As if women don’t have enough reasons to give up smoking, here’s one more: If you have certain genes, smoking may be among your hot flashes causes.
That’s a lot of ifs and buts, we’ll grant you. But this was no quick or easy study. The researchers followed 300 women over 11 years and found smokers with a specific gene variation were more likely to have more hot flashes than other smokers. The full results will be published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The gene at fault is a single nucleotide polymorphisms and it affects the metabolism of sex steroids. Researchers say smoking, coupled with this specific gene, means you have a susceptibility to hot flashes. By stopping smoking, women with this gene may be able to stop hot flashes, since the toxins in the cigarette smoke are believed to be associated with the hot flash.
What this also means, one researcher points out, is that second hand may be among the hot flashes causes for women who carry this gene, but do not smoke.
This isn’t the first study to link hot flashes and smoking. A recent study in the Journal of Woman’s Health revealed that women with hot flashes were significantly more likely to have mothers who either experienced hot flashes or were smokers. That’s interesting, since the study found no other statistically significant correlations between hot flashes and demographic, reproduction or behaviors.
Doctors hope the news will help convince more women to stop smoking, which obviously can lead to worse health problems, such as cancer.
If you’d like to quit smoking, but find even the promise that it’ll stop hot flashes isn’t motivating enough, then contact your doctor to discuss your options. Your doctor can recommend cessation programs, as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications that will help reduce your nicotine cravings.
To learn more about strategies to stop hot flashes and hormonal night sweats, download our free special report 5 Proven Remedies to Reduce Hot Flashes During Menopause.