Have you ever felt sudden surges of warmth over your face, neck, and chest with a flushed red look as if you are blushing? Or a sudden sweat- especially during your menopause or perimenopause? If this is the news, no need to be too worried – it’s a hot flash.
A hot flash is the feeling of intense warmth that appears suddenly. It spreads over your body, especially in your face, neck, and chest, with more intensity. However, several medical conditions can cause hot flashes; menopause is the primary reason a woman encounters this unexpected heat and sudden sweaty feeling. Stay with us if you want to know the cause, symptoms, and treatment for hat flashes that are becoming a bothersome barrier in your blissful life.
What Are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are the sensation of sudden warmth in the upper body, especially in the face, neck, and chest. It usually lasts from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Hot flashes often cause excessive sweating. Due to the loss of too much body heat, you may feel freezing and chilled later.
The hot flash and sweat appearing at night time is night sweat. This sleep-disrupting condition is also an annoying affair of life. To make matters worse, it often accompanies rapid heart rate. Do you know what a hot flush is? When your hot flash appears with a blushing red face and neck, it’s a hot flush.
A hot flash is the most common symptom of menopause and perimenopause; however, other medical conditions can also be the reason for your hot flashes. In the US, more than two-thirds of women approaching menopause experience hot flashes. However, not necessarily all face the same symptoms with severe intensity. The symptoms, severity, and frequency of hot flashes vary from person to person.
Symptoms Of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a life-disrupting problem that may invade your harmony any time- day or night. Most often, women experience hot flashes. Not all face the same symptoms and severity; however, the common symptoms of hot flashes include-
- A sudden feeling of heat on the skin
- Redness on the skin, especially on the face, neck, ears, or chest
- Sweating in the upper body
- Stinging in the fingers
- Sometimes a fast heartbeat also occurs
- Feeling of anxiety
- The sense of cold and chill sometime
Cause Of Hot Flashes
Hormonal changes are the primary reason you encounter hot flashes. With age, the estrogen hormonal level in your body decreases. It causes your body’s thermostat to be so sensitive that even the slightest change in body temperature becomes impactful.
Now, when the hypothalamus or thermostat imagines your body to be too heated, it commences a series of events to cool you down. As a result, you face hot flashes. Menopause is considered the main reason for hot flashes. However, rare, other medical conditions can also cause hormonal changes triggering hot flashes. These are-
- Certain cancer
- Side effects of cancer treatment
- Certain forms of birth control
- Eating disorder
- Certain medicines
There is also some triggering reason that can enhance and intensify your hit flashes. However, some triggering elements may be different for menopausal women; the following are common reasons that can trigger your hot flashes.
- Spicy foods
- Wearing tight clothes
- Stress and anxiety
- Spinal lesions
- Several medications
- Radiation therapy
- Being in the warm room for too long
What Does a Hot Flash Feel Like
Hot flashes are the sudden feeling of intense warmth that spreads across your face and whole body promptly. Many women often express a hot flash as a creeping feeling. However, many say that during hot flashes, they feel like being under a sunbed. Many say it’s like being in the burning and burning furnace. Usually, hot flashes last from 30 seconds to several minutes.
Hot Flash Therapy And Treatment
Before treating your condition with hot flashes therapy, the doctor will diagnose the reason for your bothering business. He will consider all your symptoms and may ask for a blood test too. Many adjust with hot flashes; however, in many cases, hot flashes can be highly intensified, making your life difficult. If you face such, talk to your doctor. He will prescribe the best possible way of hot flashes therapy and treatment to solve your issue.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The most effective treatment that can resolve your hot flash is hormone replacement therapy, aka HRT. Estrogen is the primary hormone that the doctor prescribes to resolve your hot flashes. If you have your ovaries removed or had a hysterectomy, you can take estrogen alone. However, if your ovaries and uterus are intact, your doctor will prescribe you a combination of estrogen and progesterone to lower the risk of endometrial cancer.
HRT levels out the imbalance hormones in your body, bringing it back to regularity. As a result, the severity and frequency of hot flashes decrease immensely. You can take hot flashes therapy in the form of pills, vaginal cream or gel, patches, or pellets.
A hot flash can also occur in men due to a low testosterone level in the body. To resolve this, your doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to revive the testosterone level in your body.
However, doctors may not suggest testosterone replacement therapy hot flash causes to resolve to you if you have a history of prostate cancer. It may stimulate cancer cells in you. You may ask, can you get hot flashes for HRT? what does a hot flash from hormone therapy feel like?
Occasional hot flashes may occur in patients with cancer while getting hormone replacement therapy as certain malignancies depend on sex hormones for growth. Therefore, your body encounters an imbalanced hormonal level, and you face symptoms similar to menopause – hot flashes and night sweats.
Therefore, it’s essential to talk to your doctor in detail about your medical condition, history, lifestyle to check if you can get hormone replacement therapy. Remember, if you start HRT, do not stop the medication without your doctor’s consultation. It may magnify the intensity of your hot flashes.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are naturally collected hormones from plant estrogens. If you do not want synthetic hormones, you can talk to your doctor about bioidentical therapy. The collected hormones are usually estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that work the same as the hormones your body produces naturally. Similar to HRT, you can take the medication in the form of pills, patches, cream or gels, or pellets.
If you do not wish to go for hormone replacement for your symptoms of hot flashes, you can adopt nonhormonal treatment. Antidepressants are effective drugs that can manage your hot flashes excellently along with your depression and anxiety.
A low dose of paroxetine is an SSRI-approved medication that can effectively handle hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Other antidepressants that doctors also suggest to treat hot flashes include:
Other medications can manage your hot flash that includes-
It’s an anti-seizure medication that can also treat your hot flashes. However, you may face some side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, etc.
It’s an anti-hypertensive medication that treats high blood pressure. This drug is also effective in treating your hot flashes. You can take this medicine either by pill or skin patches. Dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness are the few side effects this medicine may cause.
It’s a pill or patch which doctors usually prescribe to treat urinary conditions like overactive bladder. It can also help manage your hot flashes. However, you mace the side effects like dry mouth, dry eyes, constipation, and nausea.
Hot flashes mainly occur due to hormonal imbalance. Medication restores a balanced hormonal level in your body. However, your lifestyle modification is also essential to keep up the levels steady.
Keep It Cool
Dress in layers, mainly cotton or silk, so that you can remove them when feeling warm. I addition, keep your windows open and keep lowering the room temperature. Sip cold water and wipe your neck with cool water. Lastly, always carry a fan with you when you are going outside.
Check Your Diet
Have a balanced diet with all the nutrients and minerals. Drink plenty of water.
Check which food or medication is your triggering point to invite hot flashes. In most women, caffeine and alcohol are the primary triggers. So, find your triggers and avoid them. Smoking also increases hot flashes. So avoid smoke. It only reduces your hot flashes but also keeps many diseases at bay.
Move And Meditation
Anxiety, depression, stress- intensify your hot flashes. So, practice stress management, meditation, and slow breathing. You will feel more in control and relieved. Most importantly, do regular exercise. Excess weight can magnify the severity of hot flashes.
Hot flashes are an annoying and life-disrupting problem. But with proper treatment, you can manage the severity and frequency of the hot flashes.
However, are you looking for personalized medical care to assist you with the symptoms and treatment of hot flashes? Dr. David Nazarian and his expert team at Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, have the right plan for your unique needs to get you back on your feet again. Therefore, without delay, contact the office to schedule your appointment.