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The latest on menopause

Hot flushes? Losing weight may help

Overweight women who experience hot flashes—the uncomfortable flushing and sweating spells that accompany menopause—may be able to cool those symptoms by losing weight, a new study suggests.

“If you’re a woman who is overweight or obese, you can substantially improve your hot flashes by losing weight through diet and exercise,” says Alison Huang, MD, the lead author of the study and a professor of internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Weight loss isn’t just something that will benefit your long-term health 10, 20, or 30 years from now,” she adds. “It can make a real difference in your symptoms and quality of life right now.”

Previous research has shown that women with higher body-mass indexes (BMI) tend to experience worse hot flashes. Until now, however, few studies have tried to measure the immediate effect that weight loss has on symptoms.

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