Healthspan News

Menopause symptoms can last for 7 years

Posted 5 March 2015 12:00 AM by Healthspan

According to a new study, published in Jama Internal Medicine, 50 per cent of women will experience the troubling menopausal symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats, for a staggering seven years.

The researchers used data on almost 1,500 women who transitioned to menopause between 1996 and 2013 and reported experiencing hot flashes or night sweats frequently. And though seven years is a long time to experience these symptoms, which can seriously impact quality of life, they may not be as severe or frequent for the whole seven-year period.

GP and medical nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer also adds, “As the trend towards a longer and healthier lifespan continues, women are increasingly spending as much as 50 per cent of their years in the post-menopausal phase, but the good news is you don’t have to put up with symptoms such as hot flushes as there are plenty of lifestyle measures you can take.”

Keep active Research shows that regular exercise (three hours of brisk walking, stretching, muscle-strengthening and relaxation exercises a week) can reduce even severe menopausal symptoms.

Try supplements Black cohosh – a traditional herbal remedy for menopausal symptoms - can help reduce the number of hot flushes

Stub out Research shows smoking increases the risk of flushing so do your utmost to give it up for good.

Eat little and often The heat generated by digesting big meals can bring on or aggravate flushing.

Avoid stress It drains the adrenal glands meaning they produce less oestrone. Make time to relax every day. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and breathing can help too.

Stay cool Hot rooms can aggravate flushing so keep your house and bedroom temperature cool. In the summer use a fan.

Steer clear of triggers These include alcohol, spicy foods, hot drinks and high indoor temperatures.

Layer up Wear several layers of thin clothes so you can peel them off if a flush strikes. In bed go for several light layers of bedclothes or a summer duvet.

Go natural Choose clothes and bedding in natural fabrics such as cotton and linen. Avoid synthetic fibres and silk, which can aggravate flushes.

Spray it Keep a water spray in your fridge to help cool you down if the going gets hot. Carry some cool wipes in your handbag at all times.

Eat your isoflavones To boost your intake of natural plant oestrogens, aim to eat more beans, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, especially flaxseed, wholegrains, fresh and dried fruit and herbs, for example, rosemary and sage.

SOURCE: JAMA Internal Medicine, online February 16, 2015.

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