A person who experiences a brief feeling of warmth or sweating is considered to be suffering from hot flashes. Every person can suffer from hot flashes but it is mainly women who suffer from it and especially women who are about to get into menopause.
Causes of hot flashes
The experts are still unsure about the actual cause of hot flashes but there are several theories about the possible cause. One theory is that hot flashes occur due to the drop in the level of certain female hormones known as estrogens. This drop usually occurs when a woman reaches menopause. The reason why a woman will experience hot flashes is because this hormone is known to affect the hypothalamus, which is responsible for the regulation of body temperature.
According to the data, 85% of all women experience hot flashes when they reach menopause. The time when women reach menopause, is around the age of 51. However, it is not uncommon for the hot flashes to occur a couple of years before that time. Not every woman will suffer from hot flashes for the same amount of time and some women may suffer from it around half a year while others may suffer from hot flashes for about 15 years. According to the experts, an average period of hot flashes is around two years. Some women may experience them only a couple of times within a year, while some may suffer from hot flashes up to 20 times in one day.
Even though hot flashes are a female problem, some men may experience it as well due to a sudden drop of testosterone.
Symptoms of hot flashes
At first, a person will experience intense warmth in the upper part of the body which is usually followed by redness, drenching perspiration and in the end a cold and clammy feeling. The symptoms almost always begin at the head and then spread downwards. The symptoms may last from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. It is not uncommon for people to experience dizziness, weakness and even heart palpitations.
Prevention of hot flashes
Women need to know that there is no way to prevent hot flashes caused by menopause. However, there are ways they can ease the symptoms and make them occur a lot less.
When a hot flash starts, a woman should drink a glass of cold water. Drinking enough water helps in this situation.
Avoiding caffeine and alcohol beverages helps as well. Women need to limit the intake of red wine, aged cheese and chocolate in order to ease the symptoms.
Smoking should be avoided as well.
Wearing comfortable clothing helps in this situation and women should also consider dressing in layers.
Exercises are an important part of reducing the symptoms as well.