By Rebecca Smith
Around a quarter of women going through the menopause will suffer so severely with hot flushes that they seek medical help.
After Hormone Replacement Therapy was linked with a small increased risk of breast cancer many women have refused to use it even though this is considered the best treatment for hot flushes.
Prof Mary Ann Lumsden, of Glasgow University, found that antidepressants which affect how the body uses serotonin, the so-called feel-good hormone, also influences how the blood vessels contract and expand in women who suffer with hot flushes.
She said: “The thing about flushing is that no one really knows why it happens.
“I see women all the time who have had flushes for a long time and their life is compromised. It is embarrassing, difficult and uncomfortable for them. It causes huge misery.”