“The hot flush – a sudden sensation of heat that spreads over a woman’s body, particularly on her head, face and chest, is the hallmark symptom of menopause”.1

Umbrella
What may the Hot Flushes Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Hot Flash
  • Hot Flashes
  • Hot Flush (HF)
  • Hot Flushes
  • Menopausal/Menopause Hot Flashes/Hot Flushes
  • Menopause-Related Hot Flashes/Hot Flushes
  • Vasomotor Symptoms
  • “Power Surges”

Different Differences

What is the difference between a hot flush and a hot flash?

I am guessing the difference between these two hotties is DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country). It seems to me women in the United States and Canada have hot flashes and women in other countries have hot flushes or not.

Vasomotor Symptoms

What are vasomotor symptoms (VMS)?

The International Menopause Society’s (IMS) explain:

“Hot flushes and night sweats are also referred to as Vasomotor Symptoms (VMS)”.2

Hot Flush

What is a hot flush?

DotS the definition of a hot flush may vary. The IMS’s definition is:

“The hot flush – a sudden sensation of heat that spreads over a woman’s body, particularly on her head, face and chest, is the hallmark symptom of menopause. It is often accompanied by flushing (i.e. the face may turn red) and sweating, and may be followed by a chill”.3

The Australasian Menopause Society’s (AMS) definition is:

“A hot flush is a sensation of heat involving the whole body and may be associated with redness and sweating”.4

Hot Flash

What is a hot flash?

DotS the definition of a hot flash may vary. The North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS) definition is:

“Hot flash. A condition resulting in a red, flushed face and neck, perspiration, an increased pulse rate, and a rapid heartbeat, often followed by a cold chill”.5

Night Sweats

What are night sweats?

DotS the definition of night sweats may vary. The IMS’s definition is:

“Night sweats are episodes of profuse sweating at night, either alone or just after a hot flush”.6

The NAMS’ definition is:

“Hot flashes often occur during sleep, producing intense perspiration known as night sweats”.7

Cause

What is the cause of hot flushes?

The IMS explain:

“The cause of hot flushes is not completely understood but is related to a drop in estrogen. It is thought to involve destabilisation of the part of the brain (the hypothalamus) which regulates body temperature. Hot flushes may occur because the woman’s threshold for sweating has been lowered. Centrally acting neurotransmitters including noradrenaline and serotonin are believed to be involved”.8

In Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. What Are Hot Flashes? What Causes Them To Happen? according to the NAMS:

“Although their exact cause still isn’t fully understood, hot flashes are thought to be the result of changes in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the body’s temperature. If the hypothalamus mistakenly senses that a woman is too warm, it starts a chain of events to cool her down. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin begin to dilate (enlarge), increasing blood flow to the surface in an attempt to dissipate body heat. This produces a red, flushed look to the face and neck in light-skinned women. It may also make a woman perspire to cool the body down. Women may sense their hearts beating faster. A cold chill often follows a hot flash. A few women experience only the chill”.9

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health note:

“The causes of hot flushes are complex and not completely understood. It seems lower oestrogen levels affect parts of the brain that provide the thermostat for body temperature. Many studies show stress and anxiety can influence the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and sometimes certain foods or alcohol can also have an impact”.10

Other Causes

Apart from menopause, what are other causes of hot flushes?

The AMS explain causes can include:

  • Other conditions. Not all hot flushes are due to menopause. Other associated conditions include thyroid disease, diabetes, hyperhidrosis (a condition of excessive sweating which affects 1% of people), anxiety and panic disorders, obesity, hormonally active tumors, chronic infections and neurological disorders”.11

What medications can cause hot flushes?

According to the AMS:

  • “Medications. Some medicines can cause hot flushes or make them worse. These include anti-oestrogens: tamoxifen , aromatase inhibitors, toremifene , raloxifene and clomiphene and the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues i.e. goserelin, leuprorelin and nafarelin1. Some non-hormonal treatments for hot flushes, such as venlafaxine, can also cause hot flushes at higher doses”.12

Common or Not

How common are hot flushes?

The IMS explain:

Hot Flushes

“As many as 75% of women going through menopause experience hot flushes – sudden, brief increases in their body temperature”.13

The IMS also note:

“There are large differences between women, both within and across cultures. For example, up to approximately 74% of European women suffer hot flushes, 50 to 68% in Latin America, and 22 to 63% in Asia. These differences are probably due to a variety of factors, such as genetics, diet, cultural differences, use of medicines, and individual experiences and cultural expectations”.14

In the United States, according to the NAMS:

“Hot flashes are reported by as many as 75% of perimenopausal women in the United States”.15

Affect

What affect can hot flushes have?

The IMS note:

“The good news is that the majority of women are not seriously affected. However a large number of women, around 20 to 25% of women report a lowered quality of life due to physical discomfort, social embarrassment, sleep disruption and mood changes, and the associated stress”.16

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Hot Flashes Such A Big Deal? the author elaborates on:

“For some women, hot flashes are no big deal and are pretty mild. But for many other women, having severe or frequent hot flashes really interferes with life. Women with hot flashes, particularly frequent or severe hot flashes, have poorer sleep quality and may be more likely to have depression or anxiety during the menopause transition. For these women, quality of life and even work productivity are diminished. Hot flashes do matter”.17

Lifestyle Changes

Can lifestyle changes improve hot flushes?

In Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes the (United States) National Institute on Aging elaborate on:

  • “Dress in layers, which can be removed at the start of a hot flash
  • Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes
  • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse
  • If you smoke, try to quit, not only for menopausal symptoms, but for your overall health
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes
  • Try mind-body practices like yoga or other self-calming techniques. Early-stage research has shown that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi may help improve menopausal symptoms”.18

Revised Global Consensus Statement

What is one of the points of consensus about menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

Hot Flushes

“MHT, including tibolone and the combination of conju-gated equine estrogens and bazedoxifene (CE/BZA), is the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause at any age, but benefits are more likely to outweigh risks if initiated for symptomatic women before the age of 60 years or within 10 years after menopause”.19

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my hot flushes?

If you would like help with your hot flushes, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Hot Flash Relief Without Hormones the author elaborates on:

“As many as 75% of perimenopausal women in North America experience hot flashes, and for a quarter of these women, hot flashes are so disturbing that they seek help”.20

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Drugs the Only Answer? the author elaborates on:

“What we know about hot flashes is constantly evolving. You may need to try multiple approaches or switch them up as you age. The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer in silence. Get help if you need it. We as a scientific community want to offer you a range of effective approaches and are working hard on developing new treatment options. Stay tuned!”21

In Hot Flashes: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Discuss the pros and cons of various treatments with your doctor. If hot flashes don’t interfere with your life, you probably don’t need treatment. Hot flashes subside gradually for most women, even without treatment, but it can take several years for them to stop”.22

In 4 Things To Know About Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices. 4 the (United States) National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health remind us:

“Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care”.23

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Hot Flushes?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Hot Flushes?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Women and Menopause: Symptoms – Hot Flushes and Night Sweats. October 2012:2. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/wmd_general_menopause_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  2. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Background Information: What Are Hot Flushes and Night Sweats? October 2011:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/wmd_media_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  3. Women and Menopause: Symptoms – Hot Flushes and Night Sweats. October 2012:2. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/wmd_general_menopause_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  4. NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats (Vasomotor Symptoms). Content Updated September 2018. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/600-nonhormonal-treatments-for-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 10 October 2019
  5. Menopause Glossary: H – Hot Flash. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-glossary#H Accessed: 10 October 2019
  6. Need To Cool Off? What Are Hot Flushes and Night Sweats? (Vasomotor Symptoms). October 2011:3. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/gp_booklet_english.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  7. Hot Flashes. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/hot-flashes Accessed: 10 October 2019
  8. Need To Cool Off? What Causes Hot Flushes and Night Sweats? Estrogen Withdrawal. October 2011:3. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/gp_booklet_english.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  9. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. What Are Hot Flashes? What Causes Them To Happen? North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 10 October 2019
  10. Symptoms of Menopause: Hot Flushes & Night Sweats. Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 10 October 2019
  11. NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats (Vasomotor Symptoms). Content Updated September 2018. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/600-nonhormonal-treatments-for-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 10 October 2019
  12. NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats (Vasomotor Symptoms). Content Updated September 2018. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/600-nonhormonal-treatments-for-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 10 October 2019
  13. Women and Menopause: Facts. October 2012:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/wmd_general_menopause_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  14. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Background Information: How Common Are They? October 2011:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/wmd_media_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  15. Hot Flashes. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/hot-flashes Accessed: 10 October 2019
  16. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Background Information: How Serious Are They? October 2011:2. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/wmd_media_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  17. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Hot Flashes Such A Big Deal? 14 August 2017 http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 10 October 2019
  18. Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes. Content Reviewed: 26 June 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-flashes-what-can-i-do Accessed: 10 October 2019
  19. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:313 http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 10 October 2019
  20. Utian, W. Hot Flash Relief Without Hormones. 24 September 2015. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/consumers/2015/09/24/hot-flash-relief-without-hormones Accessed: 10 October 2019
  21. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Drugs the Only Answer? 14 August 2017 http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 10 October 2019
  22. Hot Flashes: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 10 February 2018. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hot-flashes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352795 Accessed: 10 October 2019
  23. 4 Things To Know About Menopausal Symptoms and Complementary Health Practices. 4. This Page Last Modified: 11 August 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/menopause Accessed: 10 October 2019
Topic Last Updated: 10 October 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 10 October 2019
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