Generally, women tend to connect hot flashes with decreased level of estrogen, but the truth is that these two do not have to be connected. Not only women have hot flashes, but men have them as well. Men have these sensations when their level of testosterone falls. The drop of testosterone and estrogen level is responsible for hot flashes but besides hormones, there are other causes of sensations of heat.
What does hot flash mean?
Hot flash is unexpected sensation of heat, followed by sweating in the abdomen, chest, neck and head. This strong sensation can cause redness on the face and neck. They can also appear during the night, and it is hard to differentiate hot flashes from sensations caused by increased body temperature. Here is how you can recognize what is what: if the hot sensation is short lasting, then it is probably a hot flash, while if you sweat longer than couple of moments, then the cause probably lies in increased temperature of the body.
The true physical reason for these sensation in unknown, but there are assumptions that the brain center responsible for the regulation of heat somehow gets disturbed and that is why we feel flashes. Substances released from brain make blood vessels wider and we feel warmth in our body. Estrogen and testosterone help the body to ignore these changes, but if their level is low, we feel these changes. Hot flashes can be less frequent if you lower the temperature in your room.
What can be the cause of hot flashes?
We all know that hot pepper makes us to sweat. That is because pepper widens our blood vessels. Alcohol and artificial substances in the food that we eat can also cause hot flashes. Some medicines can induce hot flashes as unwanted effect of their intake. There are many health issues that can trigger hot flashes but it is known that distress is number one reason because of the chemicals released in our blood during our reaction to stress. We can feel hot flashes even because of a nightmare.
Hot flashes in menopausal women
Hot flashes are very common in the years before and during the menopause, though they are more frequent during the menopause. It is best to talk to your doctor and do all the necessary analysis, especially if your menstruation is not regular, in order to find out whether your estrogen level is low or menopausal period is beginning.