Hot Flashes: What Triggers Them

Caution Sign - Hot Flashes Ahead

Do you sometimes wake up at night with your clothes and even your sheets drenched? That is probably a hot flash you’re experiencing – a classic symptom of menopause. As hormone levels erratically change during menopause, it is common for women to feel flushed, overheated, and sweaty at times.

Menopause us a big part of a woman’s normal reproductive cycle which signals the end of one’s monthly menstruation and fertile years. It comes with a few unpleasant symptoms like vaginal dryness and like we mentioned, hot flashes.

There are ways for you to manage and even possibly prevent hot flashes.

Let us first characterize a hot flash. A woman experiencing one will turn red in the face, neck, and chest and sweat profusely. You may also feel dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and nauseated. Hot flashes can happen day or night and can last from just a few seconds to five very hot minutes.

Here are some common hot flash triggers:

Hot Beverages

A hot cup of tea could be relaxing for you, but it also increase your body temperature so you are more likely to feel flushed and have a hot flash when you drink hot beverages.

Spicy Foods

Another known trigger for hot flashes, spicy foods can make you sweat even when you’re not menopausal!

Hot Bath or Sauna

Steamy and hot environments can send your body’s core temperature through the roof, so yes, they can trigger a hot flash, too.

Caffeine and Alcohol

Although it is not completely understood how caffeine generates sweating, it is considered a trigger for hot flashes. So if you want to control hot flashes, we recommend that you avoid caffeinated beverages and foods. Women who often drink alcohol are also more likely to suffer from hot flashes.

Smoking

Aside from the many health complications it causes, smoking is also known to trigger hot flashes. Avoid cigarettes and even secondhand smoke if you want to manage hot flashes and enjoy better overall health.

Hot Weather

Even the average summer day or a slightly overheated room can trigger a hot flash. So whenever you feel your body start to heat up, you can expect flushing and sweating to follow.

How to Keep Your Cool During a Hot Flash:

  • Grab a cold drink
  • Wear lightweight and absorbent cotton clothes
  • Turn on a fan or find a cool room
  • If you’re also feeling anxious during a hot flash, do some meditation and deep breathing exercises

It will also help if you keep a “hot flash” diary to figure out your hot flash triggers. This way, you can avoid those activities, foods, or situations that resulted to a hot flash episode. If you want to understand hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms better, you can talk to Dr. Fay Weisberg of FemRenew. We can schedule you for an appointment!