Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. They typically begin as a sudden sensation of heat on the upper torso and face that can spread to the rest of the body. Profuse sweating usually follows, lasting anywhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. When they occur at night, they are called night sweats and can cause sleep loss and fatigue. The severity can vary. However, for 10-15 percent of women, they are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Hot flashes can be frustrating, but hope is coming through the efforts of clinical research.
Why and When Hot Flashes Occur
Hot flashes can begin any time before menopause begins (perimenopause) and last 4-10 years after menopause is over. On average, most women experience them on and off for about 10-15 years. When you get them depends on your body. Some women start as early as their 30s and last well into their 50s.
How to Manage and Prevent Hot Flashes
Some fortunate women have mild symptoms and may not feel they need to get treatment. But if your hot flash symptoms interfere with daily life, some lifestyle changes can help reduce frequency and severity. Many opt to try these steps first before getting hormone therapy or other prescriptions:
- Avoid Triggers
- Spicy foods
- Tight clothing
- Dress in layers that you can remove at the start of a hot flash
- Carry a portable fan
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Use self-calming techniques to reduce stress
Hope for Hot Flashes
Cedar Health Research is currently looking for women with hot flash symptoms to enroll in studies looking into potential new options for those affected by them. By participating in clinical research studies, your story helps advance our knowledge of conditions like hot flashes. The information we learn goes to improving how they are detected, managed, and ultimately prevented.
To learn how you can get involved in our enrolling hot flash studies, call (214) 253-8170, or visit our website.