The risks of being too thin

Being a skinny teenager may sometimes result in a woman being reed slim into her 30’s or 40’s. A new study has suggested that underweight women are at a high risk of experiencing early menopause. If you weigh under 45kg, and are more than 1.6m tall, then you are considered to be underweight. Studies have shown that although being underweight does not actually cause early menopause, your risk of early menopause is increased by about 40%.

What exactly is early menopause?

Experts agree that early menopause is best defined as naturally ceasing to have periods before the age of 45, while symptoms of normal range menopause mainly begin between the ages of 50 to 55.

The symptoms of early menopause are almost exactly the same as those for typical menopause, and may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances, night sweats
  • Behavioral and memory changes
  • Weight gain
  • Pain during intercourse

Not all of the symptoms may be experienced at the same time, and some could be more severe than others. For example, one person may suffer badly with hot flashes, while another may struggle with mood swings and memory changes.

How being too thin can affect sexuality

Research has shown that that extreme thinness which can lead to early menopause, could as a result, affect libido and sexual desire.

The theory by experts is that because estrogen is produced in the fat tissues, the less fat you have, lower estrogen than the body needs, will be produced. Therefore, super-thin women have less estrogen than women of normal weight. Like testosterone, estrogen is a vital hormone for sex and reproduction. The low levels of estrogen might also catapult you into early menopause and the associated problems.

If estrogen levels are too low, especially during child bearing age, fertility issues such as difficulty falling pregnant, may also arise. To stay healthy, and give yourself the best chance of conceiving, concentrate on following a healthy diet and having regular meals to rebalance your weight.

Medical issues

There are various conditions which studies say can relate to early menopause. These include conditions such as heavy smoking, excessive alcohol, anorexia, bulimia, among others. However, there is also strong evidence, that women who are super-slim, may have a higher risk of the timing for possible early menopause. Getting exercise, and following a nutritious diet, and focusing on your health, will give you a good chance of keeping early menopause at bay.

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