Hot flashes are a sudden surge in heat often combined with a flushed face and sweat. They are caused by widening blood vessels close to the surface of the face and often occur in women who are entering menopause. A hot flash can last anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes. The frequency can vary depending on the woman. Some may experience a hot flash every few days, some may experience them multiple times an hour. Certain lifestyle changes help decrease the frequency of hot flashes.
Hot flashes usually come on suddenly, and affect three quarters of women in the United States. To avoid hot flashes, doctors recommend avoiding triggers such as stress, caffeine, and alcohol. Regular exercise can also decrease the frequency of hot flashes. Some symptoms include:
- Tingling in the fingers
- Increased heart rate
- Flushed face and neck
- Sweating in the upper body