Hot flashes are symptoms which cause sudden feeling of warmth in the body which may lead to sweating. Heat is felt in the face, neck and chest. Skin may become red. Hot flashes can be felt at any time of the day or night. Menopausal women are likely to suffer from hot flashes due to hormonal changes. If symptoms are troubling you, then you may need treatment.
- The exact cause of hot flashes at night is not known. Hypothalamus is situated at the base of the brain which controls or regulates the body temperature.
- Women who are smokers are more likely to suffer from hot flashes.
- African-American women are more likely to suffer from hot flashes than Japanese or Chinese women.
- Obese women suffer from hot flashes.
- Lack of exercise during menopausal period can act like a triggering factor.
- Men who are undergoing treatment for prostate cancer are also likely to suffer from hot flashes
- Alcoholism causes hot flashes at night.
- People using thermal blankets may suffer from hot flashes at night.
- Anti-hypertensive drugs, anti-depressants can cause hot flashes at night or during day.
- Diseases like carcinoid syndrome, systemic mast cell disease, hyperthyroidism, pancreatic islet- cell tumor, renal cell carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, emotional disturbances, diabetes can cause hot flashes at night.
Symptoms Of Hot Flashes At Night
Some of common symptoms associated with hot flashes at night include:
- Person feel hot wave passing through body. Feeling of heat is felt mainly in upper body. It is more felt in face, neck and chest.
- The skin may become red.
- Sweating may occur. Sometimes due to profuse sweating, person may feel cold as hot flashes decrease.
- Face is flushed with red blotchy skin.
- Hot flashes subside within a few minutes.
- Hot flashes occurring at night may disrupt person’s sleep and if hot flashes occur for a long period of time, it may lead to chronic insomnia.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is done on the basis of medical history. Blood test will be advised to rule out hyperthyroidism.
How To Deal With Hot Flashes At Night?
No treatment is necessary if doctor rules out serious diseases that may cause hot flashes. Usually hot flashes disappear on its own over a period of one or two years.
- Medications are available to reduce hot flashes. Estrogen therapy helps reduce hot flashes. Women who have undergone hysterectomy can take estrogen alone. But women who have retained their uterus should take progesterone with estrogen to prevent endometrial cancer. Consult your doctor before taking any hormone therapy as lowest required dose is prescribed to serve the purpose.
- Keep the room cool. Use fans or air conditioners to keep the air moving.
- Wear light cotton clothes at bedtime. Avoid overdressing.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and smoking.