Updated: November 7, 2017
Hot flashes are also known as hot flushes. These are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over the body, creating a flushing, or redness, that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper portion of your body. Your body temperature rises during a hot flash. It affect the top half of your body, and your skin may even turn red in color or become blotchy resulting in sweating, heart palpitations, and feelings of dizziness. After the hot flash, you may feel cold.
Hot flashes may come on daily or even multiple times a day. You may experience them over the course of a year or even several years. The intensity of a hot flash can range from mild to very strong, even waking you from sleep. A hot flash generally lasts between 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
Consuming alcohol or caffeine, eating spicy food, feeling stressed or being somewhere hot can trigger hot flashes. Being overweight and smoking may also make hot flashes worse. Breathing exercises during a hot flash can help minimize it. Medications such as birth control pills, hormone therapy, or even other prescriptions may help you reduce hot flashes.
You can use a fan at work or in your home to help cool you down.
Hot flashes are one of the most common complaints of menopause, as the periods of intense heat, warm skin, and sweating are uncomfortable. The common symptoms include:
When an women approach menopause, the estrogen level decreases naturally resulting in hot flashes. If the estrogen production decreases gradually, it produces fewer hot flashes. But if the ovaries stop estrogen production more abruptly hot flashes can be a rollercoaster ride in those cases.
Most women experience hot flashes for a year or two after their final menstrual period. Hot flashes may still continue after menopause, but they lessen in intensity over time.
Obesity and metabolic syndrome can also contribute to increase the incidence of hot flashes. The intensity of a hot flash can range from mild to very strong from women to women.
Some common triggers for hot flash include:
Here are some simple ways to find relief:
Estrogen supplements helps reducing the incidence and severity of hot flashes and night sweats by leveling out the amount of estrogen in your system. To reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer, estrogen is usually taken with progestin. It can be taken as pill, through a vaginal cream or gel, or a patch.
Although other medications used to treat hot flashes and night sweats are not developed directly for this purpose, they are effective for some women.
Gabapentin and pregabalin, usually given for nerve-mediated pain or seizures help relief for some women. Antidepressants venlafaxine (Effexor), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil) can be effective for treatment of hot flashes.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes and also reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
you can improve your health by:
Meditation can also be very helpful in managing stress levels which in turn reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes. Stress is a common hot flash trigger for many women.
Acupuncture may also be helpful in some women.