Despite all of the progress made in understanding female biology and physiology, so very little is known or understood about hot flashes. Doctors know that it has something to do with mid-life changes and menopause, but they do not know or understand much more than that. More clinical research is necessary, and if you are going through menopause and choose to participate, here is what you can expect.
The Purpose of Clinical Studies on Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a part of menopause. What doctors and researchers want to know is why women experience hot flashes at all, and why women get them more frequently with the onset of menopause. The assumption is that the reduction of female hormones responsible for a woman’s fertility cycle indirectly affects her blood pressure. The increase in lipids and cholesterol in the female blood stream after menopause forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood, which in turn, theoretically, is the cause for hot flashes. However, it does not explain why hot flashes are seemingly random, which is another factor under research.
Additionally, some women experience hot flashes all their lives. Why some women experience them all the time and for most of their adult lives is also a research topic. If you experience either type of hot flash, researchers would like you to join their studies.
Inducing Hot Flashes During Certain Studies
Doctors and researchers are aware of the fact that hot flashes can be triggered. Caffeine and tobacco restrict blood vessels. After the caffeine or tobacco exits your system, the blood vessels relax, allowing a rush of blood through that in turn causes a hot flash. It is important to understand how these vices work on your body, as researchers may create a control group where hot flashes are induced. Information is then gathered from both groups to determine if hot flashes are strictly biological in origin or if they occur because of women’s daily habits, addictions, or environments.
Testing Medications That May Reduce the Occurrence of Hot Flashes
Another aspect of studying hot flashes via volunteers is studying how new medications can reduce or eliminate the severity of hot flashes. If your hot flashes are so frequent and so unbearable, this might be just the study for which to volunteer. You could get some momentary relief if you are part of the hot flash research study test group or you may think you experience relief as part of the placebo group. Either way, doctors and researchers can get a clearer picture of how and how often hot flashes occur and how to control them.