Can-do plan gets women trimmer, healthier, and cuts hot flashes

February 13, 2014, The North American Menopause Society

A woman can beat middle-aged spread, her disease risks, and her hot flashes with the help of her healthcare provider. And even a short term program can spell success for women and fit into a busy provider's practice, shows a demonstration obesity-fighting and health risk reduction program detailed in an article just published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Making lifestyle changes can take a lot of work. Programs that have successfully helped women lose weight and reduce their other heart disease risks have been long and intensive—and they work as long as the program goes on. Most first-line women's , such as obstetrician-gynecologists or primary care providers, don't have the time and might not be reimbursed for so many consultations.

But this pilot program, called WAIPointes (WAI stands for "who am I"), took only five visits that all were reimbursed by insurance. And it kept the participants engaged in achieving their by showing them that they could reduce their menopause symptoms, in addition to their long-term , with healthy .

The 83 women who completed the 6-month program ranged from 35 to 55 years old, and most were in perimenopause or menopause. At an orientation, the women learned about menopause and the that come with it and were told they have the opportunity to get their personal risks assessed if they joined the program. At the first visit, they answered questionnaires and got assessments of body weight and fat and menopause status and went home with a pedometer and a health diary, educational materials, and goal-setting worksheets to develop their personal health goals. From the second to the fifth visit, each woman had health assessments including waist measurement, blood pressure, menopause symptoms, mammograms and bone density tests if needed, and blood tests to look for inflammation, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Once a woman had her goals set, she discussed with the healthcare providers how to reach those goals, what obstacles stood in the way, and how to overcome them. If distressing menopause symptoms were obstacles, the providers offered the women treatment options, such as lifestyle modifications or medications, to overcome them.

"Empowerment through education is a cornerstone of our intervention," wrote the authors. Their surveys of the participants and the health assessments showed that approach was working.

By the end of the program, the women understood their health risks better, and they had already made significant progress toward achieving their health goals. They trimmed their waistlines by an average of an inch and a half and lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 2 points. What's more, their and other , such as energy, libido, mood, and vaginal dryness, had all improved significantly. And each woman had a "life action plan," with personalized recommendations, to continue working toward their health goals.

Explore further: No hot flashes? Then don't count on hormones to improve quality of life

Related Stories

No hot flashes? Then don't count on hormones to improve quality of life

November 13, 2013
Hormones at menopause can help with sleep, memory, and more, but only when a woman also has hot flashes, find researchers at Helsinki University in Finland. Their study was published online today in Menopause, the journal ...

Thinking skills take biggest hit from anxiety in midlife women with HIV

February 8, 2014
Hot flashes, depression, and most of all, anxiety, affect the thinking skills of midlife women with HIV, so screening for and treating their anxiety may be especially important in helping them function, according to a study ...

It's not your imagination: Memory gets muddled at menopause

May 23, 2013
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with ...

Penn study finds more than a third of women have hot flashes 10 years after menopause

January 30, 2014
A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that moderate to severe hot flashes continue, on average, for nearly five years after menopause, and more than a third ...

Hot flashes take toll on life, health, and work

February 22, 2013
Hot flashes put a damper on women's health and productivity at work and pump up the cost of health care. A study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), has put ...

High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flashes later

April 3, 2013
Women who have hypertensive diseases during pregnancy seem to be at higher risk of having troublesome hot flashes and night sweats at menopause, report researchers from the Netherlands in an article published online today ...

Recommended for you

Emotional abuse may be linked with menopause misery

November 19, 2018
Smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle have long been linked to heightened symptoms of menopause. Now, a study headed by UC San Francisco has identified another factor that may add to menopause torment: an emotionally ...

How AI could help veterinarians code their notes

November 19, 2018
A team led by scientists at the School of Medicine has developed an algorithm that can read the typed-out notes from veterinarians and predict specific diseases that the animal may have.

Bullying and violence at work increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

November 19, 2018
People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke, according to the largest prospective study to investigate the ...

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Youth dating violence shaped by parents' conflict-handling views, study finds

November 16, 2018
Parents who talk to their children about nonviolent ways of resolving conflict may reduce children's likelihood of physically or psychologically abusing their dating partners later—even when parents give contradictory messages ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.