Can Your Genes Cause Hot Flashes?

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If you’re a woman over 50 and are experiencing the effects of menopause, you will be elated to know that studies have revealed that your genes may be causing your hot flashes. Due to medical advances today, scientist may be able to find a solution to this uncomfortable experience making life for a lot of older women more pleasant.

Approximately 70% of women experience hot flashes during menopause. For the longest time doctors have not been able to explain why the remaining 30% of women do not go through this uncomfortable symptom. That is, until a study in the journal Menopause revealed that this problem may be caused by your genes. This was officially announced by Professor Carolyn Crandall of the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, L.A, who led the research team.

The research involved 17,000 women who have hot flashes. They provided samples of their DNA to be studied under the Women’s Health Initiative program of the US government. The team of UCLA scientists found a distinct link in a specific region of chromosome 4 that is connected to participants who all had symptoms of hot flashes.

It is also good to know that the results of the study were consistent with all ethnic groups included in the study. These included Americans, Europeans, and Hispanics. It was thought that hot flashes were more common amongst African-American women but the research results proved otherwise.

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The scientists admit that more research has to be done focusing on what they have learned from this recent study. Further analysis will be made on this particular region of chromosome 4 that they think triggers hot flashes in women.

Currently, estrogen therapy is being used to treat chronic hot flashes. The treatment is meant to increase tolerance to temperature changes in the body. This treatment comes with risks such as breast cancer, stroke and blood clots. As of now, estrogen therapy seems to be effective for women between 50 and 55 years of age. The risks go higher though, for women approaching 60 and over.

Although a safe way to manage hot flashes is still far in the horizon, doctors are excited about the potential of finally having an effective treatment for this uncomfortable symptom that majority of women over 50 have to go through. Scientists think that they can eventually find a solution to ease the severity of the symptoms or prevent them from happening at all.


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