Hot Flashes

Arriving as important advice to post menopausal women, scientists at Kaiser Permanente have revealed that weight loss could hold the key to treating conditions like hot flashes and night sweats. This seemed to be especially true with regards to calories burned by adhering to low-fat diets.

As part of the investigation, about 17,473 women were inspected for 1 year. The results showed that women who lost weight by opting for low fat diets apparently experienced fewer symptoms related to hot flashes and night sweats as compared to controls. Low-fat diet appeared to be beneficial when combined with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

“While the mechanism is not completely understood, hot flashes and night sweats are thought to be caused by a complex interaction that involves fluctuating hormone levels, the hypothalamus region of the brain that regulates body temperature, brain chemicals and receptors, and the body’s blood vessels and sweat glands,” quoted Candyce Kroenke, ScD, MPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and lead author of the study.

Reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study put forth a link between menopausal conditions, weight loss and diet. According to the scientists, high body mass impedes loss of heat from the body. Therefore, the body uses night sweats and hot flashes as mechanisms for flushing out the accumulated heat. Loss of mass, especially fat lipids and not lean mass could be associated with fewer episodes of hot flashes and night sweats, the team said.

Further studies are required to understand how diet alone could help alleviate symptoms related to menopausal night sweats and hot flashes.