Dr. Jon LaPook is the CBS News medical correspondent.
As menopause approaches, hormonal and metabolic changes combine to alter a woman's appearance. For example, falling estrogen levels contribute to a loss of elasticity in various parts of the body. Nora Ephron perfectly describes the phenomenon in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman:
"According to my dermatologist, the neck starts to go at forty-three, and that's that. You can put makeup on your face and concealer under your eyes and dye on your hair, you can shoot collagen and Botox and Restylane into your wrinkles and creases, but short of surgery, there's not a damn thing you can do about a neck. The neck is a dead giveaway. Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn't have to if it had a neck."
To the dismay of many of my patients, the waist is also directly affected by the chemical changes that occur during menopause. In today's CBS Doc Dot Com, Dr. Rebecca Booth and Dr. Lori Warren - gynecologists with expertise in hormonal changes - join forces with trainer Carol Clements to explain the chemical basis of the increased belly fat that tends to occur with menopause and to give down to earth, nitty-gritty advice about how women can maintain - or recover - a trim waistline as their hormones take a dive. And just for inspiration and fun, we filmed the segment in a beautiful dance studio at Ballet Hispanico in New York City with a backdrop of world-class dancers. For an in-depth look at the subject, I highly recommend Dr. Booth's book, "The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of your Cycle...at Any Age."