Mindfulness may relieve menopausal symptoms

Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 (HealthDay News)-A new study suggests that women who are “attentive” to their daily lives appear to have fewer menopausal symptoms.

The study failed to prove that it was mindfulness that kept the symptoms away, but it adds evidence of relevance, said lead researcher Dr. Richard Sud. She is a female health expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“Mindfulness” is described in different ways. In this study, we used a general definition. Instead of autopilot, pay attention to the current moment during your daily activities.

Why does it affect menopausal symptoms? Sood explained that mindfulness can change the way people respond to potentially stressful situations, including physical symptoms.

When menopausal symptoms occur, some women respond in a way that may “be nervous” or otherwise exacerbate what they are feeling, Sood said.

“Mindfulness is to say,’I don’t get caught up in what I’m feeling, I pay attention to it,'” Sud said.

The study included 1,744 women aged 40-65 years who were investigated for menopausal symptoms, daily stressors, and their level of attention.

Sood’s team measured attention with a standard questionnaire asking women to evaluate their consent with statements such as: “I tend to walk quickly to get to my destination, without paying attention to what I experience along the way.” “Snack without knowing what you’re eating”; and “I find myself crazy about the future and the past.”

In general, menopausal symptoms decreased as attention increased. The study found that for each point a woman earned a mindfulness score, her menopausal symptom rating dropped by an average of 4 points.

And there was a particularly strong connection among women who reported more daily stressors, especially with regard to psychological menopausal symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, malaise, and depression.

“It makes sense,” Sood said. If mindfulness helps people deal with stress in a healthier way, any benefit should be stronger among women who report more daily stress, she explained.

Dr. Joan Pinkerton, Secretary-General of the North American Menopause Association, said this type of study cannot prove the cause and effect.

The best way to do this is to do clinical trials to test the effectiveness of mindfulness training (such as meditation practice) on menopausal symptoms.

So far, there have been only a few small pilot studies on that question, said Pinkerton, who was not involved in the new study.

But she said there were some promising results. For example, one study found that a program called mindfulness-based stress reduction helps relieve the pain women feel when a fever occurs. It combines meditation techniques with gentle yoga poses and is the most well-developed approach to developing mindfulness.

According to Pinkerton, the goal is to identify when the mind is “rotating and worried” and instead develop a way to find calm.

She added that gender and mindfulness studies suggest that women benefit even more than men- “Practice is working to change the habit of internalizing the response to stress. Because there is. “

According to Sood, mindfulness can be a unique trait that some people have because of their genes and life experiences. On the other hand, she said it can also be learned.

And it doesn’t have to involve investing in expensive courses.

“You can start by just knowing if your mind tends to escape during stress,” Sood said. “This perception is available to all of us.”

Pinkerton agreed that simple steps such as learning how to breathe online or in class could be powerful.

Menopause occurs when women often feel the attraction of various stressors. For example, a child may grow up and leave home, take care of an elderly parent, or feel work pressure.

“They aren’t just dealing with menopausal symptoms,” Sood said. Mindfulness could be part of a “more comprehensive” approach to managing all these issues, she said.

The findings were published in the journal on January 17th. menopause..

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___ If a woman under the age of menopause occurs, it is considered premature.
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Source: Richa Sood, MD, MS, Associate Professor, Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, Secretary-General of the North American Menopause Society, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville. January 17, 2019, menopause

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Mindfulness may relieve menopausal symptoms

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