Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause and can reoccur from anywhere between 6 months and 11 years. Around 75% of women experience hot flashes as they go through menopause. Hot flashes are frequently referenced and talked about, but often exactly what they are, as well as what other symptoms they can have, get ignored. Hot flash symptoms also vary greatly from woman to woman, so if you are not experiencing the same symptoms as other women in your life, there is most likely no need to worry.
Common Symptoms of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes seem pretty self-descriptive - a sudden flush of heat that can radiate throughout a woman's body for up to 30 seconds. Usually, the heat is isolated to a woman's head and upper body, and is of a moderate intensity. However, hot flashes can also include:
Pressure in the head
Often, women will notice a mild to moderate pressure in their head just prior to the onset of the hot flash. This pressure lets some people know that a hot flash episode is imminent.
The skin on a woman's face, neck, and chest will often appear reddish and blotchy. This flushing is caused by blood vessels dilating as blood rushes to the upper part of the body.
Rapid heart rate
This is usually not a cause for a concern and is a symptom many menopausal women experience along with hot flashes.
Hot flashes often cause women to sweat. When hot flashes happen at night, they are called night sweats and cause similar amounts of perspiration.
Many women experience chills after a hot flash as their body tries to cool down.
Less Common Symptoms of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes can also cause a range of lesser-known symptoms.
Hot flashes that occur at night are often called night sweats. If night sweats happen often enough, they can disturb a woman's sleep and cause her to become fatigued.
Occasionally, the heat of a hot flush can be intense enough for a woman to feel dizzy, as if she's stood up too fast on a hot day. Exhaustion and dehydration can also heighten feelings of dizziness.
If your hot flashes are altering your quality of life, it is important to talk to a medical professional about what you are experiencing. A doctor can talk to you about treatment methods such as lifestyle changes, herbal supplements, and hormone replacement therapy. Click on the following link to learn more about hot flash treatments.