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Hot Flashes

About the Disease

Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Your skin may redden, as if you're blushing. Hot flashes can also cause profuse sweating and may leave you chilled. Although other hormonal conditions can cause them, hot flashes most commonly are due to menopause — the time when a woman's menstrual periods stop. In fact, hot flashes are the most common symptom of the menopausal transition. How often hot flashes occur varies from woman to woman, but usually the range is from one or two a day to one an hour. There are a variety of treatments for particularly bothersome hot flashes.

During a hot flash, you may experience:

  • A sudden feeling of warmth spreading through your upper body and face
  • A flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Perspiration, mostly on your upper body
  • Feeling chilled as the hot flash subsides

Hot flashes vary in frequency — you may have few or many in a day — and each hot flash usually subsides in a few minutes. They're particularly common at night. Most women who experience hot flashes have them for more than a year, but they usually stop on their own within four to five years.

If hot flashes become particularly bothersome, consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options.

The exact cause of hot flashes isn't known, but it's likely related to several factors. These include changes in reproductive hormones and in your body's thermostat (hypothalamus), which becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature.

Not all women who go through menopause have hot flashes. It's not clear why only some women get hot flashes. The following factors increase your risk:

  • Smoking - Women who smoke are more likely to get hot flashes.
  • Obesity - A high body mass index (BMI) is associated with a higher frequency of hot flashes.
  • Physical inactivity - If you don't exercise, you may be more likely to have hot flashes during menopause.
  • Ethnicity - More African-American women report menopausal hot flashes than do women of European descent. Hot flashes are less common in women of Japanese and Chinese descent than in white European women.

Nighttime hot flashes (night sweats) can wake you from sleep and, over time, may cause chronic insomnia. These sleep disturbances can, in turn, eventually lead to memory problems, anxiety and depression in some women.

    Dr. Rama Joshi

    Dr. Rama Joshi

    Director

    Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon

    Dr. Hrishikesh D Pai

    Dr. Hrishikesh D Pai

    Senior Consultant & Head

    Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon

    Dr. Monika  Chaudhary

    Dr. Monika Chaudhary

    Consultant - Gynaecology

    Paras Hospital, Gurgaon

    Dr. Sabhyata Gupta

    Dr. Sabhyata Gupta

    Director

    Medanta The Medicity, Gurgaon

    Dr. Nupur Gupta

    Dr. Nupur Gupta

    Consultant and Unit Head, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

    Paras Hospital, Gurgaon

    Dr. Pooja  Mehta

    Dr. Pooja Mehta

    Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology

    Paras Hospital, Gurgaon

    Dr. Amit Kumar Patil

    Dr. Amit Kumar Patil

    Consultant - Gynaecology & Laproscopic Surgery and IVF

    Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Pune

    Dr. Vivek Marwah

    Dr. Vivek Marwah

    Senior Consultant & Head

    Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi

    Dr. Swasti .

    Dr. Swasti .

    Consultant - Gynae Oncology

    Max Super Speciality Hospital (Pushpanjali Crosslay), Vaishali, Ghaziabad

    Dr. Kanika Gupta

    Dr. Kanika Gupta

    Director & Senior Consultant - Gynae Oncology

    Max Super Speciality Hospital (Pushpanjali Crosslay), Vaishali, Ghaziabad

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