A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that usually begins in the head neck area and spreads over the body. Hot flashes are a characteristic symptom of perimenopause and menopause but they can result from other medical conditions. Not all women experience hot flashes and many normally menstruating women experience hot flashes years prior to the cessation of menstrual periods. While it is true that hot flashes are more common in women, hot flashes can occur in men too.
About 3 out of 4 women experience hot flashes as they go through menopause. Hot flashes are brief, lasting from about 30 seconds to a few minutes. The frequency of hot flashes can vary from only a few times each week to constantly throughout a day. Hot flashes are commonly associated with other symptoms including redness of the skin known as flushing, excessive perspiration, chills, rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, weakness, or a feeling of suffocation. Hot flashes at night accompanied by sweating are referred to as “night sweats” and frequently prevent restful sleep.
In women, hot flashes are thought to be the result of hormonal imbalance, usually low estrogen. However, they can also be due to “relative estrogen deficiency” a condition in which the estrogen level appears low because of other factors, such as excessive progesterone.
In men, hot flashes are due to declining levels of testosterone.
Factors which increase the likelihood of experiencing hot flashes:
· Lack of circulating air or poor air quality
· Intense exercise
· Hot or spicy food
· Refined carbohydrates and sugar
· Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants
· Hot drinks
· Being overweight
· Anxiety or stress
· Saunas, hot tubs and showers
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help replace the hormones lost during menopause and andropause and help alleviate hot flashes, call today for a comprehensive consultation at 424.247.4962.