Is it real?

BoxerBrawler
BoxerBrawler Posts: 2,046 Member
I have a question for the ladies.
Menopause... is it real?
I could say the sudden weight gain around my mid-section is menopause, or I could say it's due to falling off track with exercise and nutrition, or both? I never had kids. A few years ago I got a hot flash or two, but that was it. No menopause-type symptoms to speak of. Anyone? Thanks!

Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,297 Member
    edited May 11
    What exactly do you mean by, "Is it real?" There are a lot of factors involved, but just the physical biological part? I don't think or believe that the hormone changes in and of themselves "cause" weight gain.

    Weight is still manageable during and after menopause. I lost 80 pounds at about the same time I was going through menopause, but I had gained the weight for multiple reasons that weren't hormone related (IMO.)

    Find your calorie requirement number and stay at that number.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,358 Member
    edited May 11
    I take the contraceptive in longterm cycle, but still have to take a break every now and then. Whenever I do I've been suffering from rather bad muscle, ligament and joint pain over the past 2 years or so. My body is just a lot softer. This is also the moment I'm most likely to be able to get quite far into the splits without training for it (or increasing risk of subluxations). Mind you, I'm hypermobile. Many women with this report similar problems from menopause onward. If softer tissue due to hormonal change also means loss of muscle mass then I could imagine that bmi goes down a bit. So basically: I'll stay on the contraceptive as it makes me feel good and strong.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,380 Member
    I also had a very easy menopause. No hot flashes, just an occasional warm one. No heavy bleeding, just fewer and fewer periods until I was only bleeding one day a year and then, after a few years, none.

    It didn't impact my weight, AFAIK. My weight yoyoed a bit, depending on eating and exercise habits. When I was travelling, I'd gain, when home and cooking all our meals, I would be able to lose it. When I was in my mid-50s I got serious about losing weight and dropped 50 pounds. I also started running using c25k and became a regular runner. That made it easier to keep the weight off.

    Weight gain in middle age is usually because of less activity and bad habits. When I was eating out all the time at work, it was harder to keep weight off. It can sometimes be related to medications or illness. I developed thyroid issues in my 40s, which affected me somewhat until I was diagnosed and started meds for it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    I take the contraceptive in longterm cycle, but still have to take a break every now and then. Whenever I do I've been suffering from rather bad muscle, ligament and joint pain over the past 2 years or so. My body is just a lot softer. This is also the moment I'm most likely to be able to get quite far into the splits without training for it (or increasing risk of subluxations). Mind you, I'm hypermobile. Many women with this report similar problems from menopause onward. If softer tissue due to hormonal change also means loss of muscle mass then I could imagine that bmi goes down a bit. So basically: I'll stay on the contraceptive as it makes me feel good and strong.

    I'm not sure that that's what menopause does, generically, across the board.

    I went into menopause at age 44-45 (not sure because close to birthday), hard-stop, from the early couple rounds of what was in total 6 months of chemotherapy. I also started taking anti-estrogen drugs, because of the type of cancer I had (estrogen-fed). Loosely, those drugs - which I took for 7.5 years - tend to create a sort of hyper-menopausal state. They tend to make some typical menopause symptoms worse than average, by mopping up/blocking non-ovary-source estrogen in the body that in most women continues being created after menopause.

    Most of any above average muscle mass I have was developed in the years after menopause, probably most of it while taking those drugs (some maybe after, still in menopause, because I'm 66 now, and stayed active).

    I'll never be a bodybuilder, but I'm not trying to be. I barely even lift. I do think I have more than average muscle mass for a woman my age, not stellar or even close, but above average. For sure that's true among women I actually know in real life.

    Not long ago, I tried on the white wool floor-length kilt I wore at my wedding when I was 22. At a similar bodyweight now, as then, it fit. I won't swear it fits exactly the same, but it's close, at least. (I don't think I still have the blouse, but unlike the kilt, that was loose-fitting anyway. It might be a little tight in the shoulders now, because more lats/delts at 66 than 22. 😆)

    I'm not more flexible than at 22, though. I wish.
  • Sumiblue
    Sumiblue Posts: 1,593 Member
    I’m confused by questioning if it’s real. It sure is. If one year has passed without a period you are menopausal. Blood tests can confirm it. I’m there now & I got the works-hit flashes, night sweats, depression. But hormones are helping my symptoms.
    If you are asking if menopausal weight gain is real I think that’s very complicated. I feel like I don’t have the energy I used to. The lack of estrogen has made me more tired. I’m more likely to go for a walk for exercise. I love lifting but I admit I’m not smashing the heavy lifts these days. I’m more concentrated on preserving the muscle I have. It’s easy for the weight to creep back on if I’m too tired to exercise and I just eat mindlessly. I’m not at all surprised by the 15 lbs I put on during the pandemic while I slid into menopause. II’ve been putting in the effort at 53 yrs old and I’m within 3 lbs of the weight I was (happily) at for most of my 20s-30s.
  • BoxerBrawler
    BoxerBrawler Posts: 2,046 Member
    Thanks for the replies. All good information. When I say "Is it real", I know menopause is real, but sometimes I question the cause of changes simply because I have no symptoms to speak of.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,836 Member
    Thanks for the replies. All good information. When I say "Is it real", I know menopause is real, but sometimes I question the cause of changes simply because I have no symptoms to speak of.

    I think any of us get some symptoms more strongly, others less strongly. (As a reminder, I went into menopause from chemo, went to cancer support groups attending by other women who had the same experience and took the same anti-estrogen drugs I did afterward. Even in that group who were sort of "hyper menopausal", there was quite a range of symptoms, both type and severity.

    I guess I can understand being curious about the cause, but in a practical sense, it doesn't matter what the cause is. I suppose you could pursue HRT if you think it's menopause related, but (speaking only for myself) prescriptions aren't usually my preferred first solution, if there are others available. (Individually, I wouldn't take HRT specifically because - given the cancer type I had - it could potentially kill me, quite literally.)

    Other than HRT, menopause is just a fact, like aging - pretty unchangeable. Working to improve some of the symptoms or side effects is still an option, though (for either menopause or aging).