Almost 85 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause. A sudden rise in body temperature and increased sweating are the key signs of a hot flash, which can cause considerable discomfort.
But hot flashes are more than just a nuisance; mounting scientific evidence has suggested a link between hot flashes and risk for certain conditions.
Here are what your flashes might be telling you about 4 key health issues:
- Heart Disease
A recent study of around 60,000 women has suggested a link between heart disease and the timing of hot flash symptoms during menopause. In The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, women who experienced hot flashes earlier in menopause were at lower risk for cardiac problems later on; the later a woman started experiencing hot flash symptoms, the higher risk for heart disease.
- Thyroid Problems
The thyroid is an important gland in the endocrine system, which regulates hormone levels. Since menopause triggers lots of hormonal fluctuations in a woman’s body, sometimes a thyroid problem can mimic the symptoms of hot flashes. Moreover, thyroid problems often get worse during menopause. All that is required to test for thyroid problems is a simple blood test.
- Breast Cancer
This one is good news. According to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, having hot flashes may reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Their findings came from interviews with around 1,500 women, some with breast cancer and some without. Moreover, worse hot flash symptoms corresponded to lower cancer risk.
- Bone Disease
Osteoporosis is a common among older women; however, a data analysis of 2,283 women showed that abnormally early or abnormally late onsets of hot flashes can correlate to quicker bone turnover. Another study found that women with more hot flashes and night sweats had lower bone densities.
Do you suffer from hot flashes? See if you qualify for Segal Institute’s clinical research study on hot flashes today!