Menopause is an inevitable phase of life. However, menopause symptoms such as hot flashes don’t have to be a constant in your life. Hot flashes affect about three-quarters of women experiencing perimenopause signs. Once a woman reaches menopause, hot flashes can linger from anywhere between 6 months to 10 years and longer.
What is a Hot Flash?
A hot flash can be described as an intense feeling of heat, not caused by an external source. Hot flashes can happen suddenly, although some women are able to feel them developing. A hot flash feels something similar to this:
- Faster than usual heartbeats
- Tingling sensations in the fingers
- Warmer skin
- Face that suddenly turns red or flushed
- Profound sweating
What Causes Hot Flashes?
There isn’t a specific cause attributed to hot flashes. So far, evidence shows that hormonal imbalances in the body and hot flashes are highly related. There’s also a strong connection between diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other health problems connected to hot flashes.
What Triggers Hot Flashes?
Despite not having a specific cause, many women have noticed their hot flashes being triggered by many situations, including:
- Drinking alcohol
- Consuming caffeinated products
- Eating spicy foods
- Feeling anxious
- Wearing tight clothing
- Being in a hot room or place
How Long Do Hot Flashes Last?
The length of a hot flash varies per woman. They often come and go suddenly, but there’s no way of saying how long a hot flash will last. Some women have hot flashes that last for a few seconds, others might experience hot flashes that go on for over 10 minutes or more.
On average, a hot flash lasts about 4 minutes.
Another thing that varies with hot flashes is frequency. Some women report having hot flashes every other day, others experience several hot flashes within an hour, while others experience hot flashes very rarely. The frequency and length of the hot flashes will depend on the stage of perimenopause or menopause you currently are, as well as your lifestyle practices.
What Can Be Done about Hot Flashes?
Fortunately, women can seek treatment for their hot flashes and manage their perimenopause or menopause symptoms. Seeking professional attention to treat your hot flashes is often recommended, as hot flashes can have a negative impact on your lifestyle.
Some common treatments for hot flashes include:
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – When hot flashes are the result of a hormonal imbalance, HRT can help balance the hormones to manage the symptoms.
- Essential Oils – Although the use of essential oils is not backed up by any study, some women have found relief by using evening primrose oil.
- Medication – Some women sort to menopause medications that are non-hormonal treatments to find relief from challenging to manage hot flashes.
- Acupuncture – Many women find menopause symptom relief through acupuncture.
- Meditation – Meditation can be beneficial in managing stress levels that can trigger hot flashes.
These treatments are meant to help manage menopause signs and reestablish the normal hormonal balance. Other remedies for hot flashes include wearing loose, fresh clothing, sipping ice water at the beginning of the hot flash, sleeping on cotton night clothes, keeping a cold pack on your nightstand, and other quick solutions that can help you find hot flashes relief.