Understanding a hot flash is not all that easy.  

     Researchers believe that there are mixed signals from the hypothalamus. It is a gland that regulates both sex hormones as well as body temperature. Normally, when the body gets warm, the hypothalamus sends a chemical message to cool the body off. This  makes us perspire. It is believed that during menopause, with dropping levels of estrogen, the hypothalamus gets ‘baffled’ and sends cooling off signals at the wrong times.

    The most common symptom of menopause, hot flashes can be mild to debilitating. Women explain hot flashes as a sudden rush of heat that may start at the chest or neck and spread to the face. Once you’ve had one, there is no doubt  in your mind what it is!  They are accomplished by flushing and blotching of the face, neck and body. Profuse sweating and/or cold shivering often follows, sometimes  with reports of nausea, headaches, dizziness and rapid heart rate. Hot flashes can happen anytime and anywhere, but women report them occurring more frequently at night.

     A night sweat is when a hot flash awakens a woman from a sound sleep. This can cause interruption of sleep and may explain the feelings of fatigue, irritability, headaches, loss of energy and depression that can accompany menopause.

     While these are annoying, they can be controlled. A personal and medical history can help me determine the ‘best’ solution for you… hormones, herbs or bio-identicals.

    Make an appointment to see Kathleen soon!