While some women experience extreme hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause while going through this transition, other women breeze right through without any issue at all. What gives? It’s not uncommon to hear that hot flashes are passed down from your mother and grandmother through genetics, but many women don’t know much else about the relationship between menopause and genetics.
While things like your eye color and even your body shape are certainly genetic, it’s a bit more abstract to think about hot flashes and where they come from. A study conducted by a team of scientists from UCLA found that hot flashes may in fact be genetic — at least in part. The study discovered a gene variant that is linked to this particular symptom in women going through menopause, which affects a receptor in the brain that regulates the release of estrogen. Women who have this particular gene variant (across every ethnicity and background) are far more likely to experience hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause than those who don’t have it at all.
This study was published in the Menopause Journal on October, 17th, 2016. While this study’s findings are pretty revolutionary in the world of menopausal research, they are still very new and not entirely certain. Scientists plan to conduct many more studies similar to this one to learn more about this gene variant and potentially discover even more gene variants related to hot flashes.
By continuing this type of research into the often uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, scientists hope to find treatments that help to make the transition a bit more bearable. According to the study, more than 70% of menopausal women experience hot flashes at one point or another, so it’s safe to say that there will be a number of women who would greatly appreciate a bit of relief!