How Long Do Hot Flashes Last
Hot flashes often come on suddenly, but how long any single hot flash lasts will vary. Some hot flashes pass after a few seconds, while a long hot flash may go on for more than 10 minutes. On average, hot flashes last about four minutes.
The frequency of hot flashes also varies. Some women experience a few hot flashes per week, while others may have several an hour. Depending where you are in perimenopause, that can change. There are a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that may help lessen the symptoms and frequency of your hot flashes.
Causes Of Hot Flushes
Most women going through a natural menopause experience hot flushes. But there are other causes of hot flushes, including:
- Breast cancer treatment according to Cancer Research UK, 7 out of 10 women whove had breast cancer treatment have hot flushes, and they tend to be more severe and frequent than those of women going through a natural menopause. This is because chemotherapy and tamoxifen tablets reduce oestrogen levels.
- Prostate cancer treatment men having treatment for prostate cancer can also have hot flushes, sometimes for years. Hormone treatment causes hot flushes in men by lowering the amount of testosterone in their body.
What Exactly Are Hot Flushes
Hot flushes tend to come on quite suddenly. Youll experience them as an abrupt, sometimes quite dramatic flush of heat that runs through the body, often felt most intensely in the facial region. A hot flush can cause sweating and redness, not to mention a general sensation of discomfort and mild embarrassment!
Theyre generally more prevalent at the start of the menopause. Some women report suffering several hot flushes throughout the day. However, as the menopausal transition continues, hot flushes do tend to settle into a more predictable pattern.
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How To Cope With Hot Flushes Brought On By The Menopause
On 18th October 2021
October 18th marks World Menopause Day with the main focus being to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options that are available for improving womens health and wellbeing. Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause and are characterised by a sudden feeling of heat which seems to come from nowhere and spreads through your body. The menopause can bring about a number of symptoms, including insomnia or sleep problems, heavy periods, fluctuating moods and a lack of libido.
The good news is that youre unlikely to experience all of these issues and that for many women, the extent of the symptoms wont be too severe.
However, there is one symptom that youre highly likely to encounter at some point during your menopause. Hot flushes are the most well-known of the menopausal symptoms. Theyre incredibly common and for some women, theyre likely to continue for a number of years.
Are There Natural Remedies For Hot Flushes
Many women find that taking natural herbal remedies can help them to manage hot flushes.
Isoflavones are naturally occurring plant oestrogens, which act in a similar way to the oestrogen we produce in our bodies. Taking isoflavones may help to support hormonal balance, reduce hot flushes and maintain health and vitality during menopause. Plants such as red clover and maca are particularly high in isoflavones.
The Live Better With community also recommend Lindens Menopause Formula Tablets, which combine extracts of natural botanicals including red clover, sage, Siberian ginseng and liquorice to help combat hot flushes, into a single tablet:
“Brilliant for hot flushes, been taking for 3 months and my hot flushes have gone.” Live Better With community member
When it comes to taking any dietary supplements, you should always proceed with care. Talk to your doctor first, to make sure they wont interfere with any existing conditions or medications. You should always ensure that any supplements come from a reputable source.
For a range of natural solutions to help combat menopause hot flushes, including organic creams and cooling sprays, see the full range of Live Better With products to help with hot flushes and night sweats here.
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What Does A Hot Flush Feel Like
Women often describe a hot flush as a creeping feeling of intense warmth that quickly spreads across your whole body and face right up to your brow and which lasts for several minutes. Others say the warmth is similar to the sensation of being under a sun bed, feeling hot like a furnace or as if someone had ‘opened a little trap door in my stomach and put a hot coal in.
How To Cope With Hot Flashes During The Summer Months
While most folks look forward to summer, do you find yourself dreading the coming months? Have you seriously considered moving to the North Pole? As the temperature is rising, are you experiencing your own internal heat wave? If so, you’re not alone.
According to the North American Menopause Society, about 75 percent of women report perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. If you’re one of them, you know it’s more than a seasonal heat wave. And you know that the symptoms — a flushed face, drenching sweat and rapid heart rate — will only be compounded as the numbers on the thermostat continue to climb.
What’s the culprit behind these crazy temperature spikes? Estrogens are related to the control of temperature in your body. During perimenopause and menopause, the levels and balance among estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone begin to fluctuate. The hypothalamus, an area at the base of your brain that regulates body temperature, becomes more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature, according to the Mayo Clinic.
For most women, hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms can last anywhere from six months to two years. For others, it’s a never-ending summer, with symptoms sticking around for 10 or more years. If you’re in your first two years of perimenopause, be prepared for record highs. If you’re in the midst of menopause, you may get a bit of a reprieve. However, I hate to tell you that hot flashes have been known to strike women even into their 70s.
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How To Cope With Hot Flushes
It is believed that women suffer three times as many hot flushes as men do. Because hot flushes are a symptom of menopause, and episodes happen alongside many other symptoms, hot flushes can increase the intensity of other symptoms as well.
Keep reading to find out more about how to cope with hot flushes.
Supplements For Hot Flushes
Non-prescription medications and menopause supplementsmay help with hot flush symptoms.
Folic acid: Taking 1 mg folic acid a day has been found to reduce the severity, duration and frequency of hot flushes
Vitamin E: Taking 400 IU Vitamin E a day has also been found to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flushes
Ibuprofen: Some women find that taking an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal painkiller like ibuprofen relieves their hot flush symptoms
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How Can Hot Flush Be Treated
Many women learn to live with menopause-related hot flushes, but if theyre really bothering you and interfering with your day-to-day life, talk to your doctor about treatments that may help.
The most effective is hormone replacement therapy which usually completely gets rid of hot flushes. But other medicines have been shown to help, including vitamin E supplements, some antidepressants, and a drug called gabapentin, which is usually used to treat seizures.
Note that doctors recommend that you dont take HRT if youve had a hormone dependent cancer such as breast or prostate cancer.
How Many Hot Flushes A Day Is Normal
Every woman will experience menopausal symptoms differently. This means theres no normal when it comes to the frequency of hot flushes.
Having between five and ten flushes a day is considered to be average, but some menopausal women will suffer with more than this throughout the day and night.
Other women report having with no flushes at all, or having only a few, very mild flushes as they go through the hormonal transition.
Kim, 56, from the Midlands, found her hot flushes increased over time. At first I would only experience mild flushes once or twice a day, and they would be worse if I had drunk alcohol, she says.
However, after a couple of years they became much more regular and severe. Some days I would lose count it felt like I was permanently on fire. It was the frequency of these hot flushes that prompted me to see my GP about menopause treatment.
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Change Your Lifestyle And Your Wardrobe
Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine can help, as well as avoiding spicy foods if youre having hot flushes.
Just think about your wardrobe too, says Dawn, natural fibres rather than man-made fibres are better if you’re struggling with hot flushes – and its all about the layers.
Jo McEwan from Hot Flush says it helps to exercise, which can ward off things like heart disease, osteoporosis, strokes and diabetes.
I made myself do a bit of boxing, and running if I can do it anyone can, because I dont like exercise!
When To Seek Medical Help
For most people, hot flushes are a minor inconvenience and are easily managed. However, if you find that your hot flushes are causing you significant problems on a day-to-day basis, speak to your GP. Hormone Replacement Therapy is sometimes recommended to combat hot flushes but as a general rule, it tends to be seen as a last resort, as it may increase the risk of stroke and other associated conditions.
The theme of the 2021 World Menopause Day is Bone Health. According to the International Menopause Societys White Paper:
In healthy bone, up to the menopause, the production of new bone happens more than the removal of old bone, but the opposite happens after the menopause. After your last menstrual period your ovaries stop the production of the hormone oestrogen. This leads to increased removal of bone which results in decreased bone strength. Age related changes also lead to increased removal of bone.
Above all else, remember that the menopause is not a medical condition. It is a very natural part of your bodys development. Dont be afraid to talk about your symptoms with friends, family and your GP, in order to identify a coping strategy that works best for you.
For more detailed information on many issues connected with the menopause, you may like to click on the articles at the foot of this page or visit the website of Menopause Matters via this link.
You could also sign up to our free newsletter, The Best of Friends, here.
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How Winona Is Helping Women Cope With Menopause
Almost 430,000 women reach the age of menopause each year. Today, a 50-year-old woman lives almost as long during menopause as during ovarian activity, notes Dr Alain Tamborini. This shows the importance of this episode and the troubles that accompany it in the lives of women.
Menopause marks the end of the activity of the ovaries. It corresponds to a stop of the secretions of sexual hormones which generate upheavals of the organism and not only at the level of the genitals or the breasts. These upheavals and advancing age are a source of disorders as diverse as hot flashes, low libido, dryness of the skin and genital tract, weight gain, fatigue, migraines and psychological fragility.
Fortunately, all women do not necessarily experience all of these inconveniences and their intensity can be very variable. Menopause usually occurs around the age of 50 and gradually sets in. The phase which precedes it called premenopause or perimenopause is a period of transition. Perimenopause precedes the end of the functioning of the ovaries and is often a difficult period for women to manage, both from a physical and psychological point of view.
Winona is a reputable telehealth organization that is helping women around the country cope with the effects of menopause. The organization offers free consultations over the phone, and they also provide dedicated support to women who need it. More importantly, they also offer prescription refills to women who direly need it.
Here Are My Top Tips For How To Stop Hot Flushes Without Hrt
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‘hot Flushes Are Just A Bit Of An Inconvenience’
While not every woman suffers from the effects of hot flushes, for a great many women they can be extremely uncomfortable and disruptive, and can have both a physical and emotional impact on their lives.
As well as the discomfort and embarrassment of sudden excessive sweating and blotchy skin, hot flushes can also cause palpitations and feelings of anxiety. For some women, they are so debilitating that they can affect their personal relationships and even their careers.
Meanwhile, night sweats can cause difficulty sleeping , which can lead to fatigue, irritability, problems with concentrating, and depression.
Ask Your Doctor About Hrt
Dr. Deborah, whos 59 and has been on hormone replacement therapy for seven years, says it is the best way to stop hot flushes and night sweats.
She adds: Nothing else has the same effect. Maybe now is the time to speak to your doctor.
The pendulum has swung firmly in favour of HRT after all the negative publicity in recent years. If you are suffering see your doctor and find out more.
If you dont want or cant take HRT, there are a number of alternatives such as clonidine, SSRIs or gabapentin.
Heather says HRT was a game changer for her as, not only did it help her hot flushes and lessen the frequency of her night sweats, but it also helped when she noticed she was losing her hair.
Tania Adib, consultant gynaecologist and head of The Menopause Clinic at The Lister Hospital, agrees its the most effective treatment for general menopausal symptoms, telling us: It can be started whilst women are still having periods if the symptoms are affecting the quality of their life.
HRT reduces the risk of these conditions and can be taken lifelong. It improves symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, low energy, mood, memory and concentration, as well as sleep.
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How To Stop Hot Flushes
Are you burning up? One of the most annoying symptoms many women experience on the perimenopausal/menopausal journey is hot flushes/ hot flashes or the night-time version, night sweats. Just how do you deal with hot flushes? This post is all about how to stop hot flushes without HRT. If youd prefer a natural menopause there are lots of things to try.
Some have an occasional hot flush/flash. Some dream of a time when they werent constant! And for some, flushes hang around long after menopause is over.
But for most of us they can be managed and they will go away eventually.
I rarely have hot flushes or night sweats, being postmenopausal. When I get one, I usually know the trigger sugar or alcohol for me. I believe the way I live now, and my diet, have really helped manage my flushes.
I was on a low dose of HRT for about seven years because of early menopause at 41, to protect my bones and heart. But I came off it at normal menopause age of 51 and managed my menopause-related symptoms, including hot flushes, naturally, both before I went on HRT, while I was on it and since coming off.
Menopause is still a massive taboo, although becoming less so. But the more we talk about it, the less of an issue it is. I want women to feel empowered and informed to take control of their menopause experience. That includes how we deal with hot flushes/flashes and night sweats.