Dr. Santoro on Menopause Weight Gain & Sleep Loss

She tells Everyday Health menopause weight gain and sleep loss are common, offering tips on managing the effects

Everyday Health logo for article on menopause weight gain | CU OB-GYN | Denver, COGaining weight during menopause is common enough to have its own name: “the menopot.” Researchers know that the rate of fat gain and muscle mass decline begin about two years before a woman’s last period, continuing for several years. This may affect menopause weight gain but it is not the only answer for what the scales show.

This Everyday Health article also addresses sleep loss, another common side effect of menopause affecting about half of menopausal women. Trouble sleeping may involve difficulty falling asleep, or it may mean waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to return to slumber, says Dr.  Nanette Santoro, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a longtime menopause researcher.

Dr. Santoro recommends cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), a program developed specifically for sleep issues. She likes the free app CBT-i Coach based on this therapy method. She suggests trying hormone therapy for a few months. If your sleep and other symptoms improve, it is probably helping. If not, she advises to just stop the hormones, as there will be no issues in doing so.


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