Menopause Symptoms, Hot Flashes and High Cholesterol

by Laura Ramirez on September 23, 2011

Menopause symptoms, hot flashes and high cholesterol may be linked. A new study by the North American Menopause Society indicates that hot flushes (as they are sometimes called) may indicate that you have elevated cholesterol (both good and bad). There may also be a link between frequency of hot flashes and heart disease and breast cancer.

This may be received as frightening news by women who have been taught that hot flashes are just a normal part of the process of going through menopause. While a link has been established, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have high cholesterol, heart disease or cancer just because you are experiencing hot flashes. But it may mean that you might want to get yourself into your doctor for a physical if you have not had one in awhile.

Here’s an excerpt from an article that gives more details about the study:

Researchers followed more than 3,000 women for seven years as they went through menopause. High frequency was defined as hot flashes six days a week in a two-week period. The researchers found that the more hot flashes a woman had, the higher her levels of both HDL cholesterol (the good kind that sweeps away plaque from your arteries) and LDL (the bad kind that clogs your arteries).

The fact that both levels of cholesterol are higher in women who have lots of hot flashes is confusing. Does this mean a woman’s risk is higher or lower? That will undoubtedly be the subject of future research. But what this does show is the importance of paying attention to symptoms experienced by so many women. There’s a lot we can learn by really listening to our bodies.

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menopause symptoms hot flashes

Menopause symptoms, hot flashes and high cholesterol have been linked in a new study.

While it is important to pay attention to your body, don’t let these recent findings worry you into a state of panic. Remember worrying creates stress and psychological stress negatively affects your physical and emotional health. Instead, use this finding to re-examine your diet and lifestyle. What can you do to improve your diet, such as drink more water, eat more fresh, colorful vegetables in season, cut out the sugar and processed foods? How can you stay active and make fitness a bigger part of your lifestyle. Write down a goal in each of these areas and make a commitment to yourself and your health. The big idea here is to refuse to place your focus on areas where you have no control (the frequency and intensity of your hot flashes) and instead, put your focus where you do have control: dietary and lifestyle choices.

Also, because findings from this new study are bound to create some fear, know that hot flashes can be relieved with hormone cream (such as Source Naturals Phyto-Estrogen Cream, 4 oz) or patches. It may also be important for you to hear my story: I went through menopause over 12 years ago and had horrible hot flashes, but my cholesterol levels are normal, my heart is strong and healthy and I have not been diagnosed with cancer of any kind. All this and I do not take a single prescription medication.

What do you think about this finding about menopause symptoms, hot flashes and high cholesterol? Looking back, are you aware of any of these health issues in your family, particularly in female relatives who suffered from frequent hot flashes?

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Copyright © 2011 by Laura Ramirez.

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