A hot flash can be described as a feeling of an intense heat which is not necessarily caused by external factors. In most cases, hot flashes in women are brought about by a menopause stage. They normally appear with too much sweating at night.
Hot flashes are a common symptom that affects women who are in perimenopause or who are approaching menopause stage. The symptom may continue for about six months to one year in the menopause stage before it stops. In some cases, it may take longer than that time.
Hot flashes do not just occur because of menopause alone but there are other conditions that trigger this condition in women. In some cases, hot flashes may appear suddenly while in others they appear gradually. This condition is associated with other symptoms such as:
- You may feel your fingers tingling
- The heart beat may be faster than usual during this time
- The skin make become warm suddenly
- The face may turn red or flushed
- Increased sweating in the upper body
What are Hot Flashes?
As we have said above, if you experience an immediate or sudden heat in your body that you do not know where it has come from then you are experiencing a hot flash. In most cases hot flashes are accompanied by sweating. The main cause of this condition is not yet known but sources link some conditions to be triggers of it. For example, in women hot flashes are mainly believed to be caused by menopause stage for those women who are there or almost there.
Usually hot flashes are seen with a reddened, flushed face with sweat. Many discussions link this condition to changes in the blood circulation. According to some researches, hot flashes are said to occur when blood vessels that are closer to the skin surface dilate in order to cool thereby resulting into sweating. Some women may have increased heart beat or chills and this makes the condition to worse.
Although hot flashes happen at any time of the day, they are said to be common during the night while someone is in the bed resulting into night sweats. This is usually troublesome since it makes an individual unable to sleep.
What does a Hot Flash Feel Like
Usually, a hot flash is a symptom that originate from vasomotor or blood vessels which may vary in its intensity and duration. A normal hot flash may last for a period of between 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
- Usually, a hot flash is experienced as unexpected brief feeling of an intense that results in the face and neck redness there by making the skin in these areas appears blotchy.
- Most of the women who have reported this issue usually describe it as a sudden feeling of rush of blood from the toes up to their heads.
- In most cases hot flashes in women are felt as very hot feeling which then become chilly. In some cases hot flashes can cause an irregular change in the heart beat and pulse rate thereby resulting to heart palpitations.
- Women undergoing this feeling further explain that, their skin usually is sweaty and they also feel dizzy.
- When having or after having a hot flash, some women may experience headaches, dizziness and shaking as additional symptoms. The symptoms experienced physically can also be associated with psychological symptoms such as becoming anxious, reduced morale and depression.
What Causes Hot Flashes in Women
Women are known to have many stages in their lives where there may be few changes in their hormone levels. Some of these changes make them to become more susceptible to some conditions such as hot flashes. Just to mention a few, during perimenopause or menopause stage as we mentioned above, women may feel and intense heat which is sometimes associated with sweating. Hot flashes in women can be felt as if someone has injected you with what is contained in those little hand – warning gel packs.
Hot flashes are usually annoying and their associate symptoms usually pose a very big discomfort to the affected person. Apart from what we have mentioned above, there are other many reasons why women may experience hot flashes in their day to day life. And they can attack a woman at any age in lifetime. It is important for you to know that, hot flashes are not a condition that is life threatening, and there are some cases where it is not clearly understood why it appears.
Causes of hot flashes in women
You should note the day this condition start to attack and observe very keenly every changes. This can be helpful when it comes to finding the trigger of the hot flash and therefore correct treatment thereafter. Also, your doctor usually would like to know the progress of the condition so that it is easily manageable. A part from menopause, there are other several triggers of hot flashes in women as we are going to discuss below.
- Prescribed medication
Hot flashes are termed as one of the side effect of prescribed medications of some kind. Some of the medications that will result in side effects including hot flashes are opioids, antidepressants and osteoporosis. If you find out that you developed hot flashes after taking either of these medications that could be the cause for your condition. Talk to your doctor to find out if you can change the medication.
- Obesity or overweight
Increased weight can also be a problem when it comes to some of the conditions you are going through. Body fats are said to be metabolically active therefore helping in the explanation of the link between obesity and some types of cancer. Therefore, since overweight can affect your normal metabolism, it can as well result in hot flashes.
Obesity can be controlled by just observing your diet and carrying out some exercises. Make sure you feed on food that have low sugar level, low fats and promote the intake of fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods. Hot flashes in women who are obese or overweight can be solved through these ways.
- Food allergies and sensitiveness
Sources have revealed that eating of foods that have a lot of spices can trigger hot flashes as well. In addition to that, if you have unidentified food allergy you may face this condition as well. Those people who are very sensitive are most commonly faced with this problem.
If you like drinking too much you cannot be excluded from hot flashes. Alcohol has an effect on your liver and as we all know, liver is used regulate the temperature of the body. Usually, alcohol is absorbed in the liver thereby tempering with the normal production and balancing of body heat. In this case a woman who is alcoholic may end up experiencing hot flashes at some points.
Also, caffeine and some additives such as sulfites may as well trigger this condition. You just have to pay attention the way your body will respond if you take any of these things we have mentioned, and that will be the best way of finding out a solution. You may as well visit your doctor and explain everything so that you may be given some medical advice concerning hot flashes in women.
Stress and anxiety are common words that you have ever come across. They both sometime mean the same thing although mental health experts prefer the use of anxiety as a physical side of emotions such as stress fear and worry. Anxiety can be identified by increased heart beat and the nervous fidgeting which are the main symptoms. Also, if someone is feeling uncomfortable, that can be described as being anxious.
Anxiety can be controlled by staying calm and making you to be at ease at all times. Also, exercising, meditation and yoga can as well help in reducing hot flashes in women that are brought about by anxiety.
- Health conditions
There are several health conditions that are associated with hot flashes as one of the symptoms associated by it. For example, fever brought about by malaria infection can also trigger hot flashes. Sources have it that almost all health conditions that have an effect on the hormonal balance or endocrine system in the body can trigger hot flashes. Also thyroid issues especially in the case of overactive thyroid can also be the reason why you have excessive heat on your skin. Infections that result from viruses or bacteria can as well pose this condition.
This type of hot flash is controlled by first treating the underlying sickness that caused it and that will be the best way of dealing with it.
- Hot bedroom
A hot bedroom can result in hot flashes and sweats at night. Usually, during the night temperatures of the body may fluctuate. Therefore it is normal to wake up in the middle of the night feeling overheated or sweating excessively. A part from hot bedroom environment, you can also feel too much heat if you sleep with heavy cloths and cover yourself with heavy blankets.
Fixing this problem is very simple since it just requires regulating the temperatures of your room and also covering yourself with smooth lighter linen to avoid overheating your body.
Hot Flashes during period/ after Period
As we said above, hot flashes in women can appear at any age, sex, period and occasion. Women can experience this feeling either when they are attending their periods or when they are through with it. We have said hot flashes in most cases are caused by problems in the hormonal levels changes. During period there are increased hormonal activities in a woman’s body and there is no doubt that some of them may experience hot flash.
For young girls who have ever gotten hot flash, the reason is simple. The cause is period that you are having or you recently had. You may be comfortable enjoying with your girls and suddenly you experience a heat that cause your face to become red and sweaty without any heating from the surrounding environment.
It is not unusual to see hot flashes in women who are younger. Flashes that women experience in their early twenties are usually milder than those experienced in menopause. This is majorly relying on hormonal activities. During periods the estrogen hormone may reduce in level thereby messing up with the body’s normal way of regulating temperature.
Sources have it that having hot flashes while you are younger do not necessarily mean that you will have greater problems later. You may just have that problem for some time then it will resolve when things get better.
How long do Hot Flashes Last
The period taken by this symptom will depend on a number of factors and the time frame in each affected woman. Some women may experience this problem the entire of their menopausal period while other will experience them towards the end of their menopausal period. Women who attend the menopause stage earlier are likely to get this condition for a longer period as compared to others. Moreover, other factors that cause hot flashes in women may also determine the time it will take for them to disappear. Removing or getting rid of the factor will speed up the time for the condition to cure.
There are numerous ways you can make this condition to last shorter. Some of these ways include:
- Avoiding things like caffeine, alcohol and sulfites
- Avoid stress
- Avoid spicy foods
- Avoid heavy cloths while sleeping
- Reduce heat in your bedroom
This condition is treatable and if it is causing you much discomforts it good if you visit your doctor and explain everything as he will ask.
Reasons for Hot Flashes at Night
Hot flashes in women at night are a common problem especially to those who are in menopause. Apart from change of your sleeping patterns, fluctuating hormonal levels can also cause increased sweating in addition to hot flashes. At night the symptoms are normally worse because of covering yourself with heavy blankets and wearing of tight and thick cloths which makes it hard for your body to loose excess heat. To add on that, if your room is poorly ventilated or you sleep with heaters on, you may worsen your situation.
Hot flashes and night sweats go hand in hand especially if you have fluctuations in your hormonal levels. This is why women are at greatest risk especially during menopause, periods and pregnancy. It is believed that during these periods, hormonal activities are usually beyond the control of the body; therefore, a woman should expect some changes on the skin or inside the body.
If you experience hot flashes at night, it can be a big problem since you can no longer catch a nap. If associated with sweating, you may find your beddings and clothing drenched in sweat and you can feel as if you have urinated in your bed. It is important to seek control measures since this can result into many other psychological problems including stress and anxiety.
Hot Flashes during Pregnancy
Some women may be worried if they experience hot flashes while pregnant. Sources have confirmed that there is no problem having hot flashes while you are pregnant. This is because while you are pregnant there are many changes that occur on hormones that are responsible for every activity in pregnancy and this may result in hot flashes just as moog swings. It has been revealed that more than 1/3 of women who are pregnant may experience hot flashes even days after they give birth.
Baby center suggest that, while during pregnancy there is drop in estrogen hormones as well as increased metabolism hence this cause surges of heat at night especially while you are sleeping. That is why most pregnant women may keep rolling in bed after every short time. In most cases, hot flashes in women who are pregnant affect the head, neck and chest and they can stay for 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
Research confirms that while pregnant, hot flashes are common during the second and third trimesters and may even continue after delivery. This is because hormones drop after pregnancy and they may stay lower even as you breast feed.