Hot flashes are feelings of warmth felt on the face and neck area. The skin becomes reddish and your face looks very much like blushing. It is accompanied by intense sweating which may cause “chilled’ feeling in you. Hot flashes are quite common in women who are in menopause stage. They may occur once or many times a day and sometimes it can also happen during night. Basically it is caused by hormonal changes.
The affected person will be engulfed with a sudden feeling of warmth. The warmth is felt largely on the face and neck and upper part of the body. Your face becomes reddened as though you are blushing. For some it can cause blotchy skin and profuse sweating. There may be palpitation and feeling of chillness when the hot flashes subside. Normally it would occur only for few minutes. It can be ignored if it does not interrupt your daily life.
Hormonal imbalance is the main cause for hot flash. It can also occur when the functions of hypothalamus is affected. This is the area in the brain which is responsible for regulating the body temperature and some hormones may block its function which may trigger hot flashes. Estrogen is the main hormone which is totally reduced or withdrawn during menopause thus interfering with the functions of hypothalamus causing hot flashes. Hot flashes may also occur due to excess secretion of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).
Estrogen when secreted in low levels will not affect the normal functioning of the brain as seen in children and teenage females.
Who are at risk?
Smoking and physical inactivity may increase hot flashes in women. It is not mandatory that all women who are in menopause stage will experience hot flashes. Similarly women who are overweight are likely to get hot flashes frequently.
It is very popular in certain ethnic community like African American race and less frequent in Chinese and Japanese women.
Range of treatment methods is available for hot flashes but your doctor will always recommend to ignore the symptoms since hot flashes will settle on its own after few months or years.
• Hormone Therapy:
Estrogen hormone is given for reducing hot flashes but only in lowest possible dosage. Your doctor will analyze the health condition and check for heart related disease and also monitor the symptoms of hot flashes and its frequency before starting estrogen therapy. This treatment is not safe for people with breast cancer and heart related diseases. For some women, progesterone is given instead of estrogen for relieving the symptoms.
• Drug Treatment:
Certain drugs like antidepressants (venlafaxine, paroxetine and fluoxetine) are effective in reducing the symptoms of hot flashes. But there will be some adverse effects like nausea, weight gain and dizziness.
Prescription medicines include gabapentin (given for epilepsy), clonidine (given for treating hypertension) but many of them will have some side effects. Hence these drugs are to be given only if the symptoms are severe and interfere with the daily life.
• Home Remedies:
Many of you can ignore the symptoms if they are mild, without requiring any treatment. Simple lifestyle adjustments are highly beneficial for controlling hot flashes.
Keep yourself cool and try to lower the temperature when it is hot outside. You can also have cold drinks when you have such signs. Avoid taking coffee, tea and hot spicy foods which can increase hot flashes. Quit smoking which is beneficial for managing hot flashes and helps in protecting you from many diseases.
Pictures, Photos, Images and Pics of Hot Flashes :
Practice yoga and relaxation exercise to reduce stress which will ultimately decrease the symptoms of hot flashes. Make sure that you are sleeping in cool environment and use only cotton clothes that absorb perspiration.
Herbal products are widely used by many women for controlling hot flashes.
• Phytoestrogen :
Some people restore to take plant estrogens and black cohosh for managing hot flashes. This are safe methods of treating this disease without any side effects.