Suddenly you are way too hot. Often in less than a minute, perimenopausal women may feel as if they were transported to the Sahara desert in the middle of summer. Some women turn red in the face or chest; some perspire a little, while others may be drenched with sweat. Women may experience anywhere from one or two hot flashes a day to one an hour. The sudden sensation may come and go quickly or linger for a while before gradually fading. Each woman’s menopausal experience, including hot flashes, varies widely. Some woman many only experience hot flashes over a few months while others may have them for years.
It is estimated that one out of every two women in menopause has at least one hot flash each day. In fact, hot flashes are the second most reported perimenopausal symptom; the first is change in menses. Typically hot flashes come on rapidly and reach maximum intensity in as little as a minute, linger for a few minutes and then gradually fade. During this time, heart rates may increase between 7 to 15 beats per minute and skin temperatures can rise between 1 to 7 degrees. Women may experience heart palpitations and/or feelings of anxiety during an episode. Following a hot flash or after a series of flashes woman may feel soaked, exhausted and downright frustrated.
Hot flashes may occur during the day or at night (also known as night sweats). Your hot flashes may be mild and tolerable, moderate and troublesome, or severe and debilitating. There are several approaches a woman can take if her hot flashes are unbearable. The most basic method for handling hot flashes is to maintain a healthy body by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. If your hot flashes are mild or moderate, you may find relief by changing your lifestyle. If you have severe hot flashes, you may still benefit from lifestyle changes, but also may choose to take a nonprescription remedy or a prescription medication, including hormones to help you manage your symptoms. If hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms are bothersome, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options. You don’t have to suffer.
If you are struggling with menopausal symptoms or are in need of other medical attention, Portneuf Primary Care’s knowledgeable staff can quickly access health conditions and establish an effective plan of treatment. To reach our office, call 208-239-3815.