Are you approaching menopause (or already there)? Congratulations – you’ve accumulated a wealth of wisdom, experiences, and have no doubt blessed the lives of your ohana and many others around you through your young adulthood.
Watch out though – if you don’t follow lifestyle measures like staying at a healthy weight and exercising regularly, you could be at much higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes). A study in Korea that followed 1200 perimenopausal women reveals that overweight women had more than 4 times the risk and obese women more than 12 times risk of metabolic syndrome. Women who didn’t exercise had a 1.6 times greater risk than exercisers. Overweight women who became postmenopausal during the study had 3 times and obese women 8.5 times greater risk than those with normal body weight. And postmenopausal women who did not exercise had a 1.6 times greater risk than high-level exercisers. These risks were even higher for women who lacked education or who are at lower income levels. What are the reasons for this? It’s likely a combination of factors such as hormonal changes, less muscle mass, and life stressors (such as being part of the ‘sandwich’ of caring for growing teens plus aging parents). On Oahu with our high housing prices, being part of a ‘sandwich’ is especially common due to high housing costs – so many of us have elders living with us who we care for in our homes.
The solution? We believe it is affordable, intensive education on lifestyle change especially if you are menopausal or perimenopausal. Even though it does become more challenging to maintain a healthy weight and stave off metabolic syndrome and diabetes, we have the expertise and the dedication to help you make this critical life transformation through menopause as healthy as possible!
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