Scottish Daily Mail
...and those hot flushes during the menopause may lead to the blues
HOT flushes don’t just keep women awake at night, they could also trigger depression, doctors believe.
The most common symptom of the menopause, hot flushes can disturb sleep, drain energy and cause embarrassment.
HRT is the main treatment, but it isn’t suitable for all and many women are put off by fears it causes breast cancer.
To look at the effect of hot flushes on mood, US researchers gave 29 young women pills that plunged them into a temporary menopause.
Daytime hot flushes had no effect on mood but women who believed their sleep was being interrupted by night sweats were more likely to suffer mild depression. Interestingly, the women’s depression wasn’t linked to the number of night-time flushes they experienced, but their perception of them. This suggests anxiety was contributing to the problem, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports.
Researcher Hadine Joffe, of Harvard Medical School, said: ‘Menopausal women who report experiencing hot flushes and sleep disruption should be screened for mood disturbances.
‘Any treatment of mood symptoms in this population should also incorporate efforts to address sleep and night-time hot flushes.’
The typical British woman goes through the menopause at 51 and symptoms can last for as long as 14 years. It takes the average woman seven and a half years for the body to adjust.