The distress of hot flushes and night sweats affects many menopausal women. Research into a new non-hormonal treatment is underway with promising early results.
Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats affect around 80% of older women who are in the menopause and can cause significant distress, lasting many years. While hormone replacement therapy is still the first line treatment, it is not suitable or desirable for everyone, especially women who have suffered or are at risk of certain types of cancer.
While there are plenty of non-hormonal treatments, there is no hard evidence of effectiveness.
Recent research reported by website Menopause Matters has shown that a chemical pathway in the body called Neurokinin B is involved in the development of hot flushes. As Estrogen levels fall, this chemical reacts with an area of the brain to cause the sensation of extreme heat.
A possible treatment to reduce the impact of Nerokinin B has been identified and in a randomised, controlled trial over 12 weeks with menopausal women, significant improvements were seen in hot flush frequency, mood and quality of sleep, with no negative effects.
Further studies are required and are underway, but the possibility of an effective, safe non-hormonal treatment is a positive prospect for the future.