SAN ANTONIO - Menopause is a natural event usually occurring between the ages of 45-55 when a woman’s monthly cycles stop and she stops being fertile. It is marked by a woman’s final menstrual period and can be confirmed after a one-year menses absence.
Menopause starts becoming evident as menstrual periods turn irregular before halting altogether. Other symptoms include headaches, vaginal dryness, decreased sexual desire, mood swings among others. However, the most frequent and bothersome symptoms of menopause are hot flashes (also known as hot flushes).
Also known as vasomotor symptoms, a hot flash is a brief feeling of warmth or heat that can lead to flushing and sweating and is often followed by chills. The frequency and intensity of hot flashes can vary from woman to woman. Moreover, hot flashes can occur at any time of day. When hot flashes occur at night, they may also be accompanied by night sweats. This has the potential of disrupting sleep patterns which in turn results in insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and even depression.
Though the exact cause of vasomotor symptoms remains unknown, it is believed that the reduction in the body’s estrogen production affects the way the hypothalamus regulates body temperature thus resulting in hot flashes. Some of the risk factors for hot flashes include stress, smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. Reducing these risk factors may not fully prevent hot flashes, but it may reduce their frequency and intensity.
Recommended lifestyle changes for relief of hot flashes include: reducing or stopping alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, wearing loose-fitting clothing, conducting breathing exercises. By implementing these changes, most women learn to live with hot flashes and to endure them without needing treatment. However, hot flashes have the potential of becoming unbearable in turn affecting daily activities. When this occurs, a doctor may recommend the initiation of drug therapy to achieve symptom relief.
Although hormone replacement therapy (i.e. estrogen and progesterone therapies) is the most commonly used treatment for menopause-related hot flashes, some doctors may also prescribe other medications such as antidepressants, antihypertensives, or anti-seizure medications.
Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc. is conducting a research study for women suffering from hot flashes. If you are currently experiencing at least 7-8 hot moderate to severe hot flashes per day and would like to learn more about this trial, please call 210-949-0122 or visit us at SAresearch.com