What Causes Hot Flashes? 7 Surprising Causes of Hot Flashes
Do you suffer from hot flashes? You're not alone. Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. But they can also occur in women who are not going through menopause. Read on to discover the seven causes of hot flashes other than menopause.
Related: How To Fix Hormonal Imbalance
What Causes Hot Flashes
You're sitting in your office, working on a project, when you feel a wave of heat wash over you. Your skin feels hot and flushed, your heart races, and you start to sweat. What's going on? You might be experiencing a hot flash.
What are Hot Flashes
A hot flash is a sensation of searing heat on the upper body that can last from 30 seconds to several minutes or longer. Sweating, redness of the skin, dizziness, and heart palpitations are other symptoms.
Why Hot Flashes Happen
Hypothalamus is a tiny gland in your brain. The pituitary gland is a part of the hypothalamus that controls the release of the egg from the ovaries.
Every month in your cycle, the hypothalamus controls the menstrual cycle. It works through the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the middle map.
You're releasing an egg every month when you start menstruating (12-13 years old). You have roughly about 400 eggs. After exhausting 400 eggs (approximately around 52 years old), your ovaries stop working.
When your ovaries stop working, you lose ovarian function. With losing ovarian function comes a loss of certain hormones.
What Causes Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause
Although menopause is usually the cause of hot flashes, it's not the only cause. Various other lifestyle factors and medical problems can also induce them. And they are not always a symptom of something serious.
Many people assume that hot flashes are because of menopause, but this is not always the case. In some cases, other causes can be to blame.
7 Causes of Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause
Hot flashes are quite usual when people undergo perimenopause or menopause. But there are causes of hot flashes other than menopause. Let's uncover them.
Hot flashes signify that your body's internal thermostat believes it is too hot. When the body feels too hot, it initiates a sequence of events—your heart rate rises. Then, sweat glands activate, and blood vessels on the skin's surface expand to cool down the body.
What Can Cause Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause
- Caffeine and Hot Flashes
- Medications that Cause Hot Flashes
- Hypothyroidism and Hot Flashes
- Hot Flashes and Anxiety
- Hot Sleeping Environment
- Carcinoid Syndrome & Carcinoid Tumor
- Hormone-Secreting Tumor
Caffeine & Hot Flashes
Coffee can cause hot flashes in some people. Also, caffeine can raise the heart rate. Raising the heart rate causes blood vessel dilation problems, triggering hot flashes.
Most people can handle up to 400 mg of caffeine per day without suffering any adverse effects.
If your caffeine consumption triggers hot flashes, drink plenty of water.
Or consider sipping a beverage (like tea) with a lower caffeine concentration.
Medications That Cause Hot Flashes
You may be experiencing hot flashes due to a medicine you're taking. Many prescriptions can cause hot flashes.
What Drugs Can Cause Hot Flashes
- Certain osteoporosis medications
- Calcium channel blockers (such as amlodipine)
- Vasodilators (like sildenafil, also known as Viagra)
- Some steroids
These meds can change your body's chemicals. Changing your body chemistry affects your temperature control, hormone equilibrium, and sweat mechanism.
If you experience hot flashes on your prescribed medication, inform your doctor. Your doctor may be able to offer you another treatment option or assist you in moving to a new medicine.
Hypothyroidism & Hot Flashes
Hyperthyroidism is when your body produces too much thyroid hormone. The surge of thyroid hormones stimulates your metabolism. This results in:
- Hot flashes
- Higher Sweating
- Feeling overheated
- Weight loss
- Night sweats (excessive Sweating in your sleep)
Hyperthyroidism sufferers find that their hot flashes and other symptoms are so debilitating. As a result, they sometimes can't perform intense exercise or live in a hot environment.
Anxiety and Hot Flashes
Flushing or feeling hot is an anxiety-related symptom that many people experience. For example, in panic or stress, a person may feel a sudden heat sensation like a hot flash.
The “fight, flight, freeze, or fawn” response is the body's way of preparing for perceived danger. When the body is in this state, it releases stress hormones. That causes blood to flow to the muscles, enhancing circulation and making you feel hot.
Someone anxious stressed, or having a panic attack may feel hot.
According to research, Sweating and blushing are common in children with anxiety. Children with severe anxiety and impairment had more significant physical symptoms of anxiety. Stress and worry can also be hot flash triggers for women undergoing perimenopause. Some females report experiencing hot flashes or night sweats during their period.
What Causes Hot Flashes
Watch this video of Dr. Berg to learn more about What Causes Hot Flashes:
Hot flashes are most associated with menopause. But there are causes of hot flashes other than menopause.
If you have hot flashes, talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Treating the underlying cause of your hot flashes may help relieve your symptoms.
Do you suffer from hot flashes? What have you found to be the most effective way to relieve them? Share your tips in the comments below!
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