A new study shows that obesity among women could lead to more serious discomforts of menopause symptoms or vasomotor symptoms (VMS) like hot flashes, night sweats, and others. Other VMS like joint and muscular pain and more intense urinary problems are also linked with having a high body mass index (BMI).
In a study published in The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) website titled "Does obesity increase the risk of hot flashes among midlife women? A population-based study," it was concluded that a higher frequency of menopause symptoms is associated in overweight women or those who gain more weight during their postmenopause period. Moreover, the study also observed the effect of obesity on VMS for many years now.
The study had 749 Brazilian women participants aged 45 to 60 years, with the women having obesity shown suffering from more severe consequences of menopause like hot flashes. With the consequences, it made them stop to some certain activities and also decreased their work efficiency. The data was supported by a theory called thermoregulatory theory, in which it proposes that BMI is positively associated with VMS because of body-fat tissues acting as a strong heat insulator.
In an article published in Science Daily, the insulation makes the distribution of heat harder, which then causes women with obesity to suffer more symptoms of menopause. Not only that, having a high BMI is also linked to joint and muscular pain and more intense urinary problems.
The study reinforces the importance of having a multifaceted approach in controlling the weight among women with obesity going through menopause stage. The results also emphasized the need in creating healthcare strategies in minimizing the effect of obesity on other health issues in menopausal women.
"In some studies, but not all, weight loss and exercise have both been shown to reduce hot flashes in women who are obese, thus giving women more reason to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves," NAMS director Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton said. She also said that the study supports earlier studies that found women with obesity to have more hot flashes, particularly for those who are near in their menopausal stage.