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How Being Left Handed Can Increase Hot Flash Severity, Via Anxiety

Review on November 10, 2008

It seems an unlikely link: being left handed could increase the intensity of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. Perhaps it requires some explanation.

A recent study shows that left-handers are more prone to experiencing anxiety as well as being inhibited. This, researchers at the University of Abertay Dundee, UK, suggest, is due to the way left-handers' brains are wired.

Anxiety left brain

In the study, right-handers and left-handers were asked a series of questions or asked to perform certain tasks. The left-handers tended to react with anxiety or hesitation, whereas right-handers tended to jump into the challenges.

It is, after all, a right-handed world, which could account for the reason that many left-handers have developed a cautious disposition and are prone to anxiety.

Plus, left-handers' brains are right-brain dominant, and the right brain is suspected to be the side of the brain that controls negative emotions, such as anxiety.

Now, how does this left-hand anxiety connection account for intensified hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms?

Well, for one thing, anxiety is a menopause symptom. Therefore, simply by being left handed, a woman is at greater risk of experience bouts of anxiety as she enters menopause.

Additionally, a recent study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers shows women who have anxiety are far more likely to experience hot flashes during menopause.

The study found that women with moderate anxiety during menopause are three times more likely to experience hot flashes than women who do not have anxiety.

Furthermore, women who suffer from extreme anxiety are five times more likely to experience hot flashes than women who manage to avoid anxiety. High anxiety also tends to lead to more frequent and more severe hot flashes as well, the study found.

  • "Left-handers prone to inhibition and anxiety." Nov. 4, 2008.
  • "Study: Anxiety, smoking, body weight may worsen menopause symptoms." C-Heath.