Hot flashes are one of the most common side-effects of menopause. Menopause, which is also known as the climacteric, is the time of women’s lives when the menstrual periods stop for good, and the women no longer have the ability to have children. The menopause period usually occurs when a woman is 45 to 55 years old. Menopause is in most cases just a natural change, although many factors such as smoking can influence the start of menopause.
Just before the period of menopause, the woman will experience irregular periods. They may be either shorter or longer in duration, and can vary in terms of the amount of blood flow. Exactly this period of a woman’s life is when they often experience the unpleasant hot flashes. These flashes will usually last from half a minute up to entire ten minutes. Hot flashes can be associated with excessive sweating, skin reddening, and even shivering.
More than two-thirds of women will experience hot flashes during perimenopause (premenopause) and almost all women who are currently in a period of menopause. The hot flashes are a very frequent symptom of these periods of a woman’s life. The important thing to remember is that a hot flash is nothing unusual, although it can be quite unpleasant. Most women aren’t well informed about them so once they occur, they may come as a surprise to many. Hot flashes (also called a hot flush), is a sudden feeling of warmth throughout the body and can also make the face become red and flushed, and can also cause sweating. The heat will typically start in your chest and then progress to your neck and head. Tingling in the fingers is also a usual symptom of a hot flash. Some women also experience a rapid heart rate and in some cases even chills.
Hot flashes may occur a couple of dozen times every day. Even today, the exact question as to why they happen is still unanswered, although many medical professionals say that it is happening due to the changes in circulation or the changing of estrogen levels. They occur once the blood vessels near the skin surface dilate to cool. Their occurrence at night also isn’t an unusual thing to happen. They can also be called night sweats and women will have a hard time when trying to fall asleep and will experience excessive sweating during the period. About 75% of women have night flashes. Not every woman experiences them in the same amount and with the same intensity. Generally, they will become less and less severe as the time goes on. Some women barely notice them in the first place and think of them no more than an annoyance. In some rare cases, hot flashes may follow the entirety of woman’s life after they first start occurring.
Various stimulants can trigger the deficiency of estrogen which is in most cases viewed as the main cause of hot flashes. Acidic and spicy food (ginger, pickles, citrus etc.) hot drinks, caffeine, alcohol (including the low-level alcohol drinks like beer and others), stress and anger, warm weather, tobacco, hot tubs and others are all different kinds of stimulants that have a great chance of triggering a hot flash. Some women will even have a flash after eating a lot of sugar. Any type of intense exercises may also lead to flash occurrences. The best way to determine what causes a flash is to write down everything that a woman was drinking, eating, wearing, and also feeling. After some time, a pattern will emerge which will show what things cause the flashes.
The most effective way currently used right now to treat hot flashes is the hormone replacement therapy (HRT for short). The therapy has proven useful in most cases and almost all of the patients have stopped experiencing flashes at day, or at night. The HRT is usually taken for a short time (less than five years). It doesn’t only help treat the flashes, but also many other symptoms of the menopause period. Symptoms such as vaginal dryness or mood disorders can also be prevented using the hormone replacement therapy. Although, after you stop taking the therapy, the flashes may also return, and the therapy itself carries some risks like the gallbladder and others. That is why some women don’t consider taking the HRT and use the means of other types of treatment, and there are those that can’t take the therapy at all, like those who were recently treated for breast cancer.
Almost all of women will have the hot flashes once they’re in the period of premenopause and menopause. They can be quite an annoyance every day, but the good thing is that there are multiple ways you can ease them. Being well-informed about flashes is the first step toward successfully getting rid of them.
If you’re experiencing hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause, we want to talk with you. Call today to set up your free consultation or schedule your appointment here. During the consultation, it’s a great time to ask those burning questions you have. We will not rush your appointment. We treat every patient like family and want you to have the best opportunity of living a full and vibrant life, void of these common menopause symptoms. Our comprehensive treatments get to the root cause of your symptoms and stop them once and for all. Get started today and learn how you can get your life back. We look forward to meeting you!