We all like to have control over our lives but when it comes to time and age, we have to comply.
Women undergo a lot of changes from puberty till menopause and each phase of their life is filled with different kinds of experiences. Older women who are close to their menopause (in a phase called perimenopause) begin to experience excessive heat from within the body or wake up at night due to profuse sweating. If this is you, you are undergoing a symptom called hot flashes.
Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. These symptoms may also be experienced by women who are undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer or removal of ovaries.
Read on to learn more about hot flashes in just 5 simple points!
What are the symptoms of hot flashes?
Hot flashes are intense heat from within the body with no external heat source. You can just feel the hot flash appear and usually, quite suddenly. Other symptoms of hot flashes that you may experience are:
- Mild tingling in your fingers
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling warm inside the body suddenly
- Reddening of the face or looking flushed
- Excessive sweating in the upper part of the body
How long do hot flashes last?
Hot flashes usually appear suddenly but one cannot predict how long each episode will last. Sometimes, they may resolve in just a few seconds but other times, they can last as long as 10 minutes. The frequency with which they appear is also not easy to predict. It has been observed that while few women experience a few episodes of hot flashes in a week, some may experience a few in just an hour. Also, your overall health, lifestyle habits and other ongoing treatments can influence the duration and frequency of your hot flashes.
Is there something that triggers hot flashes?
What causes hot flashes in menopausal women is unknown but existing studies state that it is a result of hormonal changes that you may be undergoing. But, did you know there may be a few things that can trigger a hot flash? These trigger factors vary for each woman and may include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Consuming caffeinated drinks
- Eating spicy food
- Excess stress and anxiety
- Wearing excessively tight clothing
- Spending your time in a hot room
If you are unsure about what is triggering your hot flashes, it may be a great idea to keep a journal about it. Observing a pattern in your symptoms and lifestyle habits can help you determine it.
Can I prevent hot flashes?
Hot flashes are a part of your menopausal transition. You can reduce their frequency by avoiding trigger factors. While there is no guaranteed treatment available to prevent hot flashes, there are multiple solutions that you can try to help reduce your symptoms, the duration and frequency of your episodes.
Its treatment may include lifestyle changes, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), prescription medications and alternative therapies like acupressure, homoeopathy and Ayurvedic herbs.
How to stop hot flashes fast?
What do you do when you are undergoing a hot flash episode? Well, here are some quick relief methods that you can try:
- Sip on some ice-cold water during a hot flash episode.
- If you experience night sweats, wear cotton clothing or minimal clothing to feel comfortable.
- Keep a cold pack at your bedside.
- Keep your home cool at all times.
Though hot flashes are a common menopausal symptom, no two women might experience the same symptoms of the condition. It is natural for most women to panic when they are undergoing an episode of a hot flash. However, rest assured that it is your body’s response to the changing internal environment. If you have any queries or concerns about menopause, hot flashes or night sweats, you must consult with your doctor immediately.
What symptoms have you experienced while having hot flashes?