Weight, Hormones, and Menstrual Cycle
Hi again..i've done some research.. and i'm going to compile the important stuff here. i managed to compiled 6 articles in one blog post below. the source links will be included like always at the end of each section. :P...What influences menstruation?Menstruation is a very complex process involving many different hormones, the sexual organs and the nervous system.
First and foremost, hormones influence menstruation. If they are not in balance, the cycle will similarly be affected. If a woman's periods are very irregular, she can ask her doctor to measure the hormones in her blood to find out if her hormones are out of balance. This will give a rough indication as to whether there is a serious hormonal problem. However, since what is 'normal' varies greatly with regard to women's hormones, blood tests are not a particularly good measure of what can be considered much more subtle imbalances in a woman's cycle.
Weight also influences hormonal balance and menstruation. If a woman is underweight, her hormones will stop working properly and her periods might stop altogether. Recent research has also shown that obesity can throw hormones out of balance and make it harder for women to conceive. Stress also affects the hormones. Many women find that if they are worried about something, it can influence menstruation. In some cases, a woman's period might actually stop if she is very worried about whether she is pregnant.
Regular exercise and keeping fit and (eating) healthy can help regulate the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, exercising too much and overstressing the body can have a negative effect on the hormones to the extent that menstruation may cease.
Irregular, infrequent periods (oligomenorrhoea)Periods are often light or infrequent both when a young woman starts having periods, and also when a woman is nearing menopause. This is normal because they are not producing an egg every month.
Many women experience one or two irregular periods every six months. This is not usually caused by any serious condition; however, many women do seek an explanation and reassurance from their GP or gynaecologist.
The most common cause of infrequent periods is a condition called polycystic ovaries. This is a common condition affecting as many as 10 per cent of women, in which a large number of very small (less than 1cm) cysts on the ovaries appear in association with a hormone imbalance.
This condition results in irregular ovulation and thus periods are usually infrequent. The diagnosis of polycystic ovaries is made on the basis of one or more blood tests to measure hormones; a pelvic ultrasound scan of the ovaries is often taken as an additional test. Treatment is only necessary if there is concern about the irregularity of periods or if a woman is having difficulty becoming pregnant.[source link]
Menstrual Cycle Link To Weight Loss
Exercising at particular times in the menstrual cycle could help women to lose more weight.
That's one of the initial discoveries made by University of Adelaide PhD student Leanne Redman, who is studying the little-known impact of the menstrual cycle on women's exercise.
Helps Burn Fat - Improve Metabolic Rate
Early results of her research show that exercising at the later menstrual phase could burn more fat and help women to feel less tired.
"Results suggest that exercise performance is improved during the later part of the menstrual cycle-that is, when circulating concentrations of ovarian hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) are high," she says.
At the later menstrual phase, the hormones promote the use of fats as an energy source to support exercise. The use of fat in aerobic activity provides a more efficient delivery of energy, and results in fewer waste products being produced. These waste products normally contribute to fatigue.
Ms Redman's findings are of international interest to sport scientists and physicians involved in prescribing exercise programs to women for sport, fitness or health.
Improved Weight Management
"According to our research, there would be clear benefits to women if their weight management programs, as well as providing a sound diet and lifestyle, took into account the physiological changes that occur during the menstrual cycle," she says....
Menstrual Cycle and Weight
While there may be minor changes in metabolism, food intake and cravings throughout the menstrual cycle in addition to possible water retention, these will not impact weight-loss success.
Food cravings, overeating and weight gain are commonly reported during the one to two weeks before menstruation occurs. But what is the science to support these symptoms, and what is their impact on weight-loss success?
Food Intake and MetabolismWhile overeating is the popular perception, research has shown that there are only minor changes in actual food intake throughout the menstrual cycle. Most studies suggest an increase in eating of around 100 to 200 calories in the days before bleeding occurs, but this appears to be offset by the small rise in metabolism (around 5 to 10 percent) that occurs during the same time period. In other words, the body tends to adjust the calories in/calories out on its own. Therefore, in a weight-stable state, no changes in weight will occur.
However, if actively losing weight by following a restricted-calorie food plan, the likely result would be a slight (but hardly noticeable) increase in weight loss due to the increased metabolism without the usual increase in calories. Alternatively, the result instead could be a slightly greater difficulty in following the food plan because of increased hunger during that period.
Food CravingsAlthough food cravings are commonly reported during certain times of the menstrual cycle, the scientific evidence on the subjects is limited. Some smaller studies suggest a link, particularly a craving for high carbohydrate sweets. These studies also show that cravings tend to occur more often in women with premenstural syndrome (PMS) and that the cravings increase as symptoms worsen. While more research is needed to understand food cravings, the good news is that they do not appear to translate into large increases in calorie intake and subsequent weight gain.* i'm blessed bcoz, i don't have food cravings during my period. i'm actually the opposite. i eat less when i'm having my period. menstrual pain = eat less. :)
Water RetentionThe most likely reason for a weight gain is water retention. While this is a common symptom that can be particularly discouraging when following a structured food plan,7 the weight gain is usually minor and temporary (that is, any weight that is gained is lost around the time of menstruation). Furthermore, water retention can be lessened during this time period by making small dietary changes, like reducing sodium and increasing fluids.
Bottom Line: Major fluctuations in eating and weight during certain periods of the menstrual cycle are a common perception, but studies done in the area find that the changes are minor, temporary and will not impact weight-loss success.
How does overweight or obesity affects health?
Extra weight can put you at higher risk for these health problems:
. type 2 diabetes (high blood sugar)
. high blood pressure
. heart disease and stroke
. some types of cancer
. sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods during sleep)
. osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints)
. gallbladder disease
. liver disease
. irregular menstrual periods
The Effects of Obesity on KidsObesity increases the risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol — all once considered exclusively adult diseases. Obese kids also may be prone to low self-esteem that stems from being teased, bullied, or rejected by peers.
Kids who are unhappy with their weight may be more likely than average-weight kids to:
. develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia
. be more prone to depression
. be at risk for substance abuseOverweight and obese kids are at risk for developing medical problems that affect their present and future health and quality of life, including:
. high blood pressure, high cholesterol and abnormal blood lipid levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes
. bone and joint problems
. shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult and may aggravate the symptoms or increase the chances of developing asthma
. restless or disordered sleep patterns, such as obstructive sleep apnea
. tendency to mature earlier (overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are; overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems in adulthood)
. liver and gall bladder disease
Cardiovascular risk factors present in childhood (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes) can lead to serious medical problems like heart disease, heart failure, and stroke as adults. Preventing or treating overweight and obesity in kids may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as they get older.
Normal Menstrual Cycle - Topic Overview
What is a menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the series of changes a woman's body goes through to prepare for a pregnancy. About once a month, the uterus grows a new lining (endometrium) to get ready for a fertilized egg . When there is no fertilized egg to start a pregnancy, the uterus sheds its lining. This is the monthly menstrual bleeding (also called menstrual period) that women have from their early teen years until menopause, around age 50.
The menstrual cycle is from Day 1 of bleeding to Day 1 of the next time of bleeding. Although the average cycle is 28 days, it is perfectly normal to have a cycle that is as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. For a teen, a normal cycle can last up to 45 days.
* let see how long is my menstrual cycle.
6th Jan 2010 to 5th Feb 2010 = 31 days
5th Feb 2010 to 7th Mac 2010 = 31 days
7th Mac 2010 to 7th Apr 2010 = 32 days
7th Apr 2010 to 3rd May 2010 = 27 days
so.. my menstrual cycle is perfectly NORMAL! ehehe.
Girls usually start having menstrual periods between the ages of 11 and 14. Women usually start to have fewer periods between ages 39 and 51. Women in their 40s and teens may have cycles that are longer or change a lot. If you are a teen, your cycles should even out with time. If you are nearing menopause, your cycles will probably get longer and then will stop.
Talk to your doctor if you notice any big change in your cycle. It’s especially important to check with your doctor if you have three or more cycles that last longer than 7 days or are very heavy. Also call if you have bleeding between your periods or pelvic pain that is not from your period.
What controls the menstrual cycle?
Your hormones control your menstrual cycle. During each cycle, your brain's hypothalamus and pituitary gland send hormone signals back and forth with your ovaries. These signals get the ovaries and uterus ready for a pregnancy.
The hormones estrogen and progesterone play the biggest roles in how the uterus changes during each cycle.
. Estrogen builds up the lining of the uterus.
. Progesterone increases after an ovary releases an egg (ovulation) at the middle of the cycle. This helps the estrogen keep the lining thick and ready for a fertilized egg.
. A drop in progesterone (along with estrogen) causes the lining to break down. This is when your period starts.
A change in hormone levels can affect your cycle or fertility. For example, teens tend to have low or changing progesterone levels. This is also true for women close to menopause. That is why teens and women in their 40s may have heavy menstrual bleeding and cycles that change in length.
Other things can change your cycle. They include birth control pills, low body fat, losing a lot of weight, or being overweight. Stress or very hard exercise also can change your cycle. Pregnancy is the most common cause of a missed period.
What common symptoms are linked to the menstrual cycle?
Some women have no pain or other problems. But other women have symptoms before and during their period.
For about a week before a period, many women have some premenstrual symptoms. You may feel more tense or angry. You may gain water weight and feel bloated. Your breasts may feel tender. You may get acne. You also may have less energy than usual. A day or two before your period, you may start having pain (cramps) in your belly, back, or legs. These symptoms go away during the first days of a period.
When your ovary releases an egg in the middle of your cycle, you may have pain in your lower belly. You also might have red spotting for less than a day. Both are normal.
How can women take care of bleeding and symptoms?
You can use pads or tampons to manage bleeding. Whichever you use, be sure to change the pad or tampon at least every 4 to 6 hours during the day. Pads may be best at night.
Many women can improve their symptoms by getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. It also may help to limit alcohol and caffeine (told u!) Try to reduce stress.
A heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm bath (and hot drinks!) also can help with cramps. You can take an over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen before and during your period to reduce pain and bleeding.