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New Research: Severe Sweats & Hot Flashes Raise the Risk of Heart Diseases in Menopausal Women

Do you often experience severe night sweats and hot flashes since menopause? According to a recent study, you might be at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Menopause is a challenging period in every woman’s life that begins in the late 40s. Your body undergoes various hormonal changes which naturally lead to uncomfortable health conditions. 

The most common problems in menopausal women are night sweats and hot flashes. Also called vasomotor symptoms, these changes alter the diameter of blood vessels because of hormonal imbalance.

This disturbs the blood circulation and as a result, you may experience sudden blood flow to neck or face, increased heartbeat, and hot temperature. 

Let’s take a look at what increases the risk of heart diseases in menopausal women.

Research Details

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to find out the link between the vasomotor symptoms and the risk of cardiovascular diseases in menopausal women.

Researchers:

This research was conducted by Diana Kuh, Nancy E. Avis, Annette J. Dobson, Gita D. Mishra, Samar R. El Khoudary, Rebecca Hardy, Hsin-Fang Chung, Debra J. Anderson, Dongshan Zhu, Eric J. Brunner, Nirmala Pandeya, Ellen B. Gold, and Sybil L. Crawford of the University of Queensland. The study was published in June 2020 in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.  

Materials & Methods:

Researchers gathered data about 23,000+ postmenopausal women from 6 different studies. They collected and analyzed information on the frequency, timings, and intensity of vasomotor symptoms and how it contributed to cardiovascular problems later on.

Results:

Results revealed that the frequency of typical menopausal symptoms related to blood circulation had no link to heart diseases. But the severity and the timings did affect women’s heart health after menopause. 

Summary:

Here’s an overview of the findings:

  • Postmenopausal women who experience hot flashes and intense sweating at night have a 70% higher risk of heart diseases.
  • Premenopausal women with the same symptoms have 40% chance of cardiovascular problems.
  • The frequency with which vasomotor symptoms occur has no link to developing heart diseases.
  • However, the intensity and timings of vasomotor symptoms were associated with a higher risk of serious heart conditions.
  • Women who experienced severe hot flashes sometimes had a high chance of heart problems.
  • Additionally, menopausal women who suffered both intense hot flashes and night sweats were more prone to cardiac diseases.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is an inevitable new chapter in every woman’s life. It usually occurs at the age of 45 years or more, but in some cases, you may start showing early symptoms of menopause, also known as premenopausal signs during the mid-30s. 

During this phase, your body undergoes major hormonal changes – particularly, low production of estrogen & progesterone – two most important female sex hormones. 

As a result, you may experience a wide range of uncomfortable menopause symptoms that may even affect your quality of life.

Serious symptoms in menopausal women that cause cardiovascular risk

What are the Signs of Menopause?

Although it may be years before you encounter all, here are some typical symptoms of menopause:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • No period for a year
  • Hot flashes 
  • Profuse sweating at night
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable mood
  • Vaginal dryness

What Causes Heart Diseases in Menopausal Women?

As I mentioned before, menopause alters hormones and disturbs the body’s internal state of balance or homeostasis. Disrupted homeostasis raises body temperature and makes you feel extremely hot. 

Additionally, temperature dysfunction leads to constriction and dilation of blood vessels, causing a sudden rush of blood to face and neck. This may result in a severe heartbeat and intense sweating at night. 

Don’t worry though. There are several treatment options to manage menopause symptoms and reduce hot flashes and night sweats.

Many women opt for hormone replacement therapy. Others begin new lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity to prevent further health complications, including cardiovascular diseases during menopause.

How to Reduce Menopause Symptoms

Here are some effective tips to manage the symptoms and reduce risk of heart diseases in menopausal women.

  • Stay hydrated to prevent dryness and aid digestion.
  • Note what triggers the menopause symptoms and avoid them. For example, a particular food such as coffee or high room temperature.
  • Keep a diary of your experiences. It’s an excellent way to cope with menopausal challenges and helps keep stress at bay.
  • Exercise as often as you can. Begin new physical activities. Staying fit ensures healthy bones and heart.
  • You may have sudden hunger pangs. Instead of snacking on oily or junk food, keep a stash of nutritious nuts, seeds, or fruits to satiate your cravings. Also, don’t wait till mealtime to grab a bite!

Have you or anyone you know gone through menopause? How did you cope with the initial uncomfortable symptoms? Also, what are some practices you follow to keep your heart healthy?

Share with me in the comments below.

References:

  • https://www.princetongyn.com/blog/8-tips-for-managing-menopause-on-the-job
  • https://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/view/managing-menopause-part-1-vasomotor-symptoms

Sabika

Hey hey!

I'm the creator of Women Health Hub. After graduating as a biomedical engineer, I decided to pursue health writing because of my deep passion for writing & health. In 2019, I started Women Health Hub with an aim to empower and educate women to improve their wellbeing. Besides blogging, I love playing word games, Netflix & cooking.

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