What is Hot Flashes, Causes and Menopause

Sudden episodes of flushing and sweating that occur with the fluctuating HORMONE levels that precede MENOPAUSE or as a consequence of HORMONE THERAPY such as to treat HORMONEDRIVEN CANCERS. Though researchers do not know the precise mechanisms of hot flashes, they believe the sudden drops in ESTROGENS affect the thermoregulatory centers in the BRAIN that cause the body to function as though it must reduce body temperature. SKIN flushing and sweating are among the methods the body uses to accomplish such reduction. Hot flashes associated with menopause improve and usually go away when the body’s estrogen levels stabilize.

Hot Flashes Treatment

Lifestyle measures to mitigate the discomfort of hot flashes include dressing in layers to allow rapid cooling, drinking cool fluids at the onset of a hot flash, minimizing CAFFEINE consumption, and avoiding foods that are high in tyramines, including red wine, aged cheese, smoked meats, and concentrated yeasts such as miso. Medical treatments for hot flashes include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications, a classification of antidepressant medication that appears to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, or short-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Alternative and complementary approaches to relieve hot flashes include ACUPUNCTURE and botanical remedies such as BLACK COHOSH and SOY.

See also ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS; MEDICINAL HERBS AND BOTANICALS; PREMATURE OVARIAN FAILURE (POF).

Hot Flashes – causes, treatment and menopause
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