What Causes Hot Flashes in Post Menopause Women?
We asked Dr. Barbara Lock, co-founder of MedPie about those annoying hot flashes.
Q. I thought I was over menopause but I still get hot flashes. Why?
Hot flashes are a classic symptoms of menopause, and the cause of many sleepless nights with the covers off and the windows wide open. When the transition from from fertility to post-menopausal life happens, most women are thrilled when the hot flashes end. What is the meaning, then, of persistent hot flashes?
For better or for worse, lifestyle factors are probably not the predominant cause of hot flashes, according to work done out of the University of Washington [link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17904773 ]. So if you are overweight, drink alcohol, and get little sleep, you are probably no more or less at risk of hot flashes than if you are normal weight, abstain, and get regular sleep. Although some women find moderate relief from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it does not eliminate hot flashes, and can increase the risk of certain hormone-responsive diseases such as breast cancer in some patients.
What does seem to predict severity of hot flashes for women is their own stage of menopause. Women who are in the so-called late transition stage or early menopause stage tend to have more severe hot flashes. A trip to the OBGYN physician can help sort out whether treatment is needed in each patient's case.