Hot Flushes

Q: What are the symptoms of hot flushes? What causes them? What is the difference between hot flushes and hot flashes?
Expert Answer

Hot flushes and hot flashes are terms for the same physical experience. They are used interchangeably in most literature on the topic, with hot flashes perhaps being a slightly more common usage. The words ‘flush’ and ‘flash’ both indicate the primary sensations, the sudden flushing of your skin with heat or the flash of heat that suddenly hits your body.

The symptoms vary by individual but usually include the following: cranial pressure at the onset of the hot flushes, warmth to extreme heat flowing through your upper body and face, blushing with blotches on your face and upper body, increased heartbeat, and sudden perspiration followed by a chill after the hot flush ends. Some people may also feel weak, tired, faint, or dizzy during a hot flush. Additionally, hot flushes vary in frequency, intensity, and duration. You could have several a day, or just one or two a week and they could last a few minutes or continue up to 30 minutes.

The exact cause of hot flushes isn’t known, but it is believed that they occur when something alters the function of your hypothalamus, which controls your body temperature. Menopause causes a reduction* in estrogen, which may impede proper functioning of the hypothalamus, causing severe changes in body temperature. Certain medications, including antidepressants, may trigger hot flushes. Some believe that spicy, fatty or acidic foods, smoking, alcohol, and caffeine might contribute to causing hot flushes. Other possible causes include stress, hot weather, hot tubs or saunas, exercise, sex, and anger.

If you are looking for a product that relieves menopausal hot flushes, you have many choices and a confusing array of ingredients to pick from. Menopausal symptom relief products are found in pharmacies, organic health stores, or on the Internet. You’ll often find yourself confused and unsure of which product to buy from the hundreds of different brands available. You may be even want to just try out products until you find one that works for you. Prior to just buying the first product you encounter, it would be wise to do a little research on which ingredients and/or products actually contain ingredients that actually work at relieving hot flushes.

Diana Hackett, our health and nutrition expert reviewed the various menopausal symptom relief products and which products actually were effective for reducing* hot flushes and which ones were not. Her findings were based on scientific evidence and will save you hours of research.

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Contributor : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.

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