Although hot flashes are typically associated with menopause, hot flashes during pregnancy are also common. Similarly to menopause, the fluctuating hormone levels are responsible for hot flashes during pregnancy. To be prepared to tackle hot flashes and other symptoms during pregnancy, continue reading about what causes hot flashes and how to manage them.
What Are the Symptoms of Hot Flashes?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it's more than likely that you are suffering from hot flashes during pregnancy:
Sudden sensations of intense heat in the upper body
Increased heart rate
Flushing of the chest, neck, and face
Episodes of hot flashes can last anywhere between thirty seconds to five minutes. Each woman's experience is different in terms of intensity and frequency, but it's believed that 75% of women have hot flashes during pregnancy. Hot flashes are more common during the second and third trimesters.
What Triggers Hot Flashes?
The exact causes for hot flashes are still undetermined, but research suggests that hot flashes during pregnancy are linked to reactions between hormones and the brain. During pregnancy, a woman's body temperature is higher and hormone levels fluctuate. Such changes, particularly decreasing levels of estrogen, can cause higher stress levels, which in turn force the body to release norepinephrine and epinephrine into the blood stream and increase blood flow. As a result, a woman's body temperature rises, and she experiences a hot flash.
It is important for women to distinguish between hot flashes during pregnancy and a fever, because the latter can easily lead to complications. If a woman has a fever, her physical body temperature will actually rise, whereas hot flashes are more of a sensation of heat that eventually passes. To distinguish between the two, it's recommended that a woman takes her temperature. If there are any concerns, consult a medical professional.
Hot flashes can become problematic if not dealt with appropriately.
How to Deal with Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are closely related to decreased levels of estrogen, so it's important to ensure the body has the support it needs. The first step in controlling hot flashes is to have a healthy body. This can be accomplished by following a balanced diet and an exercise routine. Since the main cause of hot flashes is fluctuating hormone levels, the best way to deal with them is to follow a healthy lifestyle complemented by hormone treatments like alternative medicine. Click on to learn more about the treatments for hot flashes.
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