What’s Worse Than Hot Flashes?

What’s Worse Than Hot Flashes?

What’s worse than having hot flashes?

Having hot flashes and migraines! And new evidence suggests that the two are connected and may be affecting women in a dangerous way.


Here’s What We Know

  • Migraines affect more women than men
  • Hormone imbalance seems to be the reason why
  • Fluctuating hormones that are out of balance also cause hot flashes


Migraines affect about one in five women, and hormone imbalances are thought to be the reason why. People with migraines are also more likely to get heart attacks and strokes. Other studies have also found an association between frequent hot flashes and heart disease. Women with migraines are also more likely to have a high frequency of hot flashes, especially during perimenopause.


Here’s What the Study is About

The new study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) held in Washington DC and links a history of migraines and hot flashes with being associated with increasing the risk for heart disease.


This new study, conducted at Mayo Clinic, involved over 3,300 women, and 27% of them had a history of migraine. The participants were on average 52.8 years old, mostly white (94.5%), had at least some college (92%), and postmenopausal (66.6%). This new study wondered if a history of migraines and hot flashes were even more associated with heart disease.


What The Study Found

Women with a history of migraines

  • Had significantly worse menopause symptoms
  • Were more likely to have severe or very severe hot flashes versus no hot flashes than women with no migraine history

The study also found that women with low back pain also had worse menopause symptoms, but they were no more likely to have severe/very severe hot flashes, which means the link between hot flashes and migraines is a specific one.


A press release from NAMS stated, “We believe that neurovascular dysregulation may explain the link between migraines and hot flashes, as well as the association of each with cardiovascular disease in women,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director and lead author for the study.


The Bottom Line

Since 20% of women have migraines and 80% of women will complain of hot flashes, when these to common symptoms are found together in women, it may be a predictor of a greater risk for heart disease and seems to be a greater risk for heart disease than either symptom alone. That would be helpful in screening women because ten times more women die of heart disease than breast cancer.


Dr. Mache Seibel is available for interviews related to this topic.

Interested in how much your menopause symptoms are affecting you? Take the MenopauseQuiz.com. It only takes a minute.

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