Around menopause, many women are bothered by hot flashes. It has already been shown that maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, but a new large-scale study provides additional evidence that women who lose weight suffer from fewer of these bothersome symptoms.
A team of researchers analyzed data on 17,473 women aged 50 to 79 who were participating in a clinical trial to evaluate the impact of a dietary intervention on menopause-related hot flashes. At the start of the study, 73 percent of participants had no night sweats and 74percent had no hot flashes. Among women who did report symptoms, 6 percent rated their symptoms as moderately severe, and 1 percent said they had severe symptoms.
Some of the women in the group underwent some coaching to encourage them to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while also reducing their fat intake. The other participants were also monitored, but received no special instruction. Although weight loss was not the goal, participants in the intervention group lost an average of 2 kg in the first year. These women were 25 percent more likely to have their hot flashes disappear than women in the other group. Women who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight had the best results: they were 56 percent more likely to have their symptoms disappear than women who lost no weight.
If you’re carrying excess weight and are nearing menopause, or are already there, why not take this opportunity to make certain changes to your diet? You could reap many benefits by reaching a healthy weight, including possibly even getting rid of hot flashes!