If you have never suffered from hot flashes, it is pretty easy to think that they are no big deal. However, if you are one of the 85% of women that experience a hot flash during menopause, you would not agree with this assessment.
Hot flashes are caused by changes in estrogen. While most hot flashes are experienced during menopause, any surgery or drug that alters your estrogen levels can bring about your hot flashes. This means that birth control pills, fertility drugs, and even breast cancer medication can cause hot flashes and make a person seek out hot flash relief.
When a person gets hot flashes it usually begins with a quick rise in body heat. This body heat can cause perspiration, discomfort, and even redness of your face or extremities. Hot flashes can occur at any time of the day, but most women report experiencing them at night. Sometimes when hot flashes are severe, they begin with an aura-like experience and when they end, they are quickly followed by feelings of being chilled. Hot flash symptoms include:
- Night sweats and hot flashes
- Hot flushes
- Hot flashes fatigue
Hot flashes may begin as early as two years before the cessation of a woman’s monthly period and can continue up to five years after the cessation of menses. Studies show that on average a woman will experience hot flashes for four years while she goes through menopause. Her hot flashes will vary in their severity throughout those years. Statistically, the faster you go through menopause, the more intense your hot flashes are. Women that take longer to completely stop having a period may experience hot flashes for a longer period of time, but they usually aren’t as severe as the woman that finishes menopause in less than two years. Hot flashes statistically seem to be more common in African American women than in Caucasian, Asian, or Latino women. Studies have found that Mayan Indian women tend to report no hot flash symptoms associated with menopause.
Menopausal women are not the only people to experience hot flashes. Research shows that 50 -75% of women who take Tamoxifen to treat breast cancer will experience hot flushes that are severe enough to seek out a cure for hot flashes.
While it doesn’t happen often, women aren’t the only ones that seek help with hot flashes. Doctors report that some of their male patients get hot flashes caused by a drop in testosterone. This can occur after surgery to remove the testes or when a man takes medidine for prostate cancer.
While hot flashes are uncomfortable, they do eventually end and there are many great treatments, such as Hot Flash Freedom that will alleviate the discomfort that they cause.