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Dr. German
Dr. German, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3834
Experience:  MD
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Dear Dr/Nurse,I am 51,

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Dear Dr/Nurse, I am 51, I weigh 55kg and I am 168cm. I am slim and my weight has been constant throughout my life despite being diagnosed with Hashimotos about 5 years ago. This appears to be well managed on 100ug of thyroxine/day. I have a Mirena and I think that I am peri-menopausal, only symptoms, terrible problems sleeping and headaches every day. Strangely enough the headaches are managed by wearing an oestrogen patch. I was taken off the pill because I am a migraine sufferer, but I cannot cope with the headaches and although it seems really strange the patch stops them. My question though is that I have developed what I call a smallish pot belly. Does this happen because of age? menopause? or the fact that I have had children and eventually those lower muscles give way. I lead a healthy lifestyle and go to the gym 5 times a week and I am happy with every other part of my body except for this. Thank you for your time. Lisa XXXXX

Welcome and thanks for your question , every person is different and even having a perfect healthy lifestyle , there are some people whose abdominal muscles are naturally weaker than others .

With age , the abdominal muscles lose tonicity and strength combined with the hormonal effect when estrogen levels drop ,fat deposits have a tendency to store more in the belly than in other areas like the hips or breasts which happens during your early reproductive years .

It is also vital that you consult your doctor to determine if there could be an underlying medical condition involved like : hernias, gastrointestinal tract mass,gastritis , gastroesophageal reflux ( in this condition ,the stomach acid juices flow back into the esophagus) ,constipation,poor posture, intestinal inflammation, gallstones, pancreas inflammation ,food intolerance ( caused by deficient digestive enzyme production ),hormonal irregularities specially with your cortisone blood levels or accumulation of gases.

There are some things that you could do on your own like performing abdominal exercises to strengthen your muscles and avoiding certain types of foods including broccoli ,beans,cabbage, carbonated drinks , onions or brussels sprouts . There are some natural remedies you could use including peppermint, valerian or turmeric .

Your doctor should evaluate you to treat you if there is a medical factor involved , for example if there is an hernia or gallstones surgery will be necessary while if there is a digestive enzyme deficiency ,those enzymes will be administered or supplemented.

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