break the silence – you don’t have to go through it alone. Speaking up about your symptoms with family or friends can help you seek the support you need without delay. Whether this is by confiding in your partner or bonding with a friend, it can help you feel less isolated and boost your mood7.

More so, your close family can prove to be a vital support system in many ways – socially and emotionally, including by understanding how your symptoms affect your daily life. They can also help by bridging communication gaps, and even by helping more at home. This could be taking up more chores or supporting your lifestyle changes like joining in your daily exercise routine7.

Breaking the silence at home can also give you the confidence needed to approach your doctor about any discomfort experienced. In addition, there is a whole range of treatments available to address symptoms associated with menopause, so it’s always beneficial to consult your doctor.

Protect your mental health – Menopause can have a profound impact on your daily life by inducing mood changes, lack of motivation, stress, and mental health problems5.

Prior to menopause, hormonal changes for women typically begin in their 40s and last around four years or even up to a decade. This period can overlap with significant mental health effects. During this transition, the incidence of depression doubles, and women are more likely to experience panic attacks. In case of severe effects on one’s daily life, seeking professional help to manage this is advised.

Common treatment approaches related to mental health include counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, which can help you manage the anxiety associated with menopause8. This addresses your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, which can also link back to the intensity of your physical symptoms8. To manage stress levels, you can also try relaxation techniques including mindfulness meditation.

Start the conversation at work – During menopause, 45 percent of women struggle at work due to reduced productivity. If you’re feeling isolated, disengaged or lacking motivation, talking to your colleagues and peers can be the first step to feeling more at ease while you work.

Try starting the conversation about how your symptoms are coming in the way of your daily work – you may end up hearing from people with similar experiences and how they managed it. At the same time, adopt steps you think could help, including taking breaks when you can or having a desk fan to alleviate hot flashes.

Building a support system at your workplace may help you manage the symptoms better and take charge of your health as well as your career.

Find community support – Support systems – be it friends, family or other women in your community or social circles- offer a powerful and empowering way to connect and engage with people undergoing similar experiences7.

“The menopausal transition can be an extremely challenging time for women. At Abbott, we are committed to transforming lives for the better through our healthcare solutions and by spearheading patient-focused initiatives for holistic care. With independently run menopause centers of care, patient awareness programs and doctor-patient engagement platforms, we intend to drive meaningful conversations so women can be empowered to fully embrace this stage of their life and live it fully,” said Dr. Jejoe Karan Kumar, Director, Medical Affairs at Abbott.

You may cope with the menopause’s rollercoaster emotions and physician changes by taking such actions, including as talking to your family and doctor, developing support networks in your neighbourhood and at work, and finding strategies to manage stress. Menopause is a natural process that all women go through. As you welcome the following chapter of your life, these steps can assist you in navigating this wave of change.

(Dr. Meeta Singh, Past President, Indian Menopause Society & Dr. Jejoe Karankumar, Director, Medical Affairs at Abbott)

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Menopause symptoms in the mid-forties

Estrogen plays an important role in bone metabolism. Calcium in the bones is normally in a state of equilibrium, with calcium leaving the bone being replaced by calcium entering the bone at any given time…writes Puja Gupta.

Menopause is a happy period for most women, but it’s not that simple. Menopause symptoms are well known, however, most women are unaware of a stage prior to menopause known as perimenopause. The condition and related symptoms are not common knowledge.

Perimenopause – The term means “around menopause” when a woman’s body prepares for menopause. There is a depletion of estrogen or female hormone levels and women may not have monthly menstruation and thus cannot ovulate.

Dr Kavya Krishnakumar, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Motherhood Hospital, Chennai says that perimenopausal symptoms typically appear in women in their mid-forties. It is also possible that a woman would skip this stage entirely and go straight to menopause.

Heavy Bleeding

It’s likely that your cycles are heavier because the lining of your uterus is thicker before being shed, says the expert. “A reduction in the hormone progesterone triggers this. It can also worsen other problems, such as fibroids (uterine wall growths). If oestrogen production is abnormal, small quantities of the uterine lining or endometrium can be shed, resulting in irregular vaginal bleeding. The time between ovulatory events can grow longer. The endometrium begins to grow throughout this period and can become very dense.”

(Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

Changes in your cycle

The first symptoms of menopause are typically shifts in one’s period. Your time, for example, may begin to occur every six to eight weeks. You may have to wait a few months before it reappears. From time to time, you can experience a heavier or lighter flow. It’s important to note, however, that you can still become pregnant during perimenopause, the doctor points out.

“As a result, continue to use birth control as normal in the months leading up to menopause. Also, if you haven’t had your period in a while and aren’t sure if perimenopause has begun, a pregnancy test is a good place to start.”

Hot Flashes

You become flushed and begin to sweat for 5 to 10 minutes. Some women become slightly wet, while others become absolutely saturated in sweat. When you are awakened in the early hours of the morning, you can experience night sweats, she says.

Dr Krishnakumar suggests: “Deep breathing exercises can be helpful. It’s also a good idea to stay away from things like hot weather, hot drinks, and spicy foods. As a natural source of oestrogen, try black cohosh or add soy to your diet. For moderate-to-severe symptoms, consult your doctor about drugs.”

Vaginal Dryness

The vaginal canal is an estrogen-responsive organ. The vaginal lining is usually made up of cells that contain water, allowing it to expand properly. Therefore, it leads to the vaginal walls becoming flexible and expandable thus facilitating intercourse.

“However, with estrogen levels falling the condition is reversed where the tissues become thinner thus causing dryness. This can result in itchiness, soreness, and discomfort during sex, all of which can make you feel less ecstatic. Standard sex can help preserve the tone and health of the tissue. Other drug choices should be explored with your doctor.”

Sleep Problems and decreased fertility


Perimenopause is known to disrupt natural sleeping patterns; depriving women of the deep restorative sleep they require to face the day. It can make you feel exhausted and exacerbate the other perimenopause symptoms. Hormonal shifts and night sweats will wreak havoc on your sleep. Good habits like maintaining a daily schedule and having enough time to fall asleep will help. Consult your doctor about medical options if your symptoms are serious. Since the ovulation is not regular conception can be nearly impossible.

Loss of bone density

Estrogen plays an important role in bone metabolism. Calcium in the bones is normally in a state of equilibrium, with calcium leaving the bone being replaced by calcium entering the bone at any given time. “This equilibrium is disrupted as oestrogen production declines and becomes more erratic, resulting in a net calcium outflow from bone. Osteoporosis, or reduced bone density, is a common disorder caused by a significant loss of bone calcium over time.”

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