Hot off the presses: Menopause & Flashes

February 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm 1 comment

Sometimes I write original content for this blog.

Sometimes, I’m quoted in the NY Daily News.

Follow the link above to Erica Pearson‘s article about menopausal hot flashes or read the text of her excellent article copied below:

Exported.; nikhil;

Menopausal hot flashes can last for more than 7 years: study

Previously, women were thought to have symptoms for only a year or two. New study shows the sweats last longer — and are worse for blacks and Hispanics.

The hot flashes and night sweats that make menopause miserable for many women can last for more than seven years — much longer than previously believed, new research shows.

For the more than half of U.S. women who have frequent symptoms as the life change begins, the median length of time that menopause lasts is 7.4 years, according to a study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
That’s no surprise to Sandra Bouknight, 58, a retired maintenance worker from Brooklyn, who said she’s spent more than eight years dealing with menopause symptoms.

“It’s a crisis to go through. Hot flashes, mood swings. You start sweating like crazy, and then sometimes you get so moody you want to fight,” Bouknight said.
“For me it started when I was still in my 40s,” she said.

The study of nearly 1,500 women suffering frequent hot flashes found that symptoms are longer-lasting among blacks and Hispanics.

Some women were still waking up covered in sweat 14 years after the first symptoms began, the study found. The length varies depending on how early in a woman’s life the symptoms first begin, researchers found. On average, menopause begins at age 51.

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As many as 80% of U.S. women experience symptoms during menopause, the study’s authors said.

“Hot flashes are very, very common,” said Dr. Linda Nicoll, an obstetrician/gynecologist at NYU Langone Medical Center.

“People complain of a sensation of warmth travelling up the body,” she said.

Nicoll said she often recommends the lowest form of intervention first, such as dressing in layers and avoiding triggers like spicy foods or caffeine.

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However, some women find the symptoms interfere with their daily life.

Low-dose antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are one option to treat menopausal symptoms, Nicoll explained.

Other treatments include hormone replacement therapy — which, in some forms, is linked to increased breast cancer risk — or herbal supplements like soy or black cohosh.

– With News Wire Services

epearson@nydailynews.com

 

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Linda M. Nicoll, MD

Welcome to my blog! Here you will find information about minimally invasive gynecologic surgery as well as some more general information about common gynecologic disorders such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, infertility, and pelvic pain.

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