Lifestyle Medicine and Vasomotor Symptoms: An Analytic Review

Anne Kennard*, Fiona M. Lindo, Melinda Ring, Bisi Alli, Noor Khan, Dineasha Potter-McQuilkin, Ginamarie Papia, Rebecca Teng, Reagan McKendree, Michelle Thompson-Olson, Michelle Tollefson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper is an literature evaluation of the treatments based on the 6 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine (nutrition, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, positive social connection, and avoidance of risky substances) to improve vasomotor symptoms. Main findings were: (1) the Mediterranean diet and other plant-forward approaches may effectively reduce vasomotor symptoms; (2) stress can directly impact menopausal symptoms by increasing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and other symptoms; (3) the incidence of sleep disturbances are high during the menopause transition; (4) evidence on the impact of physical activity and exercise on vasomotor symptoms is mixed, although moderate activity and strength training may be better for vasomotor symptom optimization than vigorous exercise and part of a healthy aging process; (5) evidence on the impact of social support on VMS is mixed with some studies suggesting benefit; and (6) evidence on the impact of risky substances is mixed but appears stronger for the effects of tobacco cessation than for alcohol cessation. In summary, while there is a variety of quality of evidence depending on the pillar, lifestyle medicine may be generally considered to improve vasomotor symptoms for patients that cannot use or decline hormone therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • restorative sleep
  • risky substances
  • six pillars
  • social connection
  • stress management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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