Hot Flashes in your 30s? It may be a heart risk
More and more young women are suffering from high blood pressure, cholesterol abnormalities, and heart disease. We now have discovered a correctable cause of some of these cases.
1. Hot Flashes elevate blood pressure. This can happen whatever age you are.
2. Numbers of HF matter. In fact the authors from Canada and Australia in Menopause Vol 19 report noted that for each additional night sweat the blood pressure climbed 2 mm of Hg. Interestingly there was a drop in blood pressure by 2 mm of Hg for each time a woman had a day time hot flash.
3. It may not just be the HF causing heart disease. Other studies say these changes may be accompanied by other changes, such as worsening cholesterol, and that these risk factors will vary by your age, your weight, your menopausal status (how long from your menopause you are), and your ethnicity.
4. The heart consequences of HF can have far reaching consequences. It is not just physical function that changes, but how you feel and how you function can be affected by hot flashes.
5. Women with moderate to severe hot flashes report they are miserable, and their quality of life is compromised. But are they actually good for menopausal aged women as a recent study in the British Medical Journal Suggests? They showed that women with more hot flashes had less heart disease, and they have some theories as to why. You and your gyno are just going to have to work this out together based on some facts that are gathered at your next check up.
6. If you think you are having hot flashes, don't yetAt Women's Health Practice we use advanced lipid testing for part of this information. Contrary evidence to any perceived benefit is that fact we've discussed previously, if you have lost your ovaries before the age of natural menopause you are at risk for early death due to cardiac causes. These risks are not inevitable.
7. Neither HF or heart disease is inevitable! You can change the outcome of your health even if you have lost your ovaries. This can be done with hormone therapy. If you actually take estrogen if you have lost your ovaries prior to the age of 45 then the risk of death due to heart causes was reduced down to the low natural risk.
8. There are causes of both premature menopause and heart disease! Your gyno will have to weigh other factors such as whether you had early menopause due to other reasons. You gyno may ask if you have had pelvic radiation, ovarian infections, other causes that your hormone levels are in the menopausal or close to menopausal range? You may be at risk for heart disease genetically and there are blood factor tests that can answer this question.
9. Yearly check ups are so important. Some studies give us conflicting information even with HF and heart disease. Maybe the hot flash women had higher protective levels of estrogen going into menopause, or maybe women with hot flashes get that occasional palpitation that gets worked up and silent underlying heart disease is uncovered and treated. Its hard to resolve these conflicting studies, and it's important to keep posted on all new studies.
10. Salivary or blood hormone tests may be helpful. If you have signs of lower estrogen levels, hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty thinking due to lack of sleep, lower libido, then discuss this with your gyno, you might need hormone therapy to help your heart as well as your overall health. And what type of hormone therapy is the safest form? Well, many forms are safe, but for some transdermal therapy is the best. Think about using creams, gels or a patch and get individualized advice regarding your need for progesterone as well as the estrogen.