Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What to do about hot flashes?

At a recent family reunion, one of my super fun aunts, showed me a t-shirt that she had recently purchased. We laughed and laughed about it. We try to use humor to keep us young.

In reality there is nothing fun about getting old. Our joints creak a little more, or we tend to forget things more often. It's just no fun. One of the greatest contributors to accelerated aging is obesity. As many of us know - being overweight can increase our risk for many other disease states including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However it doesn't have to be that way.

In a recent article that will be published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a research group lead by Alison Huang M.D. from the University of California at San Fransico explored how losing weight would effect hot flashes, a common issue in women during menopause. They had observed that women with high body mass indices (BMI's) had more frequent and more severe hot flashes than women with lower BMI's. This group hypothesized that women who reduced their body weight would have less frequent or less severe hot flashes.

To test this hypothesis - researchers randomly created a control group and a weight loss intervention group of ladies (average age 53). The ladies in the weight loss intervention group were advised to undergo lifestyle and behavior changes designed to reduce their body weight by 7 to 9% over a six month period of time. This included increasing their activity, improving their nutrition and restricting their caloric intake.

Here are the results, according to the research authors, "in analyses of all women reporting bothersome hot flushes at the initial stages, decreases in weight, BMI and abdominal circumference were each associated with improvement in self-reported hot flushes during six months." Interestingly there were not any "significant associations between changes in physical activity, calorie intake, blood pressure or overall self-reported physical and mental functioning and change in bothersome flushing." This observation lead the authors to conclude that improving one's BMI may halp in alleviating hot flashes but there may be more to it.

So how does one improve their body mass index? Let me offer three simple suggestions. First - establish a regular meal pattern. Eat three healthy, well-rounded meals each day. Try very hard to do it the same time each day. Give yourself at least four hours between each meal and at least twelve hours between dinner and breakfast. This simple rule we call the Bios Life Slim 4-4-12 rule. Your first meal of the day should include lots of lean protein and fiber (think Lean Complete).

Second - add fiber to your diet. Use Slim prior to your two largest meals. This will help you adhere to the 4-4-12 rule through improved blood sugar regulation. You will also find that you won't each as much due to the improved appetite control from Slim. Lastly - walk. Walk at least 10,000 steps each day. This simple exercise will do wonders for your body's ability to utilize insulin. Shedding extra body fat will do wonders for your psych and your health so START TODAY!

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