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Author Topic: Possible cause of sweats, weight gain, insomnia, etc - any researchers out there  (Read 525 times)


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This is a research article that looks at weight gain, cardiovascular risk factor changes, insomnia, excessive heat symptoms and even urinary frequency in connection with levels of naturally occurring orexins.  It says postmenopausal women (not receiving HRT) have lower oestrogen and higher blood levels of orexin-A.   It asks the questions and suggests possible mechanisms by which this rise in orexin levels as oestrogen declines in menopause may be responsible for these physiological symptoms.

Orexins seem to affect so many of the classic symptoms of menopause it seems unlikely that there is not something to this.  Nevertheless, I can't find any recent research on this so it doesn't seem to be a priority for universities and drugs companies at this time.  Or it may be that some greedy persons who had previously been in receipt of an academic grant from Indiana University School of Medicine to research the role of orexins in menopause have filed patents for orexin antagonists making it unprofitable for others to do research in the area at an untold cost to women and state-funded healthcare systems everywhere. 

But for sure menopausal women experiencing significant health challenges are not tested for orexin levels and it might be the case that these could be an indicator of whether levels of hormone supplementation are sufficient and/or appropriate.  It may be that there could be more efficient means of giving menopausal women back a semblance of quality of life other than through conventional HRT.  It may be that the potential for significant heart-protective anti-inflammatory, immune system and mental health benefits through effective management of women would result in enormous savings for public healthcare.  Any progress that could reduce the number of long-suffering women needing NHS services, improve overall health issues relating to menopause and improve the well-being and ability to work of millions of women in the UK alone has to be worth further fast-track research?  Please forward this research article to doctors, researchers and people who might be able to assess and pursue.  There has been virtually no change in treatments for menopausal women in 50 years, despite the hundreds of millions around the world whose symptoms have not been managed adequately and who have suffered a living hell. 

Hormonal Changes in Menopause and Orexin-A Action
Link to research paper here
Some excerpts here:-
It has been observed that in postmenopausal women, plasma orexin-A levels were significantly higher, paralleling the significantly lower estrogen levels [25]. This aspect was found by El-Sedeek et al. [25] who assessed plasma orexin-A levels and estradiol in a group of postmenopausal women not receiving HRT and compared the values with a group on HRT and a group of reproductive-age women. The results showed that postmenopausal women not receiving HRT had the highest levels of plasma orexin-A. Conversely, postmenopausal women on HRT had orexin-A levels that were comparable with the control group. However, it should be noted that the determination of plasma orexin-A levels presents evident difficulties being such levels extremely low.

Orexins A and B (also known as hypocretins 1 and 2) are hypothalamic neuropeptides recently discovered, involved in the regulation of feeding behaviour, sleep-wakefulness rhythm, and neuroendocrine homeostasis [30–32]. Orexins promote both waking and feeding [33]. In addition to this central role, orexins probably have peripheral effects.

In addition, the presence of orexin receptors in other cerebral areas suggests that additional functions are played by orexin-A [31]. A role for the orexins in sleep regulation has been demonstrated [44]. Deficiency in orexin neurotransmission results in the sleep disorder narcolepsy in mice, dogs, and humans [45]. Orexin-A also influences body temperature. In fact, an ICV administration of orexin-A induces an increase in firing rate of the sympathetic nerves to interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT), accompanied with a rise in IBAT and colonic temperatures [46]. The simultaneous increase in heart rate and body temperature after an ICV injection of orexin-A indicates a generalized activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Few investigations have been performed on the role played by different cerebral areas involved in the induction of the abovementioned tachycardia and hyperthermia [47–49].

Orexin-A may partially mediate pressor response by increasing basal sympathetic activity, causing catecholamine release, modulating the vasopressin system [58], and stimulating renal and adrenal orexin receptors [59]. These speculations are further supported by Shiraska et al.'s study [39], where experimental use of orexin-A has been shown to increase heart rate, renal sympathetic activity, catecholamine release, and mean arterial blood pressure.

The influence of orexin-A on sympathetic nervous system activity, blood pressure regulation, and metabolic status may contribute to the postmenopausal upsurge in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality [25]. Conversely, estrogen playing a possible inhibitory effect on orexin might partially account for its cardioprotective effect [25]. A better and deeper understanding of orexins' effects could provide a new interpretation of the relationship between postmenopausal hypoestrogenism and menopausal syndrome, including appetite and weight changes, increased cardiovascular risk, vasomotor symptoms, and sleep disorders.

Recently, Herring et al. [64] evaluated the utility of suvorexant, an orexin receptor antagonist, for treating patients with primary insomnia. Patients received suvorexant in one period and placebo in the other. Suvorexant showed significant dose-related improvements versus placebo on sleep efficiency. Thus, the authors [64] suggested that orexin receptor antagonists may represent a novel and useful approach to treat insomnia.

Further, the finding of a relationship between estrogen and orexins levels also suggests new research on the possible roles of orexins in many reproductive abnormalities and anomalies involving REE.