Hot flashes commonly occur due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. This article talks about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this condition.
A hot flash is a hot feeling on the face along with headache, sweating, and suffocation. Perspiration or chills can be experienced throughout the body. It is mainly caused due to hormonal imbalance in the body. About 70% of women experience hot flashes during their menopause. However, it can also occur in young men and women. This condition is usually treated with the help of hormonal therapies.
The main reason for this condition is the hormonal changes seen during menopause. Sometimes, one’s lifestyle can also lead to this condition. Taking certain medications (for example, Tamoxifen), or low estrogen levels also result in hot flashes.
Besides maintaining our body temperature, the hypothalamus or the thermostat of our body is responsible for other activities like controlling appetite, sex hormones, sleep and wake cycles. In case of women, when the level of estrogen declines, it results in the elevation of body temperature, which is maintained by sweating. However, this leads to excessive drop in body temperature, and hence, gives rise to the symptoms.
» Sensation of heat in the upper body
» Skin redness or flushing
» Intense perspiration and chills in the upper body for about 1 to 5 minutes
» Paced heart beats
» Dizziness and weakness
» Anxiety, headache, and nausea
» Insomnia and poor concentration, along with other memory problems and exhaustion
» Nocturnal flashes at night
» Mood swings
» Elevated cholesterol levels
» Heart, bone, and muscle health problems
» Irregular menstruation
» Loss of appetite
» Hemoglobin-related problems
» Estrogen therapy, also called the menopausal hormone therapy, is the most effective and dependable way to get rid of the symptoms.
» If the hot flashes are very severe, hormone replacement therapy can be considered.
» Sometimes, blood pressure lowering drugs such as Clonidine and Aldomet can reduce the severity to an extent.
» Low doses of antidepressants, such as Effexor also help in relieving the condition.
» Similarly, mild sedatives such as Bellergal-S slow down the extra chemical activity of the brain, and hence controls the signaling of the messengers.
» One should quit smoking, and reduce the intake of alcohol, caffeine, diet pills, and spicy food. Hot beds, hot tubs, hot showers, and saunas, should be switched to cool showers.
» Opting for cotton clothing helps. Woolen clothes should be avoided. One should try to stay in a cooler environment by using fans or air-conditioners, wherever possible.
» Stress is one of the most important causes, and hence, controlling stress is a useful treatment.
» Relaxation and breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and massages can help as stress busters to reduce the symptoms.
» Changing the diet to a low-fat one, and losing excess weight also helps most of the time.
The best way to deal with the condition is to maintain your diet, and take medications regularly, as prescribed by your physician.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.