3. Stress, irritability, mood swings, sudden tears
Stress management techniques – Includes such activities as yoga, relaxation and/or meditation, Tai chi and regular exercise. All these activities help relieve built-up tension and have a calming effect on the mind. Stress management techniques are beneficial at menopause as stress can interfere with the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. As the adrenal glands assist in the production of oestrogen in fat after menopause it is important they work effectively.
The Effect of Stress on your Weight
Our bodies are very well designed to deal with periods of acute stress--and then relaxation. That's a typical mode of survival. Those stressful events are actually very healthy for us. They rev up our engines and work out the kinks in the complex enzymatic reactions that control our bodies. In the end, these systems should reach homeostasis, a peaceful, balanced coexistence that is ready to spring into action in an emergency. But if we don't get time to idle, the balance gets thrown off and problems can develop.
When stress is chronic, it forces an excess of steroids and other stress hormones into our bodies from the adrenal glands stimulated by the brain (specifically the hypothalamus and pituitary). These are stress steroids, and our system has to cope with them. It does so in several ways, and one of the classic ways is that the omentum, a fold of fatty tissue that encases your intestines, sucks up the excess circulating steroids to clear the system. This stimulates the omentum to inappropriately store fat whenever we eat--which is one of the reasons that stress induces you to grow a beer belly. When you're thin, your omentum looks like wide, webbed panty hose. But as it grows, the fat globules fill and engorge the gaps in the webbing. At this point, the excess omentum actually becomes a reservoir that releases inflammatory chemicals into the body: You're basically being poisoned by the fat in your belly. That creates a chronic condition called metabolic syndrome. It includes high blood sugars, high blood pressure, and high bad (LDL) cholesterol. Sound familiar? That's America. Most people in the thirty-five-to-forty-five-year-old range start getting it. And that is the exact process we need to arrest.
So how do you deal with it? The quick answer is: Lose some weight. The omentum and the fat around your solid organs like your kidneys are the first things to shrink when you start shedding pounds. And when you reduce this fat, you automatically reduce the amount of inflammatory chemicals that are being dumped into your liver, which in turn leads to reduced production of stress-inducing hormones. That's why weight loss affects blood pressure. It's not just because your belly is smaller; it's because there's less fat surrounding your organs.