Whether it's hot flushes (or hot flashes in the US), night sweats - or both - we all experience them differently. The bottom line is that hot flushes are miserable, uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing, draining and always unwelcome.
“Heatwave”! Martha and The Vandellas, sang about a burning in their heart but a hot flush feels like you’re stuck in a ‘Heatwave’ with added high humidity, making you feel 'scorchio'.
Fluctuating hormone levels, with oestrogen fleeing the scene, cause hot flushes and night sweats. As our ovaries stop producing eggs, the hypothalamus, the section of the brain that acts as our body’s thermostat control, goes into overdrive producing hormones to encourage ovulation. The hormone surges cause ‘vasomotor symptoms’ (the medical term for hot flushes), dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to your skin - making you feel hot!
As the body responds to these hormonal surges you can experience an increase in heartbeat and pulse rate, flushes and sweats, followed by a cooling chill as the sweat dries on your body. What a combination!
And the good news is….
Most women going through a natural menopause transition will find that hot flushes and night sweats will eventually subside.
The best ways to beat the heat and what to do to stop hot flushes and night sweats
Tweaking your lifestyle, diet, fitness levels, sleep habits and stress management can help, as can a trip to your friendly GP.