Menopause Hot Flashes: Definition and Other Causes Of Hot Flashes

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.

What Are Hot Flashes?

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.

Hot Flashes Symptoms

The symptoms produced by hot flashes vary amongst different women, both
in location, frequency, severity and even associated symptoms.

Causes Of Hot Flashes

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

  1. Hyperthyroidism
  2. carcinoid syndrome, a kind of tumor that produces a serotonin that dilates blood vessels too.
  3. Pheochromocytoma, adrenal gland tumor that produces adrenaline
  4. Stress reaction! Ever seen someone blushed and flushed when stressed out???
  5. Some neurological diseases

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.

Are These Menopausal Flashes?

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.

Hot Flashes Remedies

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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