Hot Flashes (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Hot flash definition and facts
- What are hot flashes?
- How long do hot flashes last?
- What causes hot flashes?
- What do hot flashes feel like (symptoms)?
- How is the cause of hot flashes diagnosed?
- What are the treatments and remedies for hot flashes?
- Hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Bioidentical hormone therapy for hot flashes
- Other prescription drug treatments for hot flashes
- What natural and home remedies treat hot flashes?
- 1. Phytoestrogens for menopause symptoms
- 2. Black cohosh for hot flashes
- 3. Other vitamins and herbs for hot flashes
- Which specialties of doctors treat hot flashes?
- Can hot flashes be prevented?
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
What do hot flashes feel like (symptoms)?
- Hot flashes are typically brief, lasting from about 30 seconds to a few minutes.
- Redness of the skin, known as flushing, may accompany hot flashes.
- Excessive perspiration (sweating) can also occur; when hot flashes occur during sleep they may be accompanied by night sweats.
- Feelings of anxiety may accompany hot flashes.
- Occasionally, palpitations (feelings of a racing heart beat) may occur during hot flashes.
The timing of the onset of hot flashes in women approaching menopause is variable.
- While not all women will experience hot flashes, many normally menstruating women will begin experiencing hot flashes even several years prior to the cessation of menstrual periods.
- It is impossible to predict if a woman will experience hot flashes, and if she does, when they will begin.
- About 40% to 85% of women experience hot flashes at some point in the menopausal transition.
How is the cause of hot flashes diagnosed?
Hot flashes are a symptom, not a medical condition. Taking a thorough medical history, the health-care professional will usually be able to determine whether a woman is having hot flashes. The patient will be asked to describe the hot flashes, including how often and when they occur, and if there are other associated symptoms. A physical examination together with the medical history can help determine the cause of the hot flashes and direct further testing if necessary.
Blood tests may be performed if the diagnosis is unclear, either to measure hormone levels or to look for signs of other conditions (such as infection) that could be responsible for the hot flashes.
What are the treatments and remedies for hot flashes?
There are a variety of treatments for hot flashes such as:
- hormone therapy,
- bioidentical hormone therapy,
- other drug treatments,
- complementary and alternative treatments,
- black cohosh, and
- alternative therapies.
Some of these have not been tested by clinical studies, nor are they approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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