Menopause comes with a medley of symptoms from memory loss to weight gain, but probably the most common of symptoms is hot flashes.
Anyone who has experienced a hot flash knows that it can happen at any time and can be incredibly embarrassing. Hot flashes feel like someone turned on a light bulb inside your belly and the heat radiates out in all directions from the soles of your feet to the roots of your hair and before you know it, you’re bathed in sweat and reaching for the tissues.
Hot flashes can happen at night too and are often referred to as the night sweats. These tropical flashes are enough to wake you up at night and disrupt your sleep and sometimes it’s hard to decipher if you’re waking from a bad dream or just having the night sweats.
But there is good news on the horizon.
Science has now discovered that menopausal women who experience hot flashes are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“While they are certainly bothersome, hot flashes may not be all bad,” said Northwestern Medicine endocrinologist Emily Szmuilowicz, MD, who is lead author of the study. “Our research found that despite previous reports suggesting that menopause symptoms were associated with increased levels of risk markers for heart disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, the actual outcomes tell a different story.”
Researchers of this most recent study looked at data from a 10-year study called the Women’s Healthy Initiative Observational Study that focused on the relationship between menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular health in 60,000 individual cases. In this study, women were divided into four groups:
- Symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats at the onset of menopause (perimenopause)
- Symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats at a later stage of menopause
- Symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause and menopause
- Absence of symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats
“We found that women who experienced symptoms when they began menopause had fewer cardiovascular events than those who experienced hot flashes late in menopause or not at all.”
Previously, it was believed that hot flashes were a signal of cardiovascular disease as they are a result of instability of the blood vessels in the skin. These findings, therefore, are a remarkable discovery and extremely good news for menopausal women everywhere.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Menopausal hot flashes may be a good sign for heart.” ScienceDaily 25 February 2011. 27 February 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/02/110224161507.htm>.
Originally published @ FITLODE.COM