What is a Hot Flash?
A hot flash is defined as a feeling of intense heat experienced throughout the body, accompanied by excessive sweating and rapid heartbeat. It occurs as a result of changing hormonal levels, a common phenomenon observed in women during menopause. Usually, occurs during the night, a sensation of heat that is initiated in the face and chest, travels to the other areas of the body, like the neck, back, and many times the whole body.
One may also experience a burning sensation on the surface of the skin like the face, which becomes hot upon touching. Hot flashes after menopause are common as the body is going through some major hormonal changes with respect to the reproductive system. Hence, due to these changes, hot flashes become very frequent. Since all women go through menopause, hot flashes are common amongst many. Thus, even if you have never suffered from them, read on to find out the reasons behind what causes them to occur specifically after menopause.
Causes of Hot Flashes After Menopause
- Lifestyle and medication
- Anything that affects the Hypothalamus Gland
- Decrease in Estrogen level
Brief Description of the Causes of Hot Flashes
- Even though hot flashes are mainly caused due to the hormonal changes that occur in the body after the menopause stage, the lifestyle and medications also have a role to play.
- The hypothalamus gland is known as the thermostat of the body and is situated below the brain. This thermostat controls the elevations and depressions of heat in our body and maintains the overall temperature.
- After menopause, there is a diminished level of the female reproductive hormone, estrogen, in the body. This decrease in estrogen level has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, which also regulates other activities, like your appetite, sleep cycles, other sex hormones, and body temperature.
- Due to this confusion, the hypothalamus gives wrong signals to the brain and for a few minutes, the temperature of either one part of the body or the entire body is increased, giving rise to a hot flash.
- Not all women go through hot flashes after the menstrual cycle ends, but a few who already have hormonal problems like deficiencies tend to experience them. If you are wondering, how long do hot flashes last after menopause, then they last for the first few menopausal years and then gradually fade away.
- As mentioned above, it is not just the hormones, which cause it, other factors like lifestyle and medicines taken after menopause are also triggers. Alcohol, spicy food, weather, diet pills, caffeine, and smoking are also some of the major causes.
Treatment of Hot Flashes After Menopause
You can't treat something like hot flashes, which is not a disease, but a symptom of many hormonal diseases. Hence, you can only reduce their effects and keep them from recurring time and again. Below are a few tips to help you reduce the effect of hot flashes:
- Regular exercise
- A balanced and low-fat diet
- Herbal remedies
- Juices and cool drinks
Brief Description of the Tips to Reduce Hot Flashes
- The occurrence of hot flashes cannot be controlled, so you can only make sure you fight them in an easy way. Engage in relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, meditation, visualization, massage, yoga, biofeedback techniques, etc.
- You can change your diet to something like a low-fat diet, as it helps keep your body temperature normal. Low-fat diet and regular exercise also help lose weight, which is a very healthy option after you cross your menopause age (since you tend to gain weight).
- There is also a risk of losing too much weight after menopause, therefore, eating a perfectly balanced diet, with regular exercise, and avoiding overeating is just the ticket for a healthy forties!
- If your doctor prescribes some medicines like antidepressants and vitamins for the severe occurrence of hot flashes, make sure you take them in the advised doses and not more. You can also try some herbal remedies as well.
- You can wear thinner clothes, drink ice water, use cotton sheets while sleeping, and drink plenty of juices and cool drinks whenever required.
With this information, you can try to fight this painful symptom easily! But, make sure you visit your doctor regularly to keep him/her updated about the severity of your hot flashes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.