Hot flashes – causes, treatment


Hot flashes are usually spontaneously occurring attacks of strong heat sensations or heat waves that affect the body, although the outside temperature is unchanged. Hot flashes are mostly found in menopausal women. However, some mature men also suffer from this symptom. Hot flashes are often accompanied by sweating.

What are hot flashes?

Hot flashes are most common during female menopause. Not all women suffer from it. Why some women have no hot flashes at all during menopause is not clear. However, there is good news: there is a lot that can be done against them.

In most cases, the affected women feel hot flashes first in the chest area. You feel unpleasant heat and the skin reddens. From the chest, the heat rises high into the neck, neck, head and then it spreads over the entire body.

The heart beats faster than usual. Along with the hot flash, affected women are prone to irritability and are particularly sensitive. Other symptoms include sweating. Following the “flying heat”, as the hot flashes are also called, the affected person becomes cold or even chills.

Especially in the evening or at night hot flashes occur. Either hot flashes tear those affected from sleep and do not let them fall asleep again or in the morning the whole nightgown including bed linen is sweaty.


So where do the hot flashes come from? During menopause, hormone levels fluctuate greatly. Among other things, this leads to the fact that the center in the brain, which is responsible for temperature control, is not properly balanced. It goes crazy especially when the estrogen level suddenly drops. The affected person perceives an apparent overheating and the blood in the body is pressed into the skin to cool it.

The temperature of the body should also be lowered by a sweat. That’s why those affected freeze even after the hot flash. Such a hot flash usually lasts a minute, sometimes up to five and in rare cases it takes half an hour. The frequency of hot flashes also varies from woman to woman, ranging from a few times a week to a few times an hour. The increasing palpitations during the heat attack comes from the stress hormone adrenaline. It is also released to cool the body.

Diseases with this symptom


Hot flashes are a common symptom in women as they enter their menopause (climacteric). The body enters a swing of hormones and has to get used to the estrogen and progesterone deficiency in a few years. The heart races at that moment and the blood vessels are wide open, so that the head turns red. In addition, there is a strong sweating.

In itself, hormone change is a natural process and occurs in every woman from the age of 40 to 50 and, accordingly, this has no further serious consequences, since it is only a short-term symptom. However, the hot flashes occur mainly during sleep, so that it can lead to lack of sleep. Also, the strong sweat production that arises is usually a great psychological burden for those affected.

However, hot flashes can also occur in the context of other diseases. Therefore, if they occur regardless of menopause, they should be clarified by the doctor. Hyperthyroidism can also be the cause of hot flashes. Too many thyroid hormones can lead to thyrotoxic crisis, which, in addition to dizziness and drowsiness, can lead to coma and death. Diabetes can also cause hot flashes. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to various complications such as blindnesssensory disturbances or kidney failure.

When to go to the doctor?

If hot flashes are due to an increased consumption of coffee, tea, nicotine, alcohol or certain spices, these are usually harmless and can easily be avoided by dispensing with these stimulants. Intermittent hot flashes are often caused by menopause and are usually accompanied by only moderate complaints that do not require medical treatment.

Relapsing hot flashes are not only affected by women after the absence of their menstruation. Hot flashes can also be observed in men due to a drop in the male sex hormone (testosterone) in old age. If these relapses are so pronounced that everyday life and quality of life are significantly restricted, a doctor should be consulted. In addition, hot flashes should always be clarified by a doctor if they are not related to the hormonal change during menopause.

Here, possible diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, tumors or allergies must be excluded as possible causes. If medication-related hot flashes are suspected, a doctor should also be consulted in order to be able to adjust the medication if necessary.

Treatment & Therapy

Even if hot flashes and menopause put a lot of strain on women – you can do something about it. For many, it is even an occasion to rethink their previous lifestyle. For many, it is becoming increasingly important to do something good for themselves and to pay more attention to themselves and their very own needs.

Often it is nothing big, but things that you have wanted to change for some time: Be it to eat healthier, drink less alcohol or quit smoking. Moving more often contributes a lot to getting the hot flashes under control.

But there is also a lot you can do when the heat becomes acute. Those affected, for example, should take care to keep rooms cool and not overheat, otherwise hot flashes will be promoted.

Affected should dress after the onion prince, so several layers on top of each other, so that you can pull out individual parts if necessary. The clothing should generally fit loosely and be made of natural materials. It is worthwhile to have a spare nightgown and, if necessary, a spare blanket ready. If it is sweaty again at night, you can change quickly.

↳ More information: Home remedies for hot flashes

Outlook & Forecast

If the hot flashes are menopausal symptoms, they can last up to ten years in unfavorable cases. However, there are now various treatment options that at least mitigate these side effects of menopause. In naturopathy, hot flashes and sweating are treated with tablets and tinctures, which contain, for example, the extract of . Preparations based on soy, red clover, sage, lady’s mantle and yarrow can also help. The effectiveness of these remedies has not been scientifically confirmed, but they prove themselves many times in practice.

Physical therapies such as mud baths and Kneipp treatments can also help. As a rule, these naturopathic methods do not lead to a complete disappearance of hot flashes, but they can reduce them to a tolerable level for those affected.

Women who are not helped by these gentle methods can undergo hormone replacement therapy, which usually subsides the hot flashes promptly. However, regular intake of hormones is associated with significant health risks. In particular, the risk of , cardiovascular disease and .

Hot flashes in men, which are due to a disturbed hormone balance, are usually successfully treated by the administration of testosterone.

Hot flashes, which are drug side effects, subside on their own after discontinuation of the causative active ingredient.


What can be done to prevent hot flashes? Those who regularly exercise in the fresh air generally suffer less from hot flashes. You should not stress yourself too much, but treat yourself to as much rest and as possible. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can be helpful.

The right diet is an important aspect of preventing hot flashes. Basically, you should avoid spicy foods and eat lots of foods with isoflavones, i.e. plant estrogens. These are found in soy products, for example. Many legumes such as peas, lentils and beans also contain isoflavones.

Many women shy away from taking medication or hormones. Herbs are often helpful. They contain phytohormones that counteract hot flashes. These are contained, for example, in monk’s pepper, rue or hops.

What you can do yourself

Hot flashes can be very unpleasant, especially for women, and can severely restrict everyday life. However, there are many for self-help with hot flashes that are easy to use.

As a rule, clothing should always be adapted to the current temperature. This can prevent most of the hot flashes. It is advisable to wear clothing that can be easily changed. This includes jackets and shirts in particular. If the hot flashes occur, the patient can quickly remove these items of clothing. Clothing made from natural fibers supports the dissipation of heat and thus prevents unnecessary sweating .

A healthy Diet and a healthy lifestyle in general also have a positive effect on hot flashes. The patient should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Coffee should also be avoided. Spicy food causes excessive sweating in many people. This should be avoided if you have hot flashes. Cool rooms or the purchase of a fan are recommended for sleeping. This can prevent unpleasant hot flashes at night. Stress exercises and yoga also help against the symptom and calm the body.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.