Menopause is characterized by a number of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, mood changes and hot flashes. Some women may also find that naturally or medically balancing their hormones can help them to transition into menopause with reduced complications.
While menopause can be very uncomfortable for many women due the number of common side effects, there is also other characteristics of menopause that affect a women’s overall health and energy levels. Although hot flashes are generally categorized as the most common side effect of menopause, and thus are overlooked as a symptom, it is important to note that hot flashes can also serve as a precursor to blood sugar issues and even diabetes.
A Closer Look At Diabetes
Diabetes is a very serious health condition that affects 15 percent of women who are 55 an older. By the year 2050, this number is expected to double. When compared to male diabetes sufferers, women who have the condition are more likely to be hospitalized or to die from the condition and related health complications. This is why it is imperative for women to receive an early diagnosis so that a proper treatment regimen can be put in place to manage the condition. Changes in lifestyle such as eating a balanced diet and sticking to a workout plan can be beneficial. However, in some cases, medical intervention may be necessary to control symptoms.
Hot Flashes and Diabetes
The journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) published a study confirming the theory that hot flashes could indicate the development of an inability of the body to properly process sugar. It was reported in “Vasomotor symptom characteristics: Are they risk factors for incident diabetes?” that data was studied from over 150,000 women who were postmenopausal. This study was in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), and confirmed that hot flashes were connected to an increased risk of developing the disease. Thirty-three percent of the women in the study confessed to having hot flashes and 18 percent of these women had a heightened risk for this condition. The risk increased based on how long the hot flashes were and their level of severity. The risk was also reported among women who had night sweats in the latter parts of their menopause transition.
After making adjustments to factor in race and obesity, women who had intense night sweats, with or without having hot flashes, were at a higher risk for the development of this disease, according to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, the executive director of NAMS. Dr. Pinkerton also asserts that menopause is an ideal time for women to start making lifestyle adjustments that will better their health. Adopting a healthier way of eating and exercising can reduce the risk of both diabetic issues and heart disease. It is suggested that menopausal women get adequate sleep each night and exercise on a regular basis. It’s also best for women going through menopause to avoid drinking too much alcohol and to stop smoking. A diet that is rich in ingredients that will protect the health of the heart can also cut down on health risks. For women who experience very serious and incessant menopausal symptoms, supplemental or hormone therapy may be necessary for proper hormone regulation. These therapy options can be particularly helpful for women who are just beginning menopause and can ultimately help lower the risk of diabetic symptoms and complications.