This change in body type may be a sign that more is going on than meets the eye.
As Chris Toigo transitioned through menopause, she noticed changes beyond the end of her monthly periods.
She said, "I know the last ten years for me, you know, there's been a great change in my body."
Chris saw her body morph before her eyes.
Doctor Imke Janssen said, "your shape kind of changes as you go through the menopause and that is your fat accumulates more around the middle."
The weight gain, coupled with flip-flopping hormones, may pave the way for serious health problems related to metabolic syndrome.
Doctor Janssen also said, "and maybe that's why we have a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke and diabetes after menopause than before."
Doctor Janssen's research focuses on the shift in estrogen and testosterone.
Earlier in life, women have a higher proportion of estrogen, but Doctor Janssen added, "here around the final menstrual period, it's about even. And then afterwards the testosterone is really, uh, more than, than the estrogen."
It's believed this hormone shift makes women more susceptible to heart disease.
To tip the scales in your favor, the researchers recommend exercise and a healthy diet, ideas Chris has come to accept.
Chris said, "admitting to one's self that you cannot lead the same lifestyle, that you have to make changes."
Choices that are helping chris enjoy a healthy future long past menopause.
The study followed more than three thousand women through menopause, gathering information on topics ranging from metabolic syndrome to psychological issues.