Menopause hot flashes seem to be the most concerning symptom of most women who are approaching menopause and some who are already in menopause.
They are also called menopause hot flushes or sometimes menopause night sweats when they occur in the night.
While the general symptoms of menopause may literally invade some women like a roller coaster, others have little or no disturbing symptoms. Whatever the case, menopause in itself is not a disease and therefore should not weigh you down. If the symptoms such as hot flashes become bothersome, there are medical and lifestyle measures which are available to help women get through this stage of their life without loosing their sense of lifelines.
But first, you should know what these popular flashes are, how they manifest and what are the current options available to deal with them. That is what I will be discussing with you in this article.
Menopause hot flashes are sudden and momentary sensation of warmth most intense over the face, neck and chest.That may be accompanied by red flushed face and sweating.The sensation of internal heat most often begins in the face, chest or even the back and neck in some women, and it can spread throughout the entire body. The skin of the face may become reddened(or blushed) and and even hot to touch. This is the origin of the term menopause hot flushes to describe it. They may occur at night, interrupting sleep with sweating and are thus called night sweats.You may read more on menopause and night sweats here.
Not all women getting to menopause will experience menopause hot flashes. Only about 75% of women will experience hot flashes at some point during the entire menopause transition period.
The symptoms produced by hot flashes vary amongst different women, both in location, frequency, severity and even associated symptoms.
This is the part I do not like discussing with women whenever they specifically ask this question because the answer is what they usually do not want to hear. It is hard to tell a women who is somehow worried about these new disturbing symptoms, that doctors do not know the exact cause of menopause hot flashes! At least you should not be also worried about this because not knowing the exact cause does not mean not knowing what to do to help provide relief!
Though the exact cause is not known, it is someway related to the drop of estrogen in perimenopause, which affects the body thermostat in the brain called the hypothalamus. It is just like having the thermostat of your refrigerator not working properly for some reason and it keeps causing intermittent high temperatures.
This disordered body heat regulation affects the blood vessels to the skin which intermittently dilate and cause more blood to the skin, producing the redness and the hot skin.
Be informed that not all hot flashes are menopause hot flashes though menopause is the number one cause of hot flushes in women!
Other hormonal diseases can cause non-menopausal hot flashes.Some of these include
The characteristic presentation of menopause hot flushes is they develop progressively over months and even years and do not have other major disease related symptoms such as weight loss, pain somewhere, fatigue etc.
The fact is that the majority of cases of flashes in women is due to menopause. It is usually not hard for women who are experiencing such symptoms and have knowledge about them to diagnose them as menopause-related. I have had other women consult for menopause hot flashes without knowing, thinking they are having a terrible disease that shows up suddenly and appears to go away suddenly also!
In some few cases, it may be a little less clear. When a non-menopausal cause is the reason, it will show up with other non-menopause symptoms also. Whatever the case, if you are uncertain in any way, please see your doctor.
You should understand that menopause in itself does not require any laboratory test to diagnose it. It is purely clinical when it is obvious. If there is some doubt, the doctor may request blood Follicle Stimulating hormone or estrogen to confirm the diagnosis.
A number of medications and lifestyle measures are available to handle these flashes. The most effective of all is simply giving back the hormone which is low, that is estrogen. However, your doctor will have to your suitability and potential risks. Home remedy for hot flashes include lifestyle changes which may be all that is needed in mild cases and non-prescription vitamins. Natural hot flash relief remedies including herbal and other alternative therapies are now available and gaining popularity amongst many women.
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