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Home / Ailment / Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes


Hot flashes are a vasomotor symptom of menopause; one that happens when the vascular system as well as motor system of the body get disturbed due to hormonal upheaval.Hot flashes are a vasomotor symptom of menopause; one that happens when the vascular system as well as motor system of the body get disturbed due to hormonal upheaval.

The time, duration, degree of intensity and frequency of occurrence, of hot flashes symptoms vary from one woman to another. While someone may experience hot flashes only during night, someone else may experience them during the day or intermittently anytime. Hot flashes symptoms may begin showing ***perimenopause*** and last for years post ***menopause*** as well.

Some common symptoms of hot flashes are:
• Sudden wave of heat running through the face, arms, neck and torso or through the whole body.
• Flushed or red face as the heat wave sweeps the body
• Increase in ***palpitation*** and quickened or irregular heart beat
• Perspiration drops appearing on the fore head
• Cold chills either following the hot flash or without it also.
• Increased migraines, headaches, vomiting.
• General signs of stress, anxiety and ***depression***.

Causes of hot flashes:
While hormonal imbalances are common during menopause; it is the fluctuating levels of ***estrogen*** hormone that is the root cause of hot flashes. When estrogen levels fluctuate or drop; the part of the brain regulating body temperature, sex hormones, hunger and sleep, gets triggered into thinking that the body is getting over heated. This causes the ***hypothalamus*** to start the body’s heat loss mechanism, leading to what we know as ‘hot flashes’.

While hormonal imbalances cause hot flashes; they get triggered and aggravated in severity due to certain factors such as: hot and humid climate, use of warm air conditioning, heaters or blowers; spicy food; consumption of tea, coffee etc; smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol; being under stress or tension; being overworked; being on diet pills, etc.

If menopause is unlikely and hormonal imbalances have been ruled out; it is best that a woman experiencing hot flashes should get herself checked for certain diseases known to induce hot flashes. These are: Cancer, ***diabetes***, thyroid disease, panic disorder, obesity and ***Hyperhidrosis***.
There are some medicines that a woman might be taking that may induce the symptoms of hot flashes. For example: certain medication taken for ***osteoporosis***, certain cancer treatment drugs and some ***gonadotropin analogues***.

Treatments:
While lifestyle and dietary changes do provide relief in reducing the severity of symptoms, they do not cure the root cause that is, hormonal imbalances. In order to cure the severe hormonal imbalances one needs medical treatment. ***Hormone Replacement Therapy*** (HRT), prescribed pharmaceutical drugs and alternative medicines and remedies are some of the most commonly opted solutions for treatment of hot flashes.

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