Hot flash is a very intense feeling of hotness in the body that appears suddenly and it is not because of hot weather. When you get this feeling, your neck, face and chest will turn warm and red and you will start sweating.
This kind of hot flashes usually happen during menopause, and besides that few other medical conditions may also cause them. If hot flashes wake you up suddenly from sleep, then they are called night sweats.
Let us try to understand what does a hot flash feel like? Almost 80% among women in their menopause may experience hot flashes however every person will experience it a bit differently.
Generally, during hot flash, certain feeling of warmth will suddenly flood your face and also your upper body. All your neck and face may turn red, as if your skin is completely flushed or you are blushing. On your skin, red blotches can also appear.
Few other symptoms are as follows:
- Uneven or fast heartbeat
- Heavy sweating
- You may feel as if blood is rushing all through your body
After hot flash will pass away and the sweat is evaporated from your body then you will feel chill and also start to shiver.
During hot flash what will happen in your body?
The main reason for hot flash is menopause and during this transition phase, estrogen levels will fall. This throws off the body’s thermostat, which is a gland known as hypothalamus that lies at the base of the brain that regulates the internal temperature.
Blood vessels near surface of the skin widen for releasing heat. This will create red flush that you may see on the skin. Your heart will pump faster and sweat glands will open up and evaporates off all your skin and cool the body.
Body temperature may also rise few degrees up during hot flash and can make you very uncomfortable. Few things can really worsen the situation further:
- Drinking strong tea or coffee
- Eating spicy foods
- Running a fever
- Feeling anxious and stressed
- Dressing too warmly
- Being outside on hot day
Women who get their ovaries removed surgically before their menopause may also develop such hot flashes.
Consuming alcohol and certain other medications, chemotherapy or any hormone treatment taken for cancer may also trigger such hot flashes. Few other diseases are also linked to this hot flash:
- Certain neurological conditions
- Few types of cancers
How long will it last?
Normally hot flash can last from 30 seconds up to 10 minutes. Women experience during menopause and it will continue till 6 months to 2 years.
Few women experience this problem for almost 10 years till they are in their 70s or even 80s.
In what frequency such hot flashes happen?
Such hot flashes will arrive intermittently or sometimes frequently. Some may get several times in an hour. Others may get few hot flashes in a day.
Hot flashes start occurring during perimenopause when hormonal changes are taking place and ovaries gradually will produce less estrogen. In most women, hot flash frequency will decrease after few years of menopause.