Causes: Top 7 Hot Flashes Causes
Many people get hot flashes when they begin to go through menopause, which is the time in a woman’s life where menstruation becomes less frequent until finally ending altogether, which signals the end of that person’s ability to become pregnant. Most people connect hot flashes with menopause, although this isn’t the only reason for experiencing them.
2. Food and drink
One of the most common causes of hot flashes is related to what you eat or drink. For example, eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, drinking or eating hot foods or drinks, or consuming caffeine can all cause hot flashes, depending on the person.
Smoking can sometimes cause hot flashes on its own, but it can also make someone going through menopause experience more hot flashes. This can lead some individuals to stop smoking who wouldn’t have done so before.
Pregnancy can also cause hot flashes, which many individuals do not know before they become pregnant. This is especially common in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
Certain drugs can lead to hot flashes in some individuals. Some of the medications most commonly known for causing hot flashes are tramadol, raloxifene (also known as Evista), and tamoxifen. If your doctor has you taking one or more of these medications and you are suffering from hot flashes, you should discuss other possible options for treatment.
6. Environmental factors
Some individuals can experience hot flashes from it being hot outside. They can also get hot flashes while being in a warm or hot room or if their clothes are too warm for the occasion, too constricting, or too tight.
7. Stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress can lead to hot flashes. If an individual experiences intense bouts of either emotion, it can lead to serious problems, both physical and mental. Hot flashes can simply be a manifestation of how the body feels: overloaded and overwhelmed by stress, as well as having anxious feelings and thoughts.
Conditions: Possible Health Conditions Related to Hot Flashes
1. Early menopause
Some people don’t consider menopause or pregnancy to be a health condition because it’s a natural occurrence. However, menopause can occur suddenly or early as a result of certain issues. For example, a hysterectomy can cause menopause, for if the ovaries are removed along with the uterus, the body will begin menopause immediately. A pelvic injury could also cause menopause if the ovaries are extremely damaged, and chemotherapy can cause chemotherapy-induced menopause.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormones, causing symptoms like nervousness, problems concentrating, brittle hair and hair loss, itchiness, nausea and vomiting, sleeping problems, and restlessness. In some cases, hot flashes can be another symptom of hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease is a specific type of thyroid issue that can also cause hot flashes.
3. Spinal lesions and injuries
Abnormal growth of tissue on the spine is also known as a spinal lesion. It is commonly associated with multiple sclerosis or MS, but not all spinal lesions are a product of this illness. In addition, injury to the spinal cord is sometimes a cause of hot flashes. This is one reason why doctors are attempting to understand the many issues potentially associated with this symptom, so as not to misdiagnose a patient.
4. Carcinoid syndrome
Carcinoid syndrome is a rare condition that occurs when a cancerous tumor begins to secrete a chemical into your bloodstream. The tumor, known as a carcinoid tumor, is also rare, but it can cause symptoms like flushing and hot flashes, skin lesions (especially on the face), diarrhea, a quickened heartbeat, and problems breathing.
Pheochromocytoma is another rare condition caused by a tumor occurring on the adrenal glands and secreting hormones that can lead to raised blood pressure, sweating, headaches, paleness, shaking, pounding heartbeat, and other symptoms. This can sometimes appear to be like menopause, so the treatments that usually work for menopause do not.
6. Neurological disease
Some neurological diseases can cause problems for the common actions of your body that normally regulate themselves, such as your internal temperature, your breathing, and your blood pressure. You don’t normally have to think about these process, but a neurological disorder can cause problems for the parts of your brain that should regulate them.
As such, illnesses like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy can potentially cause flushing or hot flashes. Also, you will be likely to experience other symptoms if a severe neurological disease is the cause of your hot flashes.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask about Hot Flashes
- How often do you experience hot flashes?
- Have you noticed anything that seems to trigger your hot flashes?
- Have you always experienced hot flashes or are they a recent development?
- What other symptoms are you experiencing in addition to hot flashes?
- Do you drink alcohol regularly?
- Do you smoke cigarettes or live with someone who smokes?
- Have you recently been injured?
- Are you interested in hormone replacement therapy for menopause?
Hot Flashes May Also be Known as:
- Body heat
- Hot flushes
- Night Sweats
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- Healthline. Hot Flashes. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/hot-flash-causes - causes.
- WebMD. Menopause: Smokers Have More Hot Flashes. https://www.webmd.com/women/news/20120503/menopause-smokers-have-more-hot-flashes.
- Healthline. Menopause. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause - causes.
- Healthline. Hyperthyroidism. https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism - symptoms.
- Spinal Cord. What the Doctor Really Means By a “Spinal Lesion.” https://www.spinalcord.com/blog/what-the-doctor-really-means-by-a-spinal-lesion
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. Maturitas. Differential diagnosis of hot flashes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9288692.
- Mayo Clinic. Carcinoid Syndrome. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carcinoid-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20370666.
- National Library of Medicine. Pheochromocytoma. https://medlineplus.gov/pheochromocytoma.html.
- WebMD. What Causes Hot Flashes? https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-hot-flash-causes.