Women who feel like they’ve just exercised in their winter coat but haven’t left their office chair are not alone.
Am I Having Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are an unfortunate and common side effect of menopause for about 75% of women. Hot flashes include the sensation of extreme heat that usually lasts from one to five minutes and often are most intense in the head and upper chest. Women experiencing hot flashes break out in a sweat and can sometimes experience red blotches on their skin, fast or uneven heartbeats, dizziness, shaking and headaches.
What Causes Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes occur because of changing hormone levels that trigger thermoregulatory zone changes in the brain. Basically, during menopause, the drop in estrogen confuses women’s bodies’ thermostats. These bothersome symptoms can affect sleep and quality of life. Though hot flashes aren’t serious, it’s important for women to talk to their doctors about this period in their lives and find treatments against hot flashes.
Treatment for Hot Flashes
Women should talk with their doctors about the right treatment plans for their symptoms. It’s common for women with severe symptoms to try multiple treatments before finding one that works best.
Here are a few commonly prescribed treatments and remedies for hot flashes:
- Estrogen replacement: Women can find relief from hot flashes through hormone replacement therapy. After all, the transition to menopause includes decreasing amounts of estrogen.
- Anti-depressants. Many women find that anti-depressants such as Zoloft lessen the severity of hot flashes.
- Gabapentin or pregabalin: Doctors might prescribe one of these prescription medications depending on womens’ symptoms
- Increasing dietary soy
- Dressing in layers
- Avoiding hot and spicy foods and drinks
- Avoiding hot environments
- Minimizing stress
- Herbal remedies
The compassionate doctors at Women’s Integrated Healthcare are committed to helping women through every stage of their lives, including menopause. We encourage women experiencing symptoms to make an appointment with a trustworthy Women’s integrated Healthcare physician soon.
What’s Happening During a Hot Flash
Take a look at this great infographic for a look into the science of a hot flash: http://healthtipsinsurance.com/stories/11766/Hot-Flashes.html
Just For Fun
To prove you’re not alone in the suffering, these hot-flash quotes will make you giggle.
- “The Definition of Hot Flash: Your body deciding to spontaneously combust while taking you on a secret roller coaster ride through the bowels of hell.”
- “I wouldn’t mind these hot flashes so much if they would burn a little fat off my butt and thighs in the process.”
- “Night sweats: Hot flashes that occur while you are asleep, because catching fire in the daytime isn’t sufficient enough.”
- “Amazing women don’t have hot flashes. We have power surges.” – @amazingwomen