Hot flashes

What are hot flashes?

Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are sudden feelings of warmth that spread across the body and face. They can cause sweating and reddening of the skin. Hot flashes are a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause.

What Causes Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are caused by decreases in estrogen levels. As women approach menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. Lower estrogen levels affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that helps regulate body temperature. When the hypothalamus senses a drop in estrogen, it essentially gets its wires crossed and responds as if the body is overheating. This triggers blood vessels near the skin to dilate and increase blood flow, making the face, neck, arms, and chest feel hot.

Hot flashes can come on quickly and only last a few minutes. Some women may also experience chills, heart palpitations, headaches, or skin redness along with the heat sensation. The frequency of hot flashes varies widely - some women have them rarely while others can have them hourly throughout the day and night.

Managing Hot Flashes

Lifestyle adjustments may help ease hot flashes:

If lifestyle changes aren't enough, talk to your doctor about medical options for relief. Prescription estrogens or certain antidepressants may help reduce hot flash frequency. Herbal remedies and soy isoflavones have also shown some benefit for menopausal symptoms.

The hormone specialists at Balance Hormone Clinic provide personalized care to help women address hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Their clinicians can assess your hormone levels and determine if hormone therapy, herbal remedies, or other treatments are right for you. Convenient virtual visits make it easy to get expert advice from the comfort of your home. Contact Balance Hormone Clinic today to take control of your menopause transition.

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