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Collection: Menopause / Hot Flashes

List of Conditions
Menopause/Hot Flashes

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Hot flashes affect more than 75% of menopausal women. So what are they ? During the menopause your body produces less estrogen and it is the fluctuation in these levels that is blamed for your hot flashes. Due to the fluctuating levels your brain becomes confused and is unable to regulate your body's temperature properly. The precise mechanism behind this is still not fully understood.

Hot flashes (or hot flushes) can often be the first sign that your menopause is about to start. The average age for their onset is 47, although it is not unusual for the perimenopause to start in the late 30's. It is during this pre-menopause period (the perimenopause) that the physical symptoms of the menopause will begin. The symptoms and their severity vary from one woman to the next. They can include hot flashes, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and heart palpitations.

During a hot flash episode your body struggles to stabilize itself. Your heart rate will increase, and with it your blood flow. Your blood vessels in the skin around the head and neck will dilate to handle the increased blood flow which is what gives the flushed, red appearance. Other symptoms can include an increased sensation of heat, sweating, and feeling of anxiety. This can be aggravated by the feeling of social embarrassment. Your hot flash can spread to the chest and other parts of the upper body. You can experience hot flashes at any time of the day or night. Hot flashes can disturb your sleep as you wake from a 'night sweat'. The resulting lost sleep can leave you feeling irritable, tired, and anxious.