All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

Review of Study: Estrogen is not only what causes hot flashes

Review on October 29, 2009

A report released on August 24, 1979 by professors R. F. Casper. S.S.C. Yen and M. M. Wolkes from the University of California at San Diego deals with what causes hot flashes. Hot flashes are characterized by a feeling of intense heat which usually begin in the face or the face and chest, but may spread to the entire body. Night hot flashes or hot flushes, are another term for hot flashes. Menopause is a common symptom of menopause. It has long been known that a decrease in estrogen is what causes hot flashes. Menopause is characterized by a decrease in the production of estrogen by the ovaries, which is responsible for the cessation of fertility in menopause. The side effects of this process are what causes hot flashes.

The study undertaken by Professor Yen and Professor Wolkes attempts to find out whether other chemicals are involved in this process that causes hot flashes. For the study, 6 menopausal women in the middle of hot flashes were observed for a total of sixty-six times. This was to test the hypothesis of whether Luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LRH) and brain neurons may be involved in what causes hot flashes.
Previous research had shown that LH is responsible for an estrogen secretion from an egg prior to ovulation. The estrogen secretion then, in turn, helps prepare the vagina and cervix for egg fertilization at ovulation. Based on this information, these two professors hypothesized that what causes hot flashes might also involve the chemical LH.

For what causes hot flashes, the scientists also decided to study the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which helps prepare an egg for release at ovulation. The scientists found no correlation between FSH and what causes hot flashes. However, they also decided to see if one of the chemicals, prolactin, which causes milk secretion in nursing women, was also involved in what causes hot flashes. For the chemical LH, the professors found that it rose in the blood of women 66 out of 66 times during the study. While this chemical was not found to be what causes hot flashes, it is definitely a corollary.

However, the scientists speculated further that what causes hot flashes is not only these two chemicals. Women who have had their pituitary glands removed, which is what produces hot flashes, continue to suffer from hot flashes and sweats. Hot flashes typically involve this symptom. They suspect that a remote trigger might be behind what causes hot flashes. LRH triggers the production of the LH, which is in turn triggered by neurons. Further studies such as this one must be undertaken to test this hypothesis.

Sources:
  • Hot Flashes: More than One Culprit. (1979). Science News.