Menopause & Weight Management – Part 2 – Genetics & Hunger Hormones

Menopause & Weight Management – the Role of Genetics and Hunger Hormones

As we highlighted in Part 1 of our Menopause & Weight Management blog series, there are several important factors which play a significant role in weight management and a change of body shape including:

In Part 2 of this series, we take a closer look at the role of genetics, hunger hormones, stress and insulin resistance.

Genetics and hunger hormones

Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells which reduces appetite and Ghrelin is a hormone released in the stomach which signals hunger to the brain and stimulates appetite.

Genetics as well as sleep, and stress play a role in regulation of these two hormones.

For example, poor sleep can increase Ghrelin and reduce Leptin, this results in feeling hungry which can result in weight gain. A diet rich in fatty food can also result in dysregulation of these hormones and result in weight gain.

Generally, the more fat we have, the more leptin is in our blood. This should signal that we’re full but “leptin resistance” can develop due to a variety of reasons like consistently high insulin levels in individuals who eat a high sugar or processed food diet.

Stress and insulin resistance

Our nervous system is supported by female hormones and when these hormones fall during (peri)menopause physiological stress starts. This stress response is also known as “fight or flight” reaction which triggers release of adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline causes an increase in hear rate and breathing rate. This is so we can “flee” the danger! And cortisol results in release of glucose as a quick fuel for body to again “flee”. Insulin is released in response to the higher glucose which is not used up by your body and it is then stored away as fat. Chronic stress can lead to “insulin resistance” which can lead to developing type 2 Diabetes and Heart disease.

If you’re struggling with symptoms of weight management and body shape through perimenopause and menopause and would like to find out how OMC’s personalised treatment plans can help you, get in touch via our Contact page or Book a consultation with an experienced menopause doctor here.