“The only constant in life is change,” Heraclitus, Greek philosopher. The inevitability of change has been a source of study for millennia. Some changes (a makeover or entering a great relationship) are much easier than others (leaving a job you love or becoming an empty nester). We may expect other changes to happen but still aren’t really prepared for what they’d bring. Menopause falls into that category.

What Menopause Brings

After decades of dealing with hormonal fluctuations due to menstruation, pregnancy, or childbirth, we enter menopause. There are many empowering aspects to aging and approaching menopause, but there are also unanticipated areas to navigate. We essentially have to learn to live in a new body. There are many aspects of menopause that we’re told about but don’t fully understand until we experience them, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Predisposition toward bladder infections
  • Vaginal changes
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain

As a result of the way menopause changes our bodies, we may even go from having a pear shape to an apple shape. This increase in abdominal fat can increase risk factors for other health issues.

As we experience menopause and our estrogen level decreases, that decrease can cause additional health concerns aside from increased abdominal fat. For example, decreased estrogen makes us less able to process insulin well, which may cause insulin resistance.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin resistance is related to the way our bodies process insulin. Simply put, when we eat something, our bodies convert the food into sugar, which is the energy our bodies need to function. After we eat, the pancreas receives a signal to release insulin to carry that sugar throughout our bodies so it can fuel necessary bodily functions. It may also be stored in our bodies for later use by the liver, muscles, and fat cells.

When you’re insulin resistant, your body can’t use the insulin provided by the pancreas to balance your blood sugar level and keep it at a healthy level. This resistance can lead to a host of other health conditions, including greater risk of:

  • Liver disease (not related to alcohol)
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease or heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Higher systemic inflammation levels

Estrogen and Insulin Resistance

The relationship between the decrease in estrogen caused by menopause and insulin resistance is complex and may be difficult to manage. There are things you can do to optimize your hormonal balance and insulin sensitivity during and after menopause. You can:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat enough fiber
  • Avoid refined carbs
  • Avoid processed food
  • Incorporate more vegetables into your diet
  • Reduce red meat consumption
  • Develop and maintain a good sleep routine

HEBE Aesthetics and Vitality

HEBE Aesthetics and Vitality in the Atlanta, GA area is available to help support your health and wellness no matter what stage of life you’re at. We offer a variety of therapies and services designed to improve and maintain your health, including bioidentical hormone therapy, testosterone replacement therapy, medical weight loss programs, peptide therapy, and IV infusions designed specifically for your needs. Contact us today so we can help you live your life to the fullest and be your healthiest.

Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.