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Hot flashes after age 60

Most women go through menopause sometime between the ages of 40 and 50 and hormonal changes during this transition can produce uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes. Most symptoms tend hot-flashes-warmto last in the region of one to 10 years and then stop after menopause has ended but unfortunately, hot flashes commonly linger until postmenopause, usually reached at approximately age 60. They continue to be disruptive and many women still want to seek advice about that they are and how they can treat them.

What are hot flashes after age 60?

Hot flashes after age 60 are the same as hot flashes that occur in the earlier stages of menopause, they are just referred to as postmenopausal hot flashes. They are a sudden feeling of intense heat in the upper part of the body, normally accompanied by an increased heart rate, flushing of the chest, neck and face and sometimes excessive sweating. The duration of postmenopausal hot flashes differs for each woman and can last anywhere between thirty seconds and five minutes. The intensity and frequency of hot flashes can vary too but they may become more erratic with age.

Hot flashes can be experienced in three different severities:

. Mild hot flashes – barely noticeable, quick, and don’t interfere with daily activity.
. Moderate hot flashes – warmer, more intense, and more noticeable (with obvious perspiration).
. Severe hot flashes – intensely hot and force women to stop what they are doing and seek relief.

Many factors can contribute to hot flashes after age 60 and being aware of these can help women to reduce the number of hot flash episodes, and help them to cope more efficiently with the ones they have. Keep reading to learn more about the different triggers for hot flashes.

What causes hot flashes in postmenopause?

The exact cause of hot flashes is uncertain but itīs generally thought that they are caused when the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls body temperature) gets mixed signals because of the hormone changes within the body. Declining estrogen levels, related to aging, are responsible for prompting the hypothalamus to detect an increased body temperature and then to release chemicals that cause the skin blood vessels to dilate so that the body can cool down. This causes the physical symptoms of a hot flash.

hot-flashes-vasomotorOther vasomotor symptoms that develop with age, such as dizziness and heart palpitations (the term vasomotor describes bodily changes related to the constriction and dilation of blood vessels), usually diminish in strength and regularity once hormone levels have settled in menopause. However, this is not always the case with hot flashes and they can become more erratic.

What triggers hot flashes?

Hot flashes can be triggered by a number of differnt factors aside from hormone imbalance.

Stress is a common trigger so it is important you try and keep stress levels to a minimum. Other triggers include spicy foods, alcohol consumtion, smoking and warm enviroments. Make sensible decisions on a daily basis. Wear layered clothing, avoid using heat makers like hairdryers, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to maintain stress levels.

How can I manage hot flashes in postmenopause?

hot-flashes-after-60Hot flashes after age 60 are closely linked to decreasing levels of estrogen in a woman’s body as she ages. To treat hot flashes it is recommended that you make basic lifestyle changes such as following a healthier diet and regular exercise regimen. However, because lifestyle changes are less effective at dealing with the root of the problem, many women choose to combine this method with a hormone-balancing treatment such as herbal remedies or HRT. However, you should always talk to your doctor before deciding to choose such a route. Making lifestyle changes should always be the first treatment option you try because it is the least invasive and most risk-free.

More information about postmenopause

Hot flashes are one of the main symptoms to stick around after menopause. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce their severity, frequency and duration. You should see your doctor for more advice. Follow this link to find out more about hot flashes treatments and what you should expect.

To learn more about Hot Flashes Hot flashes after age 60

Other Related Articles:
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Hot flashes and hysterectomy

Sources:
  • Sikon, Andrea and Holly Thacker M.D. "Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. July 2004: 71 (7).
  • "Hot flashes ... in January". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004: 170 (1).
  • Miller, Heather and Rose Maria Li, M.D. "Measuring Hot Flashes: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop." Conference report. Mayo Clinic. June 2004: 79.