Hormones control the amount of muscle vs adipose (fat) tissue we have and it's the reason hormones are intimately linked to your waistline. Ever feel like you are extra thin when you lay down on the mat for your relaxation phase? Well, hold on, you need to measure in this position to really know
Have you noticed that you are unable to button your pants as easily? Your weight may not even have fluctuated much, but there it is, the dreaded thicker waist. Just doing a bit less? Trying the turkey and chicken instead of burgers and steaks? As your waist to hip ratio rises, your get thicker in the middle and even if you can button your pants, it's that you are getting that muffin top look. Whether or not you have a good or even relatively healthy 'overweight' BMI, if you have too thick of a waist it is called central obesity, as measured by waist circumference (men – greater than 40 inches [102 cm]; women – greater than 35 inches [89 cm]).
Your BMI is a measurement of your weight to your height, and gaining muscle will adversely affect your BMI even though you may be getting both leaner and more healthy! Fat mass gains to the BMI, however are not healthy nor as fit looking either! And fat added to the deep organs of our abdomen is not good. Just measuring the waist, or measuring how your waist changes relative to your heart has traditionally been a good measure of your heart health. We know that many of us have a number in mind for our waist measurement, but just having a healthy Waist to hip ratio and a low amount of fat around our inner organs is what we you like to see for the best health. Now there's a new way to measure it called the SAD (sagittal abdominal height) or just the 'abdominal height'. Its the measure of your abdominal thickness when you are laying down!
Hormones ar they are a factor as we age and perimenopause induces side effects such as poor sleep, fatigue, and change in fat to muscle ratio in our body. Some French Canadians have came up with a solution. Subtle impairment to the metabolism seems to be the blame, more than the specific place you are in menopause. At Women's Health Practice we have blood panel testing that will give you more in depth information regarding your cholesterol as well as information regarding your insulin levels and your ability to process sugar.
In a report in Menopause in the winter of 2010, Dr. Andre Lemay and co-workers discovered that abdominal fat that menopausal women report also relates to increased triglycerides and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol, even fasting insulin levels were noted to be elevated in this group of women. In essence these women have the metabolism of those who are pre-diabetics. For most of our women prediabetes is measure by Hba1c of greater than 5.6 and less than 6.5. And before any of the formal definitions of diabetes were met, a large percent of women with the abnormal Hba1c levels were found to have insulin resistance. Fasting insulin is an quick and accurate way to measure insulin resistance and can be used to have a positive intervention on your diet. It may mean taking diabetes medication, exercising more, exercising differently, controlling your hormones, and eating a fairly strict diabetic diet, but if the biologic basis is right, then this is a solution that has evaded patients and doctors for decades!