Understanding Hot Flashes in Women
Hot flashes are just what they sound like—one minute you’re fine, the next minute you’re on fire. They come on quickly, and then they pass, typically within a few minutes. Besides feeling hot, most women will have a flushed face, accompanied by sweating. You may also experience a rapid heart rate, nausea, dizziness, and chills.
When hot flashes happen at night, they’re often called “night sweats”. Night sweats can interfere with sleep, and over time can result in chronic insomnia.
Hot flashes are a hallmark symptom of menopause because so many menopausal and perimenopausal women experience them. How often and for how long varies from woman to woman. Some women only have a few hot flashes a week, while others may have them on and off all day.
Causes of Hot Flashes
While the precise mechanism that triggers hot flashes isn’t well understood, we do know that the root cause is the decline in estrogen and progesterone that comes with menopause.
This decline in estrogen and progesterone causes the hypothalamus gland to go a little haywire. Since the hypothalamus controls body temperature, this means your body’s thermostat gets its signals crossed. It tries to cool you down because it thinks you’re hot, when in fact you’re not.
While hormone imbalance is almost always the root cause of hot flashes, there are some things that will exacerbate them, such as stress, poor eating habits, weight gain, and insufficient physical activity.
Treatment For Hot Flashes in Women
Hot flashes are kept at bay by returning estrogen and progesterone to normal levels. Our doctors can prescribe individualized bioidentical hormone replacement therapy that will eliminate hot flashes 1 to 2 weeks after your hormones are balanced. Just think what a relief that will be. Let’s get started.