Reduce Hot Flashes by Losing Weight

Having your first hot flashes (or night flashes) is the harbinger of more to come for most women entering perimenopause or menopause.  New research finds that one way to get some relief is to lose weight.  A new study found that women who are overweight or obese can substantially improve hot flash symptoms by losing weight through diet and exercise.  As women age, hormones in the body, especially estrogen, is reduced causing most menopause symptoms.  Blood tests to determine estrogen and other hormone levels can provide information to help you make decisions about whether to seek medical advice or supplements to treat menopause symptoms.  Additionally, new tests are available that measure biomarkers to identify possible causes for low energy or sex drive that may be related to changes in hormone levels. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and led by Dr. Allison Huang and her colleagues, found that “… it wasn’t enough to just get more exercise or cut calories—only weight loss itself was linked to fewer hot flash symptoms. For each 11 pounds that a woman lost, she was roughly one-third more likely than women who did not lose weight to experience a decline in the severity or frequency of hot...

Synthetic Hormones and Why NOT To Use Them

Hot flashes are just one of the reasons that women consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).  HRT can relieve many of the symptoms that women experience during menopause which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and is caused by the reduction in the amount of hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone that a woman’s body produces as she ages.  Symptom relief and protection against osteoporosis lead many women to try HRT, but NIH found during a long term Women’s Health Initiative Study that HRT can also greatly increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. There are many changes a woman can make in her diet and lifestyle that can ease the transition during this normal phase of life.  In addition to the risks found by NIH, synthetic hormones can decrease the natural immune response, exacerbate pre-existing auto-immune and endocrine issues and inactivate healthy stores of hormones already present.  Before considering Hormone Replacement Therapy get a complete test to measure current hormone levels and get tested for thyroid or other endocrine issues.  A woman’s attitude about this next, natural phase of her life can also affect the severity and frequency of her symptoms.  Maintaining a healthy and positive attitude and realizing that menopause is not a disease can provide freedom to enjoy the later years of your life and not dread...

Your Biological Clock is Ticking Faster

No, your clock hasn’t sped up.  It’s been going faster than you thought all along!  The Washington Post reported that women may lose 90% of their eggs by the time they are 30.  These days many women don’t get married until they are in their 30’s, putting off marriage and children until they have spent time establishing their careers and their independence.  The biological reality is that women are most fertile in their teens and early twenties.  Studies have shown that as women get older their fertility is reduced, so in a way this information is not a surprise.  The news that is surprising is that the decline in fertility happens so early and that the drop off after the age of 30 is so steep.  Society has changed allowing longer life spans and more opportunities for women, but ovaries have not changed.  If having children is important to a woman, she needs to think about it sooner rather than later.  Tests to measure progesterone, a marker of fertility, can be done to help determine when to attempt to conceive and the level of present fertility.  Additionally, there have been significant advances in fertility treatments to assist women trying to conceive.  Being healthy, maintaining a normal weight, and keeping stress under control all help, but age appears to be the biggest factor. Written by...