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How to Manage Your Weight and Irregular Periods

How to Manage Your Weight and Irregular Periods

So you're going through menopause and notice a sudden change in your menstrual cycle. You have always known when it was coming, just like clockwork, but now, your “time of the month” could now be your time of next week or even tomorrow for all you know. Your unpredictable and irregular periods can be a nuisance, but they are a common symptom of menopause.

Irregular periods are not a problem by themselves, and they are often a normal part of menopause. This is because as the body gets ready to end reproductive abilities, it lowers hormone levels. Because hormones control the menstrual cycle, the menstrual cycle becomes disrupted, and eventually a women no longer has periods. However, irregular periods can also be the sign of an underlying medical condition or other lifestyle factors.

The Impact Obesity Has on the Menstrual Cycle

Between 30% and 47% of women who are obese report having irregular periods. However, irregular periods rarely cause fertility problems in obese women. A common disorder related to hormones, polycystic ovary syndrome, is more likely to occur in obese women. Polycystic ovary syndrome causes the ovaries to become enlarged and fluid-filled sacs to grow on the ovaries. It can also cause acne, body hair growth, and irregular menstrual periods. It is a good idea to see a doctor if you think you may have this condition.

Tips to Reduce Irregular Periods

Irregular periods are perfectly normal during menopause and other times of hormonal changes in a woman's life. However, if you are not going through menopause and you are worried about irregular periods, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. A doctor will be able to diagnose any underlying condition and provide you with the correct medical treatment.

However, irregular periods can also be caused by a poor diet, sudden weight gain or loss, excessive exercise, and eating disorders. This means that a balanced diet and regular exercise are an important part of regular periods and a properly-functioning, healthy body.

Eat right

How to Manage Your Weight and Irregular Periods

Eating three meals a day with healthy portions of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins will make you feel better, more energetic, and help keep your periods regular. Try to avoid products like caffeine, heavily processed foods, and cigarettes.

Exercise

Jogging, swimming, and biking for at least a half hour each day are great ways to stay active. If you're not able to engage in strenuous exercise, walk your pet or start a garden. These activities do not just help you physically, but they can also improve your emotional well-being.

Talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms like heavy bleeding, unexplained weight gain, or excessive pain. These symptoms could be a sign of an underlying condition. If you are postmenopausal and have not had your period for six months or more and have experienced post-menstrual bleeding, it is also important to see a doctor. This could be a sign of ovarian cancer, and it is important that you get screened by a doctor. Click here to read more about irregular periods.

5 Alternative Treatments to Manage Irregular Periods

Irregular periods can be managed with alternative treatments to medication; read on to discover ways of rebalancing the body.

Q&A: Should I Be Surprised If I Am Having Irregular Periods at 40?

If you are approaching 40 and having irregular periods, you are very likely in perimenopause. Learn more about menopause and irregular periods here.

Understanding Menstrual Cycle Problems and Regulation

As women approach menopause, it is almost guaranteed that they will experience menstrual cycle problems and regulation changes. Learn more.

Sources:
  • Filer, R.B. (2009). Obesity and reproduction. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.jlgh.org/Past-Issues/Volume-4---Issue-4/Obesity-and-Reproduction.aspx
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/basics/definition/con-20028841