What is a Hot Flash?

You have probably heard the term hot flash a million times, but unless you have experienced menopause hot flashes, chances are you don’t really understand what a true hot flash is. This article will help you to understand:

  • What causes hot flashes
  • How to treat hot flashes
  • How to reduce hot flashes

A hot flash occurs because of the hormonal changes that go on in the body during menopause. During this time in a woman’s life, estrogen supply is diminished, effecting the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for the control of your sleep cycles, sex hormones, appetite, and your body temperature. When estrogen production slows down, the hypothalamus gets confused and causes your body to grow hot.

When this occurs, your body tries to defend against the sudden onset of heat. Your heart begins to pump faster, your skin’s blood vessels dilate in an effort to circulate more blood and radiate heat away from your body, and your sweat glands start working overtime.

A woman’s body can actually go up by six degrees Celsius during a hot flash and then cool down so quickly that she is left shivering with cold. This is made worse if she is soaked with sweat. A hot flash can last a few seconds or a few minutes. Some women have even reported experiencing hot flashes for up to an hour. No matter how long it takes to have a hot flash, it usually takes at least thirty minutes to get over one.

Treating a hot flash can help you to get through it. Some easy to implement suggestions include making changes in your wardrobe. Wear layers of clothes, so it is easy to remove a layer when a hot flash strikes. Avoid turtlenecks and stick to loosely collared shirts instead. Wear cotton pajamas and if you sweat a lot at night, consider wearing a loose nightgown, which is a lot easier to quickly change in the dark. You can also treat a hot flash with a few simple tips such as taking a cool shower before bed, using cotton sheets instead of synthetics, and sipping iced water when a hot flash occurs.

If you are searching for hot flash relief, you are not alone. At least 85% of women get hot flashes during menopause. There are many different ways to reduce hot flashes. Some women report that taking blood pressure medication can help with controlling their hot flashes. Some women are on estrogen therapy and many women take natural supplements, such as Hot Flash Freedom to reduce hot flashes. You can also avoid things that trigger a hot flash such as alcohol, caffeine, hot food, hot showers, smoking, or saunas.