Hot flashes are the most common menopause-related symptom, affecting over 75% of women in midlife. Let’s discuss triggers, symptoms, and treatments.The most Frequently Asked Questions.
What is going on during a hot flash?
The small blood vessels near the skin surface are dilating, which causes heat release and flushing. So why does this even happen? As estrogen levels drop, changes in the hypothalamus in our brain cause dysfunction of the natural internal thermometer. The feeling of warmth results from inappropriate peripheral vasodilatation with increased blood flow to skin. Perspiration results in rapid heat loss and a decrease in core body temperature below normal. Shivering may then occur as a normal mechanism to restore the core temperature to normal.
What provokes hot flashes?
Hot flashes can last anywhere from 2-4 minutes and commonly occur related to these situations:
Drinking hot liquids (coffee, tea, hot water)
Eating spicy foods
Taking a hot shower
When stressed, excited, anxious
When overly physically active
When overdressed or wearing tight-fitting clothes
As a side effect of some medications
It is important to know that hot flashes and/or night sweats can be indicative of other diseases (carcinoid, pheochromocytoma, POTS, certain cancers).
Does your doctor’s office feel like a place where you can talk about any symptoms you are experiencing and get answers to the questions you have? If you are searching for a physician that takes time to listen, Dr. Diaz is accepting a limited number of new patients at Roots Health DPC.
In general, if the symptoms are happening every hour or two and interfering with your functioning or if the symptoms are interfering with sleep, we recommend speaking to your physician about hormonal options available.
Next week we take a deep dive into Hormone Replacement Therapy… the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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