A deadly case of... muffin top?!?

Ladies, you KNOW that the muffin top that turned up after menopause is unsightly, so I'm sure that you want it GONE.

But that's not the only important reason to make that muffin crumble, as new research shows how that extra layer of fat around the middle isn't just a nuisance.

It could also be DEADLY!

I'll help you melt away that excess belly fat in a minute, but first, here's what the latest scientific findings have to say.

The new study confirms how too much fat anywhere on the body is, of course, a risk factor for heart problems... but it ALSO reveals how SOME types of fat are WORSE than others.

If it's building up around the middle... if you develop the "apple" shape that so many women get after menopause... you could face a higher risk of a deadly heart problem.

Compared to just BMI alone, a higher waist-to-hip ratio -- a sign of too much fat building up right in the muffin zone -- will increase your risk of a heart attack by 18 percent.

Guys don't quite have that same risk. A higher hip-to-waist ratio "only" boosts the risk of a heart attack by 6 percent.

And when you put men and women in head-to-head -- or hip-to-hip -- competition, women with muffin tops are 15 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than the guys.

Even going by waist circumference alone -- another sign of fat building up in the wrong places -- the Journal of the American Heart Association study says that women are 7 percent more likely to have a heart attack than men.

So, what can you do about it?

The American Heart Association responded to the new study by saying that women should cut the carbs, sugar, and booze.

No arguments here. That's certainly a good start.

But you can quit all three of those things and find that stubborn muffin still won't go away.

There's a simple reason for it, and that's the hormonal changes that hit you after menopause.

You could have had the perfect shape all your life, but once the estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the fat in your body starts to shift around and hug your hips.

Eventually, you end up with an "apple" shape -- a.k.a. the dreaded muffin top.

If you're on the other side of menopause... and have struggled to lose weight even on a sensible diet... speak with a holistic doctor who can test your hormone levels and treat you if necessary.

There are natural therapies that can get your body to produce hormones again on its own, or in some cases, you may need natural bioidentical replacement therapy.

If you're in the San Diego area, I run one of the nation's most complete hormone testing and treatment programs at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in Southern California? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!