Science now has an answer for midlife women wondering how long their menopausal heat waves can persist.
The answer: a long time. The typical duration of frequent hot flashes and night sweats is seven years, and for some women, symptoms persist for a dozen years or more, says a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
That’s much longer than the six months to two years long thought typical. It is also longer than the time limits many doctors put on treating the symptoms with hormones.
The findings suggest a need for better, longer-lasting treatments, and they also should reassure some women. There’s a lot of variability, if you experience symptoms for a long period of time, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong.
Hot flashes and night sweats can start at any point in that transition. A hot flash is a sudden, intense feeling of warmth, often accompanied by sweating and followed by chills. A night sweat is similar and often disrupts sleep.
Previous research showed that about 80% of U.S. women have at least some hot flashes. The cause is unclear, but it is thought that hormonal changes disrupt the body’s thermostat.
Among those who had frequent episodes, the median duration was 7.4 years, meaning half had symptoms longer and half had them for less time. Some were still having hot flashes after 13 years.
The median was 10.1 years for African-American women, 8.9 years for Hispanic women, 6.5 years for non-Hispanic white women, 5.4 years for women of Chinese descent and 4.8 years for women of Japanese descent.
The reasons for the racial and ethnic differences, seen in several studies, are unknown. Differences in genes, diet, childbearing histories and other factors could be at work.
Lifestyle changes can help with flashes!
• Avoid any hot flash triggers (such as spicy food, alcohol and caffeine).
• Sleep in a cool room.
• Dress in layers that can be removed easily.
• Have a cold drink of water when you fee a hot flash coming on.
• Don’t smoke.
In Dr. Goldstone’s opinion, bioidentical hormones combined with lifestyle changes are the best treatment options of all. Bioidentical hormones have the same structure as hormones in the human body and are made from plants.
Ref: JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 16, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8063
An estimated one-third of all cancers may be attributable to excess body fat – including cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, reproductive organs, urinary tract, blood, bone, and thyroid. Nour Makarem, from New York University (New York, USA), and colleagues analyzed medical and dietary data collected on 2,983 men and women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study. To ascertain the relationship between the cancer prevention recommendations and cancer incidence, the researchers created a seven-point score based on the recommendations for body fat, physical activity, foods that promote weight gain, plant foods, animal foods, alcohol consumption, and food preparation and processing. Whereas the overall score did not associate with obesity-related cancer risk, the team did observe that when score components were evaluated separately, two different measures emerged as strong predictors of cancer risk.
Specifically, the adherence to alcohol recommendations – limiting alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day — was protective against obesity-related cancers combined and against breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.
In addition, among participants who consume starchy vegetables, eating sufficient non-starchy plant foods (fruits, vegetables, and legumes) was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
The study authors conclude that: “Lower alcohol consumption and a plant-based diet consistent with the cancer prevention guidelines were associated with reduced risk of obesity-related cancers in this population.”
To find out more about anti aging, and the best behaviors to prevent cancer, contact the Southern California Center For Anti Aging today.
Source: Nour Makarem, Yong Lin, Elisa V. Bandera, Paul F. Jacques, Niyati Parekh. “Concordance with World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guidelines for cancer prevention and obesity-related cancer risk in the Framingham Offspring cohort (1991–2008).” Cancer Causes & Control, 6 Jan. 2015.
Lack of sleep is a serious problem in our constantly moving, 24/7 society. People are getting thousands of hours less sleep than they once were. Sleep is being “decimated” by our over stimulated culture with so much technology and gadgetry that distracts everyone all the time. Plus, people are overworked, so they no longer have enough time to do the things they want during the week. As a result, they stay up even later on weekends so they can compensate.
Sleep is just as important as good nutrition, physical activity and wearing a seat belt, but many people greatly underestimate their need for it. Decision making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, and communication goes down by 20 to 50 percent with decreased sleeping. When sleep gets shorter than seven hours a night, there can be an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Interestingly, sleeplessness increases an appetite for fatty foods, and ‘short sleepers” consume 500 more calories a day than people who get enough sleep.
Almost all mental illnesses have associated sleep problems. In fact, sleep deprivation is nearly universal in every psychiatric condition, from bipolar disorder to anxiety disorders.
During sleep, the brain clears out toxic chemicals. One of the proteins that accumulates in the brain during waking hours is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some research has shown a link between poor sleep, clear thinking and Alzheimer’s.
Many factors are out of our control when it comes to sleep, especially for those who have long hours at work or work in specific occupation. There can be special problems in shift workers required to work overnight, as it becomes much more difficult to manage blood sugar with those hours. Another issue is people who operate machinery in late hours. People that operate (driving their car, flying an airplane, running a train) during the night have to overcome physiological programming in their brain that says you’re supposed to be asleep.
There’s a term known as “microsleep,” defined as momentary bouts of sleep that occur involuntary and can last up to 5 or 10 seconds. It could occur at any time and have fatal consequences. Imagine if you were driving a car and suddenly nodded off. The consequences could be disastrous. In fact, the top cause of high-severity crashes is fatigue.
Washington Post, December 2, 2014
Osteoporosis is often known to be a disease that affects women, but new studies show that one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of the disease. In addition, men are less likely to receive osteoporosis screening and treatment following a bone fracture and therefore at increased risk for future bone breaks.
A study in the November 5th issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) found that men were three times less likely than women to undergo bone mass density (BMD) testing following a broken wrist (distal radius fracture) and seven times less likely to begin treatment for osteoporosis.
Many women have accelerated bone loss around menopause. Thereafter, bone loss continues at the same rate in both men and women. In general, the bone strength of an average 70-year-old woman is equal to that of an 80-year-old man. In other words, men develop osteoporosis but 10 years later.
Risk factors for osteoporosis in both sexes include:
– A long history of smoking
– Taking certain drugs such as corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and long-term use of omeprazole and some anticancer drugs
– Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Diet low in calcium
– Vitamin D deficiency
– Osteoporosis affects all races and ethnicities, but those of white or of Asian or Latino descent, have a higher risk
– Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age
– Strong family history of osteoporosis and fracture
– Men with low testosterone levels
Virtually every disease that afflicts us as we grow older can be minimized by living a healthy life, which includes consuming the right foods, vitamins and minerals and getting the right amount of exercise.
To find out more about osteoporosis, and how to detect, treat and prevent bone loss, call the Southern California Center For Anti Aging today at 424-247-4962.
Refuting the recent onslaught of media articles that claim use of testosterone increases the risk of heart disease.
In recent years, an increasing number of men have been treated with testosterone for a variety of ailments. There has been growing concern among researchers (based on scientific studies) however, that the use of testosterone may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The results of a US-study recently published in the “Annals of Pharmacotherapy” now want to dispel those concerns.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston carried out an eight-year study involving 25,420 over 66 year-olds who were treated with testosterone. During the study period, each subject’s medical development was compared with that of a control group, which involved participants of the same age, ethnicity and with the same health data.
The results of the study showed that the use of testosterone was not related to an increased risk of heart attack. Quite the opposite in fact: men who had a higher likelihood of cardiovascular problems, due to other factors, had a lower rate of heart problems.
“This is a rigorous analysis of a large number of patients,” emphasized study author Jacques Baillargeon. While this study provides evidence that the use of testosterone may not be linked to harmful cardiovascular diseases, further large-scale studies will be important in the future to provide more definitive evidence.