Dr. Sharolyn Dihigo, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC,FNP-C // Aug 13, 2018

Even after more than 50 years of research, scientists still do not fully understand what causes hot flashes and night sweats. We do know there is a sudden rise in the body’s core temperature which then results in a sudden, intense feeling of being hot and the body begins to perspire to cool itself.

How long does a hot flash last? There is no specific length of time. A hot flash can last from 3 to 10 minutes and occur hourly or only occasionally. Hot flashes that occur at night are referred to as night sweats. 

Why do you get hot flashes? Hot flashes occur after a sudden drop in estrogen in women and may be a result of a medical or surgical procedure such as a hysterectomy or use of estrogen blocking medications used as part of breast cancer treatment. Most women experience hot flashes during perimenopause when hormones are dropping more drastically.

Can you have hot flashes after menopause? Yes, many women experience hot flashes after menopause. Researchers have found about 20 percent of women still experience hot flashes or night sweats 20 years after menopause.

Can men experience hot flashes? Yes they can. Men can also experience hot flashes or night sweats with a sudden drop in testosterone. This can occur after surgical or medical treatment of the prostate and is seen in men after treatment for prostate cancer.

How can you relieve menopausal symptoms? Experiencing a smoother transition into menopause and freedom from hot flashes can be achieved with the use of estrogen replacement or use of herbs and botanicals. After the Women’s Health Initiative in the 1990s, women have been afraid to take hormone replacement therapy even when their symptoms were severe. Even today, estrogen seems to induce fear in a lot of women. There are alternatives to estrogen therapy. These include herbs such as dong quai, Siberian rhubarb, black cohosh, red clover, and evening primrose oil. Phytoestrogens have been studied extensively to reduce the appearance and intensity of hot flashes with no side effects reported even in large studies.

To enjoy natural freedom from hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, visit our website at www.SmoothTransition.com.

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