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What Helps Hot Flashes? & Everything Else You Wanted to Know About Them

By Dr. Nadim Hawa, Capital Women’s Care

What helps hot flashes? Do hot flashes only happen during menopause? Should you be concerned about hot flashes? What causes them? We’ll answer these questions and more in this blog post. Keep reading to find out the answers!

If you were to do an exercise in correlation, what would you associate the term “hot flash” with? If we had to take a guess, we might bet you’re associating it with the word “menopause.” But aside from a mental picture of the heroine’s mom in a romantic comedy fanning her face, what do you actually know about hot flashes? We’ve summed up some tidbits of information to give you a clearer picture:

What Is a Hot Flash, Anyway?
In the simplest of terms, a hot flash is a sudden feeling of noticeable warmth, especially in the upper parts of the body. The skin on one’s face, neck, and/or chest might flush and turn reddish, much like if they were blushing. The person’s heart rate might increase. Depending on how intense the feeling of warmth is, a person may even start to sweat — and after the hot flash is over, they may experience chills. A hot flash, essentially, is just a flash of heat!

Do Hot Flashes Only Happen to Women Going Through Menopause?
While hot flashes are very much associated with menopause, they also happen to women in perimenopause (the period of time before menopause occurs). Hot flashes can have triggers related to changes in hormone levels. However, hot flashes can have other relatively innocuous causes that don’t discriminate based on sex. Alcohol consumption, caffeine, smoking, or even spicy food can trigger hot flashes!

What Are Some Ways to Treat Hot Flashes?
In terms of preventing hot flashes in the first place, learning your own personal triggers can be a great start. But when it comes to relieving them as they happen, here are some super simple ideas: Drinking cold water. Dressing in layers, so you can adjust to make yourself comfortable. Wearing cotton clothing, or other breathable fabrics. Keep a cold pack handy!

Should I Be Concerned About Them?
No, not at all! However, if you are particularly bothered by your hot flash symptoms, there’s no shame in talking to your doctor or medical provider about other ways to make your hot flashes more comfortable. At Capital Women’s Care, we can talk with your about hormone treatments to ease menopause symptoms or even other non-medical treatments and strategies.

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