A feeling of sudden warmth accompanied by a breakout of sweating on the upper half of the body such as head, face and neck is referred to as a hot flash or hot flush. The neck, head and face can turn red because it gives an intense feeling of heat.
They are called night sweats when they occur during the night.There are a number of factors attributed to hot flashes. These are based on both external and internal traits and vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common causes of hot flashes and night sweats-
Common Culprits of Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Due To Fever
Distinguishing hot flashes from a low grade fever that occurs in urinary tract infection, flu, cold or even a serious case of fever like cancer or tuberculosis is often difficult.
Hot fevers usually last for a few minutes or a few seconds, but fevers last for a greater duration. Hot flashes that aren’t cause by fever occur very rarely.
Almost everyone is aware of the fact that a rapid outbreak of hot sweat can occur when people take a meal that comprises of hot pepper or capsaicin is taken. Nerve endings are directly stimulated by capsaicin in this case and they can dilate and affect the blood vessels.
Hot flashes can also be caused because of eating a large meal or by taking alcohol and other food additives. The fact is that people aren’t aware of all the food items that can give rise to these hot flashes.
A stress reaction is perhaps the most common cause of hot flashes because it causes the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the blood stream. Increased heat and blood flow occurs because of this release. The heat is usually eliminated by hot flashes.
Even dreaming i.e. deep REM sleep can also trigger this reaction. A too-warm body also leads to a hot flash. This occurs because of sitting with a laptop on your lap or due to thermal blankets. Radiant heat panels are also known to cause night sweats.
When ovary fails, the brain hormones that become elevated are basically FSH or estrogen. When measured, they are within normal ranges. Therefore, it isn’t going to give any results if you ask the doctor to conduct blood studies for menopause even though you are still having regular and normal menses.
However, the doctor can check for TSH level for hyperthyroidism. In the cases where menses have become irregular, the doctor can check for low estrogen or possible menopause. Hot flashes will be suffered by women during the pre-menopausal period if they smoke because it lowers the blood estrogen levels.
Hot flashes occur when the hypothalamus or the body’s thermostat becomes affected. Basic processes like body temperature are regulated by this area that’s at the base of the brain. The hypothalamic function might be disrupted due to the lower estrogen levels experienced in menopause and thus cause hot flashes.
However, hot flashes don’t usually occur because of low estrogen levels alone because hot flashes aren’t suffered by children and women who have reduced estrogen. As a matter of fact, the trigger seems to be the withdrawal of estrogen that usually occurs in the condition of menopause.