Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are sudden feelings of heat. The skin may turn red as if a person is blushing. Due to hot flashes, people generally feel warmth over the chest, neck, and face. The most common symptom of perimenopause and menopause are hot flashes. Hot flashes can also lead to sweating. Eventually, you may feel chilled if you lose too much heat from your body. The exact cause of hot flashes is still not known. There is a possibility that they are related to changes in circulation. Hot flashes begin when blood vessels near the surface of the skin broaden to cool off, leading to a sweat. Some females may experience chills or a rapid heartbeat. The biggest problem that is associated with hot flashes is people are not able to sleep properly which may lead to insomnia. Hot flashes can last for a maximum 30 minutes. Most of the hot flashes go away in a few minutes. A woman can have many hot flashes in a day or a few in each week.

Hot Flashes Symptoms

Check out the various symptoms or signs of hot flashes:

-  A person may have a sudden feeling of heat over the face and upper body due to hot flashes.

-  Rapid heartbeat is also a symptom of hot flashes.

-  A person with hot flashes may have flushed appearance with blotchy, red skin.

-  A person suffering from hot flashes may experience perspiration generally on the upper body.

-  A person may feel chilled as hot flashes diminish.

-  Weakness, dizziness, faintness, and fatigue are the less common symptoms of hot flashes.

Hot Flashes Causes

The exact cause of hot flashes is still unknown, but there can be many factors responsible for hot flashes. Check out some of the possible causes of hot flashes:

-  The hormonal changes that come along with the process of ageing are considered to be the underlying cause of a hot flash. In particular, it occurs due to the declining levels of estrogen which happens when a woman reaches menopause.

-  If there is a disorder in thermoregulation then it may lead to the sensation of heat. The exact way is not known in which changes in hormones affect thermoregulation. Thermoregulation is a process that helps a person to maintain the body temperature within certain boundaries.

-  Sometimes, hot flashes may occur due to the side effects of certain medicines.

-  Hot flashes may also occur due to severe infections.

How is it diagnosed?

Hot flashes are not a medical a medical condition but a symptom. You should reach out to the best doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of hot flashes. Sometimes, symptoms may become bothersome. In such condition, you should see a doctor for the diagnosis and to get the best treatment. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask you about your medical history. He or she will ask you about the characteristics of your hot flashes including when you experience them and how frequently they occur and other symptoms. Generally, your doctor can easily recognise if you have hot flashes after checking and knowing your symptoms. Both physical examination and medical history together help the doctor to understand the exact cause of your hot flashes. Your doctor may ask you to get some blood tests done in order to check if you have the problem of menopausal transition.

Prevention

It is not possible to prevent hot flashes when you are around menopause. But, there are some ways that will help you to stay away from severe or frequent symptoms. Check out these ways:

-  You should reduce the consumption of beverages containing caffeine.

-  You should not take a lot of stress as it can make your symptoms worse. You should know some techniques that help to reduce the risk including breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi and more.

-  You should not have food which is spicy. Instead, you should have healthy food including green vegetables and fruits.

-  You should maintain a healthy weight by doing physical exercises daily. Walking, dancing bicycling, and swimming are some of the good ways to stay fit.

-  It is important to stay cool. At night, you can use a pillow that is chilled due to the filling of water.

-  You should not wear uncomfortable clothes, especially which are of tight-fitting.

-  You can carry a portable fan with you in order to get relief when hot flashes strike.

-  You should avoid the smoke of a cigarette. Neither you should smoke nor should you be at a place where someone is smoking.

-  You should avoid going outside if it is extremely hot outside.

Hot Flashes Treatment

Some females can tolerate hot flashes without any treatment. But, if hot flashes are troubling you then you should meet your doctor to talk about the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for some time, typically for a time period of fewer than 5 years. Many women use this treatment option to prevent hot flashes. This treatment option also helps to control the other symptoms or signs of menopause such as mood disorders and vaginal dryness. There is a possibility that hot flashes can come back when you stop taking hormone replacement therapy. If hormone replacement therapy taken for a short-term may lead to gallbladder inflammation, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and blood clots. There is a possibility that hormone replacement therapy or HRT is not right for you. In such a situation, your doctor will suggest you other treatment options so that you can get the relief. Some of the prescribed treatments include:

1.  Clonidine which is a medication to treat high blood pressure.

2.  Gabapentin is an anti-seizure drug used to treat hot flashes.

3.  Depression drugs of low-dose such as paroxetine (Pexeva, Paxil), venlafaxine (Effexor), or fluoxetine (Rapiflux, Prozac).

4.  Brisdelle is a paroxetine formula used specifically to treat hot flashes.

5.  Duavee has a combination of conjugated estrogens and bazedoxifene. This medication is designed to treat hot flashes.

Vitamin E, ibuprofen, and B complex vitamins may help you to treat hot flashes. You should always talk to your doctor before taking any medication that is new, over-the-counter products, or supplements.

Complications

There are many complications associated with hot flashes. The biggest problem is that people are not able to sleep properly when a hot flash strikes. If a woman has a hot flash at night time then it can wake her from sleep. After some time, it can lead to chronic insomnia. Eventually, it can lead to other various problems including depression, anxiety, and memory problems.

Myths

Check out some of the common myths about hot flashes:

Myth #1: Hot flashes tend to occur only during menopause.

Fact: It is not always true that women get hot flashes only during when they are menstruating. Some women might suffer from hot flashes during their adolescence i.e 15-20 years and some might complain even after being in the 70’s.

Myth #2: Hot flashes occur because of hormonal disturbances.

Fact: It is not always necessary that every woman suffers from hot flashes only due to their hormonal changes in the body. However, it is stated that during their menopause period, the extracts from the body results in radiating lot of internal body heat. But sometimes due to an imbalance in the day to day activities and lifestyles habits result into such problems. Lack of nutrients in food, drinking of excessive alcohol, and intake of smoking are key pointers that can lead to severe hot flashes problems in the body of a human.

Myth #3: Hormone replacement therapy is the best way to deal with hot flashes.

Fact: Talking about the long-term remedies, it is always believed that herbal remedies hold the most crucial place. Reports have suggested that hormone replacement therapy has impacted in a positive way for many people but at the same time might result in an adverse effect on many people. Intake of artificial pills has potential side effects such as fever, vomiting, and fatigue. Also, severe diseases like breast cancer can also occur due to such treatments. Thus because of a number of issues with such therapy many women prefer natural solutions such as black cohosh, herbs like phytoestrogens to activate the body’s estrogen receptors.

Myth #4: Hot flashes are purely physical.

Fact: Hot flashes are not only physical but at the same time can affect a person’s mental and emotional wellness. Physical aspects like rapid heartbeat, sweating, redness, and heat along with a person’s emotional aspect gets impacted. Such anxiety in a person’s mind can lead to situations of unhappiness, resulting in a lot of hot flashes in the body. One being literate and aware must understand carefully about the correct symptoms and should be well equipped to deal with them at any time. One should not get into the trap of hot flashes. They can be tricky but there is always a solution to every problem.

Conclusion

Hot flashes can occur at any time. Due to hot flashes, you have sudden feelings of warmth. It can leave you red-faced and sweaty. The exact cause of a hot flash is not known. The common symptoms of hot flashes are a pressure in the head, a feeling of warmth, rapid heartbeat, perspiration, a chilled feeling as a hot flash calms, and red and blotchy skin on the face, upper chest, and neck. Faintness, weakness, dizziness, and fatigue are some of the less common symptoms of hot flashes.

Sometimes, hot flashes go away without any treatment. You should reach out to the best doctor for diagnosis and treatment if symptoms are troubling or bothering you. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask you to get some diagnostic tests done if required. Though, doctors can easily recognise hot flashes by just knowing your symptoms and having a look at them. Your doctor will suggest you the best treatment option as per your condition and requirement.

Your doctor may recommend you to go for hormone replacement therapy. But, there are some side effects of hormone replacement therapy. If HRT does not work for you then your doctor may recommend you some medications to treat the problem of hot flashes. You should not take any medicine without consulting with your doctor. There are some ways that help you to reduce the frequency or severity of hot flashes. You should avoid caffeinated drinks, smoking, alcohol, and spicy food. You should not take a lot of stress. In fact, you should manage your stress with some techniques including yoga, deep breathing, tai chi, and meditation.

The biggest complication of hot flashes is a disturbance in sleep. People are not able to sleep properly especially if a hot flash strikes in the night time. Eventually, a sleeping problem can lead to anxiety, depression, and memory problems. People have a lot of misconceptions or myths about hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy is the best way to deal with hot flashes is one of the common myths that many people have.

If you are looking for the answers to various questions including:

-  What are hot flashes?

-  What are the signs or symptoms of hot flashes?

-  What are the causes of hot flashes?

-  How are hot flashes diagnosed?

-  How are hot flashes prevented?

-  How are hot flashes treated?

-  What are the various complications associated with hot flashes?

-  What are the myths about hot flashes?

Then you are in the right place. Please refer to the above-mentioned information.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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