Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Causes Hot Flashes And When Will They Be Over?

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Sunday, May 2, 2010, 14:13
This news item was posted in Menopause and HRT category and has 0 Comments so far.

Every woman who is in perimenopause or menopause itself will be able to identify the symptoms of a hot flash, such as the sweating, the rush of intense heat over the upper body and face, and the rapid heartbeat associated with hot flashes. Not as many women however can tell you what causes a hot flash. According to some sources, the causes of hot flashes vary depending on if you are perimenopausal – which is the transition into menopause – or menopausal. Although causes of hot flashes have been studied for many years not everyone has come to the same conclusion. The one facet of hot flashes that everyone does agree with is that it is a hormonal imbalance. Basically that means that during certain times of your life, specifically menopause, your body feels that too many demands are made of it, and the balance of hormones is overwhelmed. This causes your nervous system to try to compensate for the changes in your hormonal balance by changing the temperature of your skin. Another hot flash cause could be lack of estrogen. There is a part of your brain, called the hypothalamus, which gets “confused,” so to speak, with the sudden drop in estrogen. Since the hypothalamus is sometimes called the “body’s thermometer”, it will suddenly read that it is too hot. The brain responds by alerting your nervous system to do everything it can to rid your body of the heat. The message is delivered instantly by making your heart beat faster, and dilating the blood vessels in your skin to circulate more blood in order to produce sweat to cool you off. This is what happens when you overheat during the summer or heavy exercise, and during menopause. Your brain confuses this and thinks that your body is overheating, causing a hot flash. Since your body is cooling down when it shouldn’t be, you find yourself perspiring and overheating at the oddest times. Again, no one can tell you exactly what causes hot flashes, but there are solutions, both natural and medical, that can help you through them. Hot flashes last an average of 2 to 3 minutes but can be longer depending on certain triggers such as anxiety, spicy foods, tobacco, hot weather, and hot showers. Although there is no specific average most people agree that hot flashes occur approximately every 2 to 4 hours and can last 2 to 5 years, mostly during the perimenopausal period. For women in mid-life, this is a natural process that will improve with time.

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