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Hot flashes: Symptoms and Causes

How Hot flashes affect 3 out of 4 women who go through menopause. Hot flashes generally begin during perimenopause while women are still having their menstrual periods, and can last up to 14 years after menopause. Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes can often be uncomfortable and unpleasant, and they greatly interfere with a woman’s quality of life.

Symptoms of hot flashes

The symptoms of hot flashes vary from woman to woman. They can occur at any time of the day and are called “night sweats” when they occur during sleep.

During a hot flash you may experience symptoms including:

  • A sudden sensation of heat or heat in the upper body and on the face.
  • A reddened appearance with red and blotchy skin on the face and neck.
  • Red spots on the arms, chest and back.
  • Intense sweating or perspiration, mainly in the upper body.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Chills after hot flashes.

Causes of hot flashes

Menopause is not the only cause of hot flashes. Hot flashes can be caused by any of several factors that increase body temperature. Common causes and triggers of hot flashes include:

  • Caffeine.
  • Alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Stress.
  • Anxiety.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Low estrogen levels.
  • Certain medications like opiates, steroids, and antidepressants.
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