Researchers say that the risk for heart disease may be boosted by a combo of hot flashes during menopause in women who have a history of experiencing migraine headaches.

Severe Hot Flashes Could Be Linked To Migraines

More or worse hot flashes are not caused by migraines, or vice versa. According to Dr. Stephanie Faubion, both of these are believed to be linked to neurovascular dysregulation which refers to changes in blood vessels.

Severe Hot Flashes Could Be Linked To Migraines

She said that the link between migraines and hot flashes may be explained by neurovascular dysregulation and also the link between each and cardiovascular disease in women.

She is the medical director of the North American Menopause Society.

Changes in blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are a hallmark of heart disease.

A study that examined migraines, heart disease and menopause was led by Faubion.

The findings were scheduled to be presented at the NAMS annual meeting on Wednesday, at Washington DC.

Until the research presented at meetings is published in a peer reviewed journal, it must be considered preliminary.

Over 3300 women with an average age of 53 were involved in the study. 27% of them had a history of migraines.

Significantly worse symptoms of menopause were reported by women with a history of migraine. The investigators found that they were also more likely to have severe or very severe hot flashes than women who did not have a history of migraine.

She suggested that using this information, women who have a worse time with hot flashes can be identified more easily. After this, they can be more proactive regarding strategies on prevention and treatment.

Women have a dramatic drop in the female sex hormone estrogen when menstrual periods end during menopause.

Sleep disturbances, hot flashes and vaginal dryness are a few of the symptoms that this can cause.

Faubion said that hormone replacement therapy is a big help for women who are significantly bothered by hot flashes and night sweats.

Hormone replacement therapy can also be used by women who have a history of migraines. 

She noted that the patients will not be harmed because the doses are much smaller than whatever is used in oral contraceptives.

Due to the fact that hormone patches have far lesser side effects, your doctor will most likely prescribe a skin patch instead of pills if you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy.

She said that a better risk model for heart disease in women can be developed by using the findings from this study.

She added that gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during pregnancy, hot flashes during menopause are some of the many risks for heart disease that are specific to females.

She said that the fact that risk prediction models that have been designed for men are still being used for women even though heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. She added that this must change imminently.

The president of NAMS, Rebecca Thurston said that this confirms that women who have a history of migraine are at an increased risk for sever hot flashes at midlife.

She is also the director of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.The findings of the study were reviewed by her.

It was pointed out by an obstetrician in New York that there are many ways to cope with hot flashes.

Dr. Jennifer Wu said that drinking more water during the day, carrying a small fan and dressing in layers that can be removed easily are some of the ways that this can be done.

She practices at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City as a gynecologist.