American Hospital Blog

Hot Flash

Hot Flash

Hot flashes cause sweating, an abrupt feeling of heat in the upper body, most intensely over the face, neck, and chest. It can make your skin turn red as if you're blushing.

When you lose too much body heat, you may feel chilled afterward. Sometimes hot flashes in the night as night sweats may disrupt sleep. This condition is usually seen as a sign of menopausal transition, as menstrual periods become irregular and may stop. There are multiple treatments for this bothersome condition.

Understand the symptoms

During a hot flash, you may feel a sudden heat spreading in the chest, neck, and face, heartbeat becoming rapid, and sweat on your upper body. There are feelings of anxiety, a flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin and then the sensation of chillness afterward.

The frequency and intensity can differ with different women, from a mild condition to an intense situation that can disturb daily activities.

It may occur in the day or night, but nighttime hot flashes (night sweats) can cause long-term sleep disorders. The frequency of its occurrences also varies among women, and for some, it may happen daily and may persist from seven to ten years.

Consult the doctor

Get treatment advice from a doctor when hot flashes state is affecting your daily activities or nighttime sleep.

Know the causes

Hot flashes occur primarily due to the changing hormone levels before, during and after menopause, but how the hormonal changes cause hot flashes remains unknown.

According to researchers, hot flashes happen when reduced estrogen levels cause your body's thermostat (hypothalamus) to become more responsive to even small shifts in body temperature.

So, when the hypothalamus feels the heat in the body, it begins a chain of effects, like hot flashes, to cool down the body, which is primarily due to the menopause stages.

The other potential reasons may be problems with your thyroid, medication side effects, certain cancers or side effects of cancer treatment.

Recognize the risk

All women going through the menopause stages may not be affected by hot flashes; it's not sure why some women experience its effects, but some factors that may increase your risk like:

  • If a woman is a smoker, she is more likely to get hot flashes.
  • If a woman has a high body mass index (BMI), it is usually linked to a higher frequency of hot flashes.
  • Asian women are less prone to hot flashes than black women, who commonly experience hot flashes during menopause.

Associated complexities

Hot flashes can disturb your routine activities and quality of life, such as nighttime hot flashes (night sweats) might keep you awake from sleep, causing long-term sleep disruptions.
Women that get hot flashes are more prone to heart disease and may have more significant bone loss than other women.

Measures for prevention

Some common elements can help prevent hot flashes around menopause or limit the condition to get more frequent or more severe. You must take steps to avoid the most common triggers like stress, lessen and restrict consumption of caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, quit smoking, and avoid heat and wearing tight clothing.

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