Of all the symptoms of menopause, hot flashes are possibly the most uncomfortable. Not that the other symptoms are any better, but the intense heat that starts in your chest and rises to your neck and head can be extremely debilitating, especially during the triple-digit heatwaves that are common in Phoenix during the summertime.
Although a lucky minority of women won’t experience hot flashes at all during menopause, about three-quarters of women will—and for about 30% of menopausal women, hot flashes can be severe enough to interfere with their quality of life, according to Valerie Omicioli, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science and a certified menopause practitioner at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
While some hot flashes last only a few seconds, other episodes can last more than 10 minutes (the average is around four minutes). Their frequency can occur anywhere from several episodes each week to several episodes each hour. The number and severity of episodes women experience during menopause depend on numerous factors, including genetics, lifestyle factors and, as we will explain, your weight.
How to Manage Hot Flashes
There are no miracle medications that will completely eliminate hot flashes from your life, but there are some simple things you can do to help relieve one of the worst symptoms of menopause.
- Avoid hot flash triggers – Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food are some of the potential triggers for hot flashes in women during menopause. And if you smoke, try to kick the habit as soon as possible. Heavy smokers are four times more likely to have hot flashes than non-smokers.
- Dress light – Dress in layers and wear lightweight clothes such as tanks and cardigans so you can shed heavier clothing when a hot flash occurs. Also, consider wearing materials that wick away moisture, so you aren’t burdened by the sweat that often accompanies a hot flash episode.
- Relax – The stress hormone cortisol may make you more sensitive to hot flashes. Try yoga or meditation to keep stress levels (and hot flash symptoms) down.
- Lose weight – As we explain in more detail below, one of the strongest indicators of more severe and more frequent hot flashes is being overweight.
Menopausal Weight Gain and Hot Flash Symptoms
According to 90% of women during menopause. Unfortunately, body-fat tissue acts as a strong heat insulator, which means the extra pounds you’re carrying around may actually increase the severity of hot flashes you experience during menopause.
Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), such as hot flashes and night sweats, are associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), according to the improvement in hot flashes than those who didn’t lose weight.
Weight loss is hard enough for some women, but it can be even harder when your hormones are working against you. That’s why at New Results Medical Weight Loss, we address any underlying hormone issues or imbalances as part of our custom, individualized medical weight loss programs. Since 2009, our unique medical weight loss programs and protocols have helped women in the Valley look and feel their best.
At New Results Medical Weight Loss, we offer a variety of highly-effective products and solutions that can help you lose weight during menopause, including L-carnitine injections, MIC injections, and medically-supervised custom weight loss programs. Visit either of our medical weight loss clinics in Scottsdale or Mesa, call (480) 214-3429 or schedule an appointment online to learn how we can help you look and feel your best during menopause.