Hot Flashes and Menopause
The cause of hot flashes during menopause isn’t exactly known. However, it’s likely that the reduction of estrogen causes a flux in the part of the brain that regulates body temperature, the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus reacts to the change in hormones as if the body were overheating. In an attempt to cool the body, the heart pumps faster, blood vessels dilate, and you begin to sweat—you have a hot flash.
Most women will experience hot flashes at some point during menopause. Instead of hoping you’re one of the lucky few who escapes this symptom, know what to do when a hot flash strikes. The first line of attack is prevention: keep track of when your hot flashes happen, what you were doing, and how you were feeling at the time. Identifying your “triggers” will help you avoid them. Regular exercise, a well-balanced, low-fat diet, and medication also can help dial down the heat.