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5 Common Metabolic Disorders In Menopause

5 Common Metabolic Disorders In Menopause

After reaching menopause, many women are likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of conditions that include excess belly fat, elevated levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, etc.

Some women might be managing a healthy weight and have maintained “good” numbers for their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, for most of their life and hence, find it no longer an issue after they reach menopause. A study published in the Menopause journal (Jun-2020), clearly states that the chance of developing metabolic disorders hike as much as 38 per cent after menopause.

What is Menopause and How Does it Affect the Hormonal Shift?

Menopause occurs when you stop menstruating, as it permanently marks the end of fertility. The diagnosis is made in consideration if you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months in a row.

The transformation from being premenopausal to post-menopausal can last up to 10 years. During this transition, the levels of hormones like oestrogen drop off.

The hormonal shift during menopause happens due to the body composition shift. This is because the most important factor that is contributing to the increased risk of metabolic syndrome during menopause is the higher percentage of fat tissue, redistribution of fat around the abdomen, and a decreased level of lean muscle tissue.

Effects of Metabolic Syndrome During Menopause

You are diagnosed with a metabolic syndrome, if you have at least three of the five conditions, as per the National Institute of Health (NIH):

  • If your waist measurement is at least 35 inches.
  • If you are having triglycerides (fat in the blood) of 150 mg/dL or higher.
  • Good or HDL cholesterol of less than 50 mg/dL.
  • Fasting blood sugar that is equal to or higher than 126 mg/dL.
  • Blood pressure that is equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg.

Metabolic disorders occurring during menopause can constitute risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women. Undiagnosed or untreated metabolic disorders can adversely affect the length and quality of your life. Types of metabolic disorders in menopause include: 

  • Dyslipidemia
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM)

Dyslipidemia – Having abnormal levels of lipids in your blood? Then it is referred to as dyslipidemia. This condition can result from tobacco exposure, diet, or even through genes.

Impaired glucose tolerance – Your blood glucose is raised beyond the normal levels but does not ultimately result in diabetes.

Insulin resistance – When the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver are not responding well to insulin and are unable to take up glucose from your blood, then it results in insulin resistance.

Hyperinsulinemia – If the amount of insulin in your blood is higher than what is considered normal, then it is hyperinsulinemia. This condition is not diabetes but is often associated with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM)– A disease, where your body cannot utilize the energy from food properly. Your pancreas produces insulin (a hormone) that helps your cells to utilize the glucose (sugar), but over time, your pancreas makes less insulin which causes too much sugar to build up in your blood.

A Healthy Lifestyle Equals to Prevention of Midlife Medical Problems

It is very necessary to anticipate the midlife changes and reduce the risk of gain in weight. Cutting down calories and avoiding eating simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sweets can help you maintain a healthy weight in your midlife. 

So, with some of the lifestyle changes, you can beat or at least postpone some of the most serious health issues that are developed during menopause.

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