WHAT CAUSES HOT FLUSHES?
Hot flushes are the classic menopausal symptom, where women experience an overwhelming sensation of heat in the face or the whole body.
They can come on suddenly, engulfing the whole body, so you find yourself repeatedly needing to strip off in a bid to cool down. They last three to five minutes and can occur as often as every hour. Hot flushes are thought to be caused by an imbalance in the brain’s temperature centre, which is somehow dependent on oestrogen. Oestrogen levels fall dramatically (by 90 per cent in just a few years) during menopause and there can be unpredictable fluctuations. When the brain thinks it is too hot, the blood vessels in the limbs dilate and skin temperature rises.
Not all woman experience severe hot flushes. Twenty per cent experience hardly any menopausal symptoms, 60 per cent have occasional symptoms and only 20 per cent have severe symptoms, for which there are a number of treatment options. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.