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Let’s Talk about the ‘M’ Word

Today’s World Menopause Day and awareness around it has never been higher. New research commissioned by The 1:1 Diet has revealed that menopausal weight gain is causing a drastic effect on self-confidence in a quarter (25%) of women. One in 10 even admitted their confidence was at an all-time low due to their weight gain symptom.

The research, which involved 1,000 women based in the UK aged 40-65 who have recently experienced, or are currently going through the menopause, has been issued in support of the global awareness campaign. While some women suffer from hair loss (25%) and insomnia (56%), the most common side effects have been revealed as hot flushes (83%), fatigue (66%) and weight gain (61%).

Confidence issues are highest for those aged 40-44, with more than a third (34%) experiencing low self-esteem, which was even greater for those based in the North East of England.

Almost half (43%) of women questioned said they found weight gain to be the most difficult menopausal symptom to contend with. And the research also highlighted that the average woman gains a total of one stone throughout the menopause, with 28 per cent admitting to gaining more than one-a-half stone.

However, it has been shown that with the right support and advice, menopausal symptoms and anxieties can be eased. Over a third (34%) found that side effects weren’t as bad as expected due to receiving the right guidance and support.

Dr Ella Russell, private GP and menopause specialist with more than 20 years’ experience, said: “It’s so important to educate yourself and those around you on the menopause. One of the biggest barriers to women receiving the right care for their perimenopause and menopause is not recognising that their symptoms may be related to hormones.

“Every day I speak to women who have symptoms of low mood and anxiety, joint pains and stiffness, palpitations, bladder problems, memory problems and sleep disturbances but they don’t complete the jigsaw. If periods have changed and these symptoms are being experienced, think ‘menopause’ and speak to those who support you.

“It can be a challenging time, but it’s one that we can all get through together! There are so many options, and people shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss it.”

Mark Gilbert, Nutritionist at The 1:1 Diet, explains how disruptive and common menopause symptoms are: ‘’The menopause causes complex physical, emotional and hormonal changes, often causing weight gain and making weight loss much more difficult. This World Menopause Day, it’s so important to remember that if you are struggling with any symptoms, you can reach out to others for help, even if you just need someone to listen. While it is great to see a significant increase in focus on menopause recently within the media agenda, it is so important that related issues are discussed much more openly. Our research has proven that talking through a problem with others can help reduce feelings of unease during the menopause.”