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During Peri – menopause and Menopause, the most common symptom that women complain about is hot flushes known by others as hot flashes. Hormonal fluctuation is the main contributor to hot flushes which are very debilitating and described as a sudden feeling of heat or warmth often accompanied by profuse sweating. Hot flushes can reduce a confident, self – assured woman into a sweaty, confused mess. They can sometimes be associated with other symptoms such as nausea or a feeling of being unwell.

Mostly affecting the face and neck, hot flushes can also affect the whole body. Women report having to remove clothing and stand in front of the air conditioner or fan. It can be embarrassing to say the least with uncontrollable hot flushes abruptly coming from out of nowhere. Suddenly the face goes red, beads of sweat appear on the forehead and run down the face and neck accompanied suddenly by feeling hot and sticky. Menopause and sweating most often go hand in hand. Hot flushes can be caused by hormonal fluctuations in the early stages of peri – menopause and continue throughout menopause. They can last from several months to many years.

These awful symptoms of hot flushes can be treated using a combination of hormone replacement as well as lifestyle changes. However, hormone imbalance is the main culprit that contribute hot flushes at this time in woman’s life.

What hormonal changes cause Hot Flushes?
Oestrogen levels which decline in menopause is the most common cause of hot flushes in women. These lower levels of oestrogen have a significant effect on the hypothalamus. Located in the brain, the hypothalamus controls the sex hormones, body temperature, sleep function and even appetite. Although not completely understood, it is thought that the fall in oestrogen levels somehow affect the hypothalamus causing confusion whereby it senses that the body temperature is too hot, thus triggering hot flushes which is designed to cool down the body. More blood rushes to the skin, causing redness and sweating.

Hot flushes occur in the winter and the summer but seem to be more common in the summer, although women often find themselves opening windows and doors or putting on the fan in the wintertime because of the hot flushes. This can be inconvenient to those around who cannot understand why the window is suddenly opened letting in the cold air.

Other factors that cause Hot Flushes

Other factors can contribute to the onset of menopausal hot flushes such as anxiety, stress, spicy foods and even red wine.

There are certain other causes such as medical conditions and certain medications which may bring about hot flushes. These may need to be investigated although hot flushes in women at the time of peri-menopause and menopause are most likely attributable to hormonal imbalance brought about by hormonal fluctuations.

If you are experiencing the above symptom please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 883 405 to book a free consultation and discuss this with one of our doctors.


You can also view the video on our YouTube page with Dr Gary speaking about Hot Flushes: 


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