Hot flushes are more than just an annoying side-effect women going through the menopause experience.
Not only do they keep many awake at night tossing and turning, but they also trigger depression, scientists have confirmed.
A new study found those suffering from the embarrassing symptoms are at nearly triple the risk of getting the blues.
The findings back up what many across the planet have suspected for years, that the hormonal changes lead to depressive symptoms.
Not only do hot flushes keep many women awake at night tossing and turning, but they also trigger depression, scientists have confirmed
Australian researchers suspect that this may be the underlying cause that leads to the blues – despite it not being recognised by medial bodies as an official side effecta woman coming to the end of her natural fertility may suffer from.
To test the effects of the menopause on women’s mood, experts quizzed 2,020 participants about their symptoms.
Some 13 per cent were found to suffer from severe hot flushes, according to the findings published in the Journal of Women’s Health.
Of these, there was a significant link to depressive symptoms, the Monash University researchers noted.
Commenting on the findings, consultant gynaecologist Dr Luciano Nardo suspects the two to be symptoms of the same problem.
The medical director at Cheshire’s Reproductive Health Group told MailOnline: ‘The association between depression and hot flushes is a controversial one, and warrants further research.
‘But it’s my view that they are not linked. In effect, they’re both symptoms of the same problem.
‘It’s not the hot flushes that are causing depressive symptoms, it’s going through the menopause itself.
A new study found those suffering from the embarrassing symptoms are at nearly triple the risk of getting the blues
‘When a women’s periods end, and they realise that they are no longer able to get pregnant, it can have a really significant impact on someone’s mental wellbeing.
‘It’s the beginning of a whole new chapter in someone’s life and represents a milestone in the ageing process.’
Hot flushes can disturb sleep, drain energy and cause embarrassment. A single one can last from a few seconds to a whole hour.
When a women’s periods end, and they realise that they are no longer able to get pregnant, it can have a really significant impact on someone’s mental wellbeingDr Luciano Nardo, consultant gynaecologist
They affect three in every four women going through the menopause, with some suffering up to 20 attacks a day.
Scientists believe they are caused by hormonal changes affecting the body’s ability to control its temperature.
HRT is the main treatment, but is isn’t suitable for all and many of those who could take it are put off by fears it triggers breast cancer.
The NHS recognises that the menopause can trigger a change in mood and anxiety – but are yet to mention depression as a possibility.
This comes after researchers last September found a woman’s perception that she is experiencing a high number of hot flushes can trigger depression.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital study suggested that women suffering from hot flushes should be screened for symptoms of the blues.
By Stephen Matthews for MailOnline
Going through the menopause leaves women prone to pneumonia and bronchitis, new research suggests.
Scientists found a link between the end of a woman’s ability to have children naturally and a decline in lung function.
This decrease in the ability to process air throughout the body is usually seen during ageing and in smokers.
Norwegian researchers said that alongside lung infections, it could also leave women vulnerable to sleep apnea and shortness of breath.
The findings from the University of Bergen were based on a survey and rigorous testing of 1,438 women.
Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the researchers said: ‘Lung function declined more rapidly among transitional and postmenopausal women.
‘Clinicians should be aware that respiratory health often deteriorates during reproductive ageing.’