A New Way to Zap Hot Flashes

A newly developed program can help women fight obesity and reduce health risks in just five visits, according to a new study.

The finding was published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

The pilot program, called WAIPointes (WAI stands for "who am I"), is also reimbursed by insurance. The authors of the article said WAIPointes, which lasts six months, helped women stay engaged with their goals of reducing menopausal symptoms and maintaining healthy lifestyle changes.

The study consisted of 83 women, aged 35 to 55, most of whom were in perimenopause or menopause. The participants learned about menopause and the health risks that come with it and were told they could get their personal health risks assessed if they joined the program.

 At the first visit, the women 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. From the second to the fifth visit, each woman had health assessments including waist measurement, blood pressure, menopause symptoms, and blood tests to look for inflammation, high cholesterol, and diabetes. They also had mammograms and bone density tests if needed.

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

By the end of the program, the women 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. And their hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, such as energy, libido, mood, and vaginal dryness, had all improved.

"Empowerment through education is a cornerstone of our intervention," wrote the authors.

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