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Losing Weight to Reduce Hot Flushes

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Weight Loss Lose Hot Flushes Woman

Hot flushes are a frustrating and uncomfortable menopause symptom for many women. As one of the most common challenges for a woman to experience during menopause, they can also continue beyond menopause as well.

Treating Your Hot Flushes

While you may know many women who share your struggle, it is possible you are all using different approaches for coping with hot flushes. One approach that is only recently coming to light relates specifically to your weight. In a recent study, it was found that overweight women who were going through the menopausal transition were able to reduce their frequency of hot flushes by losing weight.

How Much Weight Should I Lose?

We don’t have specific guidelines just yet but based on the study results, women who lose seven to nine percent of their starting body weight over six months have fewer hot flushes. This was in comparison to women who lost no weight at all.

Generally, other studies have shown that women who have a higher BMI – short for body mass index – tend to suffer from more hot flushes compared to women who have a lower BMI. They are also more likely to be suffering from severe hot flushes.

Testing Out the Effect of Weight Loss on Hot Flushes

For the study, the women were put into one of two groups. For one group, there was a low calorie diet and the other women were the control. Both groups of women had roughly the same types of hot flushes and were affected in similar ways. The women did vary in age but the average age of a participant was 53, which is a typical time for a woman to be experiencing menopause symptoms.

Low Calorie Diet and Regular Exercise

But by the time the study was completed, it was the women who were on the low calorie diet who benefited from fewer hot flushes. These women ate approximately 1,500 calories a day and performed physical activity in the realm of about 200 minutes a week of very brisk walking or intense activity.

A Better Transition Through Menopause

Researchers think it’s a combination of a lower BMI, plus a smaller waistline and less pounds that help ease women through menopause with fewer hot flushes. Another effect was lowered blood pressure.

Be Cautious When Losing Weight

Researchers do note that there could still be other factors at play here and more research is needed to confirm the link. If you are already at a healthy weight, it does not mean that losing more weight will reduce your hot flushes. Being underweight carries health risks just as being overweight can harm your health.

Enjoy Weight Loss Benefits and Possibly Reduce Hot Flushes

The guidelines relate to those who have seen their doctor and been established as overweight and in a position where it is safe to lose weight. Among all the other important health benefits that weight loss in overweight women can bring, you may be able to reduce menopausal hot flushes as well.

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