Obesity is linked with a greater prevalence of menopause symptoms like hot flashes, says a new study published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
Menopause comes with its own set of symptoms, many of which are severely unpleasant for some women. These signs include vasomotor symptoms (VMS) like hot flashes and night sweats. Previous research indicates that VMS appear to occur in women who gain weight after hitting menopause. Now, the new study links hot flashes specifically with a higher body mass (BMI).
The study, whose participants were a group of 749 women from Brazil falling within the age group 45-60, shows that obese women would experience more severe hot flashes that would lower their work efficiency, and affect other of their activities. This is in line with the thermoregulatory theory which dictates that BMI is positively linked with VMS given that body fat serves as a powerful heat insulator; this means that people with more body fat will suffer from more hot flashes because heat distribution throughout their bodies is more challenging.
Other findings of the study associate increased BMI with other conditions like joint and muscular pain as well as more intense urinary problems.
The authors say that the new study highlights the fact that weight control in menopausal women should take into consideration the many aspects involved. Furthermore, healthcare strategies need to be developed to curtail the consequences of effects on the health of this category of women. It is to be noted that previous research has shown that weight loss coupled with exercise can decrease hot flashes in obese women.