Deciding About Hormone Therapy, Do You Know What Hot Flashes Do To Your Blood Pressure?

Hot flashes secondary to menopause used to be treated ubiquitously. In other words, it was a rare woman in the late 20th century that wouldn't get treatment should she desire treatment. In fact, it was a woman's call as to whether she need treatment. Anyone can blush a bit for lots of reasons, and we can occasionally feel warm when everyone else is cold, or wake up feeling a bit sweating, and pointing this out to your gyno used to get you a prescription fairly easily.  This is discussed in the book  Making Peace With Change. But needing treatment for these symptoms is a discussion on its' own. Hot flashes are a symptom of menopause but up to 55% of women have hot flashes prior to any sign of menstrual irregularities. Hot flashes should be treated if they are moderate or severe, and only rarely should be treated if they are relatively mild. Often this will mean estrogen although many women who are candidates for estrogen are even taking the estrogen they are prescribed. Over a third of women won't take estrogen because they are afraid of adverse side effects. Another group stops treatment because they have gotten adverse side effects. It's interesting to note there may be as many negatives of avoiding treatment as to taking treatment. Blood pressure in one area that this is so. Hot Flashes elevate blood pressure in an article published in Menopause Vol 19 2012. In fact the authors from Canada and Australia in this report noted that for each additional night sweat the blood pressure climbed 2 mm of Hg during the flash. Interestingly there was a drop in blood pressure by 2 mm of Hg for each time a woman had a day time hot flash. Your gyno can help you sort out these various issues, and figure out if this is the right therapy for you.


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