Well, Hello! Today’s post is literally about hot flashes because I’ve had a number of people ask me in the past week exactly what is a “hot flash” and how do they know if they are having one. It became clear that I needed to step back to the beginning because there are probably many women reading our blog who are newbies to the premenopausal/menopausal journey. I also remembered back to a few years ago when I was “googling” terms such as “hot flash” or “low libido.”
So, here you go. . .this all according to a handy site I found a few days ago: 34-menopause-symptoms.com. It’s actually a very helpful site as it breaks down all of the symptoms of menopause. I think they did a fabulous job of creating a “legal definition” of hot flashes and the other 33 symptoms.
Hot flashes, also called “hot flushes“, are a vasomotor symptom of menopause. This means that hot flashes can disrupt the normal functioning of the vascular and motor systems of the body, causing intense heat, perspiration, and other symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The duration and frequency of hot flashes varies from woman to woman. Hot flashes can occur at any time of the day or night, though they are often called night sweats when they happen during sleeping hours.
Women with menopause-related hot flashes will usually experience a consistent and unique pattern of symptoms. Some women experience mild symptoms of hot flashes infrequently, while others experience more severe symptoms multiple times each day.
Signs and Symptoms of Hot Flashes:
The following are the most common signs and symptoms of hot flashes:
- Sudden, intense feelings of heat. In the face, neck, arms, torso, and sometimes the whole body.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat and pulse. Including heart palpitations.
- Flushing or reddened face and neck, particularly in lighter skinned women.
- Perspiration. Ranging from mild to profuse.
- Cold chills. Often follow hot flashes, though sometimes women only experience the chill.
- Sleep disturbances. Are characteristic of hot flashes that occur at night, which are also known as night sweats. Estrogen levels are often lowest at night, which is why women often experience nocturnal hot flashes.
- Other Symptoms. Nausea, dizziness, anxiety, and headaches.