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What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

Facts About Carcinoid Cancer

What medical conditions other than menopause can cause hot flashes?

Carcinoid tumors are very rare, representing around 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies. There are about 8,000 new cases of carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal system each year and around 4,500 new cases of lung carcinoid tumors diagnosed annually. Studies suggest that cases of carcinoid tumors have increased significantly over the past 25 years as a result of better testing to diagnose these tumors.

Some tumors, especially tumors of the stomach or appendix, may not cause signs or symptoms. Carcinoid tumors are often found during tests or treatments for other conditions. The average age of diagnosis for carcinoid tumors is 60.9 years and of the known cases of carcinoid cancer, 54.2% were found in women.

Sharons Hot Flushes Start From Her Toes Travelling As A Tremendous Heat Through Her Body

What happened with me the very first signs I had was around about a year ago when I started to experience hot flushes. And they became so bad at one stage that I would be stripping off in front of people just literally ripping my clothes off to the extent that I had to go somewhere private just to cool right the way down. If I could bottle it, Id make a fortune. Right okay, basically what happens and I cant describe them, its all of a sudden you are totally overcome by a traumatic, tremendous heat inside. Not outside, because you can feel cold outside. But a tremendous heat and it literally starts from your toes and it works right the way throughout your body and you know its travelling. Have you ever tasted Southern Comfort? Have you tasted a little Southern Comfort and as it gets down to your throat and then all of a sudden it sort of just hits your chest. And as it hits your chest, it sort of, I dont know what it does, but it warms up your body. Well you can imagine that happening, not drinking but that is a flush to me and I always used to think Oh I wish I could have them when Im working outside, when Im cold. And switch them on but you cant, theyll come anytime.How often do you get them? Oh gosh, I dont know, I mean my husband could probably pin point it more if Im with him all day long, ten, fifteen, twenty times a day.

Night sweats

What Causes A Hot Flash

Hot flashes occur when estrogen levels in the body drop. Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for the regulation of the reproductive system in people with a uterus.

Falling estrogen levels affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls appetite, body temperature, hormones, and sleep patterns. The hypothalamus is sometimes called the bodys thermostat because of the role it plays in regulating body temperature.

A drop in estrogen levels can cause the hypothalamus to get mixed signals. If it senses that the body is too warm, it prompts a chain of events to cool the body down: The blood vessels dilate, blood flow is increased to the surface of the skin, and heart rate may increase as the body tries to cool off. Some people experience a chilled feeling after a hot flash.

Most hot flashes are caused by hormonal changes, but they can also be related to other health conditions, substances, and even certain treatments or medications.

Other things that can cause hot flashes include:

  • Alcohol
  • Thyroid issues

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Food Allergies Or Sensitivities

Almost all of us experience something like a hot flash when we eat very spicy foods, but alcohol, caffeine, and additives like sulfites are also some common triggers. It is thought that spicy foods that give food some heat and alcohol are vasodilators and expand your blood vessels, Dr. Wider explains. But if you have an unidentified food allergy or intolerance, something else in your diet could be the cause, Battaglino explains.

Cool off: Pay attention to how your body reacts the next time you ingest any of the foods above and you may find a correlation. If that doesnt help, consider speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian about a structured elimination diet.

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Donnas Night Sweats Are Like Being In A Tropical Climate She Has Them Two To Three Times A

Are Your Hot Flashes Caused by Something Other Than ...

I very rarely have them in the day, I usually have them at night, just before going to sleep and its just extraordinary rush of energy, and breaking out in a complete sweat, can sweat right through your night clothes, even into the sheets. I dont actually mind it in a way. I guess if I hadnt known about it I might have found that quite disturbing, but actually my sisters been going through that prior to me so I was quite aware in a way. But in some ways its quite nice because Ive always been a person whos cold in bed at night, now I feel like Ive got my own hot water bottle to keep me warm at night.Did you have to change the bedding and your clothes at night when it happened?Sometimes. Yeah, sometimes. And how did that affect your partner?Hes just kind of curious actually. Yeah, hes asking questions, hes asked me like, What does that feel like? I said I thought it was a bit like having a panic attack, something that happens, that you dont really have any control over.Can you describe it?Its really, I find it really hard to describe but I guess it would be like being in a tropical climate, a kind of clamminess and sweating, and its not, I dont find it particularly unpleasant, actually.How long does it last?Well it comes and goes, its like waves of heat so they might last a few minutes at a time, and then it kind of recedes and then it,How many times a night?For me, two or three.

Coping with hot flushes and night sweats

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Common Causes Of Hot Flashes

We all know that hot flashes are some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. But are you aware that it is actually possible for you to experience hot flashes even if youre just in your 20s or youre a male?

According to doctors, most cases of hot flashes are a benign or transient issue, which means that they are harmless and can go away on their own even without you doing anything to get rid of them.

But then there are also certain medical conditions that can cause hot flashes to make their presence known. Needless to say, identifying and treating the root cause can help put an end to those bouts of hot flashes.

Lets take a quick look at some of the most common causes of hot flashes aside from menopause:

What Are The Symptoms Of Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are not fun! My patients often say they feel like a furnace is erupting inside them. In general, women mostly report a sudden and incredibly intense feeling of heat. This overwhelming sensation typically starts in the chest and neck and then moves quickly to the face. The face may become beet red. Excessive perspiration, followed by chills can occur. Timing, frequency and severity of hot flashes can vary, and they can be visibly noticeable to others.

Most hot flashes last from 1-5 minutes. They can occur once in a while or seem constant throughout the day and night. There really is no normal number of hot flashes day-to-day, but most women note individual patterns and triggers.

Symptoms may be:

  • Mild: a sensation of heat without perspiration
  • Moderate: a heat sensation combined with sweating but not interfering with activity
  • Severe: flashes disrupt activity and can be truly debilitating and life altering

Often, hot flashes occur at night during resting hours. Otherwise known as night sweats, these flashes can result in significant sleep disruption and the need to change sleep clothes .

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Being Overweight Or Pregnant

Obesity and the rate of hot flashes during menopause are linked. As obesity is also linked to chronic inflammation , sexual dysfunction, and diabetes, choosing to eat healthily and exercise can greatly help you improve your overall well-being.

If you gain a few kilos suddenly and start experiencing hot flashes, you might also want to check that you arent pregnant, as hot flashes are common during pregnancy.

Can Menopause Affect My Sex Drive

What Causes Hot Flashes In Menopause?

Yes, menopause can affect your sex drive but it doesnt mean your sex life is over.

Dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can make you feel less sexual desire. The symptoms can also affect your sleep and lower your energy which might make you not so into sex. Vaginal dryness and decreased sensation can also feel like a turn-off. Its also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss while going through menopause.

If you lose interest in sex during this time, itll probably come back when your symptoms stop.

A pretty common symptom that can affect your sexual desire is vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

For symptoms that affect your sex life, trying one or more of these things can help:

  • Use water- or silicone-based lube when you have sex. You can buy lube at most drugstores or online.

  • Give your yourself more time to feel aroused. Moisture from being aroused protects sensitive tissues.

  • Have sex and/or masturbate more often. This increases blood flow to your vagina, which helps keep your vaginal tissue healthy.

Some people may actually find that they want to have sex MORE after menopause, because they dont have to worry about getting pregnant. This may give you a sense of freedom to enjoy a renewed and exciting sex life.

Menopause is a natural biological process. And while it marks the end of your ability to get pregnant, it definitely doesnt have to be the end of your sexuality.

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Permission To Use This Summary

PDQ is a registered trademark. Although the content of PDQ documents can be used freely as text, it cannot be identified as an NCI PDQ cancer information summary unless it is presented in its entirety and is regularly updated. However, an author would be permitted to write a sentence such as NCIs PDQ cancer information summary about breast cancer prevention states the risks succinctly: .

The preferred citation for this PDQ summary is:

PDQ® Supportive and Palliative Care Editorial Board. PDQ Hot Flashes and Night Sweats. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated < MM/DD/YYYY> . Available at: . Accessed < MM/DD/YYYY> .

Images in this summary are used with permission of the author, artist, and/or publisher for use within the PDQ summaries only. Permission to use images outside the context of PDQ information must be obtained from the owner and cannot be granted by the National Cancer Institute. Information about using the illustrations in this summary, along with many other cancer-related images, is available in Visuals Online, a collection of over 2,000 scientific images.

Why Do Men Have Hot Flashes

In both men and women, hormones are to blame. About 70% of women get hot flashes at the time of menopause, when estrogen levels plummet. In men, the problem is testosterone. Males dont experience an abrupt drop in the hormone.

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What Causes Hot Flashes At Night

There are many reasons for having hot flashes at night including hormone fluctuations, a hot sleeping environment, an infection, or the food or prescription medications recently consumed.

While less common, having hot flashes at night can be a symptom of certain cancers, like lymphoma.

There are also normal body temperature variations that happen while sleeping, which can lead to excessive sweating and feeling hot overnight.

What Causes Night Sweats

What medical conditions other than menopause can cause hot ...

Night sweats are common is women who are going through perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is a normal, natural phase of a womans life. During this time, a womans ovaries produce less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and menstrual periods become irregular. The low or changing levels of estrogen in particular are the cause of night sweats.

Perimenopause usually happens between ages 40 and 50. It is the transition step before menopause. A woman has reached menopause when she hasnt had a period for 12 months in a row. The average age of menopause is 51.

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Stress And Emotional Causes

In reaction to emotional stimuli, your body may release the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which pump up blood flow and produce a warming sensation throughout the body. Similar to blushing, flushing can result from a wide variety of factorsfrom stress to spinal cord lesions and migraine headachescausing entire sections of your body to turn red and feel extremely warm. Sometimes, flushing is simply an allergic skin reaction to outside stimuli like food or environmental elements.

Treatments For Hot Flushes

Many women learn to live with menopause-related hot flushes, but if theyâre really bothering you and interfering with your day-to-day life, talk to a GP about treatments that may help.

The most effective treatment for hot flushes is hormone replacement therapy , which usually completely gets rid of them. Your doctor will talk to you about the benefits and risks of using HRT.

If you have had a type of cancer thatâs sensitive to hormones, such as breast cancer, your doctor will not recommend HRT and will talk to you about alternatives.

Other medicines have been shown to help, including some antidepressants and a medicine called clonidine.

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

If you’ve experienced a panic attack, and especially if you’re dreading another panic attack or changing your behavior to avoid one, it could be worth talking to your primary care provider. They may refer you to a psychiatrist for diagnosis or a psychotherapist for treatment.

Panic attacks are a symptom of a variety of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobia-related disorders, social anxiety disorder, and more. It’s important to get the correct diagnosis so you can seek the most effective treatment for you.

Your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options with you and help rule out other conditions.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing panic attacks, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Verywell / Cindy Chung

Why Do I Feel Hot During Menopause

Hot Flashes: Causes, Signs & Remedies by Dr.Berg

Menopause can cause you to feel hot from hot flashes. This is due to the changing hormone levels at the end of the reproductive years. The hormonal changes signal the temperature regulator in your brain, the hypothalamus. This organ turns up the heat temporarily and makes you feel hot but no fever occurs with it.

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Cynthia Managed Her Severe Night Sweats Using A Little Hot Flush Kit She Kept Beside Her Bed

In the early days, I had to get up physically on the hour every hour. It woke me without fail and I had to get out of bed, go into the other room, had a big fan, stand in front of it until I cooled down and then I went back to bed. You do get used to doing that and you do sleep in between. As I got better at managing them I think, I identified that I couldnt drink anything and I couldnt eat curry or Chinese food I got so that I had my little hot flush kit beside the bed. I had a towel and gel pack, sports injury gel pack that had been frozen inside of a pillow case. And Ive got dozens, dozens and dozens, and Ive still got them in a little basket of those little hand fans like youd have on holiday. And I had that beside the bed so when I woke with a hot flush starting, Id grab the towel and slip that underneath me, the gel pack behind my neck and the little fan resting on my chest and Id just lie there like a sack of potatoes until it passed. And then Id chuck it all off and go back to sleep until the next one. And I did sleep. I did get used to being tired but I did sleep in between each hot flush. But they were on the hour.

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy For Hot Flashes

There has been increasing interest in recent years in the use of so-called “bioidentical” hormone therapy for perimenopausal women. Bioidentical hormone preparations are medications that contain hormones that have the same chemical formula as those made naturally in the body. The hormones are created in a laboratory by altering compounds derived from naturally-occurring plant products. Some of these so-called bioidentical hormone preparations are U.S. FDA-approved and manufactured by drug companies, while others are made at special pharmacies called compounding pharmacies, which make the preparations on a case-by-case basis for each patient. These individual preparations are not regulated by the FDA, because compounded products are not standardized.

Advocates of bioidentical hormone therapy argue that the products, applied as creams or gels, are absorbed into the body in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver, and that their use may avoid potentially dangerous side effects of synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone therapy. However, studies to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of these products have not been carried out.

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