The Hot Flash Blog

Dr. Evans Tells it Like it Is...

I Hate to Break it to You, but that IS a Hot Flash

Every single time I ask a perimenopausal or menopausal women if she’s having any hot flashes, I hear this reply,

“No, no hot flashes. But sometimes I’m just sitting, talking to friends and I get warm all over, for no reason!  But nope. No hot flashes!”

HELLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Ladies! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but THAT’S A HOT FLASH!!!

Yep, that’s YOUR version of a hot flash.

The typical hot flash is the one we saw at the 2006 Golden Globes, when S. Epatha Merkerson had stuffed her acceptance speech into her bra, but she couldn’t pull the sweaty paper out because it had gotten stuck to her skin, then she fanned herself, saying, “I feel like I’m 16! And if I wasn’t in the middle of a hot flash, I’d believe it!”

Well, your version of a hot flash might not be so obvious. It might be something like this:

“I have to have a fan by my desk at work now.”

“I used to be cold, now I’m hot all the time.”

“I’m not hot. Just very, very warm.”

“I wish they’d turn up the AC in here!”

“Is it hot in here?”

“I haven’t worn a sweater in months.”

“My face gets a little flushed.”

“I’m sweating all the time.”

“I sweat more than I used to.”

“It comes in waves.”

“I’m warmer, but hey it’s summer, right?”

“Yes, I’m hot, but it’s been a really warm summer, hasn’t it?”

And my next question, “Are you having any night sweats?”

“Oh yeah, but I’ve always had those a couple times a month, right around my period.”

“I’m throwing the sheets off at night.”

“I’m sweating, but I think it’s just my pillow case.”

“I’m hot, but I think I need a new mattress.”

“I wake up every night and have to change the sheets.”

“I wake up hot, but not sweating.”

“It’s worse if I have a glass of wine.”

“Only if I eat sugar.”

 “My husband used to keep me warm at night. Now he has to move to the other side of the bed, because I’m burning up.”

“No night sweats. But I have to sleep with a fan on.”

“I wake up at 3:00 AM sweating.”

“Only right when I wake up in the morning.”

OK, do you get the picture? If you’re recognizing any of these responses, you’re having mild, moderate, or severe hot flashes and/or night sweats. These occur because of a hormonal imbalance that usually shows up in the PERIMENOPAUSAL years, i.e. 10 years before MENOPAUSE, usually in your 40’s, or maybe not until MENOPAUSE, after you’ve had your last period. Not every woman has them, but it is a very common symptom that does occur during this time.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Flashes:

1. I must not be menopausal, because I’m not having any hot flashes.

Not exactly. Although hot flashes are one of the hallmark signs of menopause, they don’t happen to every woman, and they are only one of a myriad of menopausal symptoms that might be occurring in your body.

2. Oh I had those years ago. So I’m not menopausal anymore, right?

Well, technically, if you had hot flashes during those last few months or years of menopause, and now it’s been over a year, then you’re POST-MENOPAUSAL. (We use this word interchangeably with MENOPAUSAL)  Although most of the uncomfortable symptoms of that transitional time have stopped, your body may now begin showing signs of suffering from some longer term, hormonal deficiency symptoms, such as:

  • bone loss (osteoporosis or osteopenia)
  • vaginal dryness or atrophy
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • heart palpitations
  • memory loss

Each of these symptoms deserves attending to, and I will address them in other blogs. In the meantime, I want you to become aware of your body’s temperature regulation. Does it seem more brittle or sensitive? If so, your body is clearly experiencing some hormonal imbalance that occurs during PERIMENOPAUSE and MENOPAUSE.

3. Hot flashes? Oh, they’re not that big of a deal. The other symptoms are worse, but these I can put up with. They only happen a couple of times per day.

Wrong answer! I don’t want you to have ANY hot flashes! Or any other menopausal symptoms, for that matter! I don’t want you to settle for anything less than optimum health. If you’re having hot flashes, then your body is hormonally out of balance, and this could affect other systems of your body, like your brain, heart, bones, and skin. Remember, symptoms are the foreign language of your body.  They represent your body trying to talk to you. Although it isn’t always easy to interpret or find the solution, it is a signal that you must pay attention. And get the help you need.

The important issue here, is that hot flashes can be stopped! That’s why I’ve started THE HOT FLASH MOVEMENT, because I don’t want you to suffer any longer. Women should not have to suffer through hot flashes or any other MENOPAUSAL symptom. I am here to educate you about your body so that you can go through this transition as seamlessly as possible.

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Karen
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Karen

Is it possible to get perimenopause related hot flashes while still getting a regular period? I am 49 but my cycle is very regular – exactly every 28 days and all normal. But I’ve been quite hot in the mornings and am wondering if it can be perimenopause or if I should be looking for another cause. Thanks.

Denise
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Denise

So glad I found this site. I keep waking up early, at about the same time, which seems kind of strange. I am hot for about a minute or two and usually can’t go back to sleep. No regular period for about a year. However, there are times when I just can’t get warm. At one time I was on the borderline of being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (not the more common condition of hypothyroidism). Is this common and how does this align with menopause. I have an appointment with my doctor next month.

Neet
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Neet

Hi I am 28 years old. And I have always noticed increased sweating and change in odour close to my periods. But from the last week I have been having difficulty sleeping and I am also experiencing issues with my memory. Since 2 days I have been getting these hot flashes and also feeling extremely angry and irritated like I am going crazy. I am in a lot of stress since the past month and I am also feeling nauseated all the time. I have also had a miscarriage 2 years back and have not tried for a baby after… Read more »

Denise
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Denise

I remember seeing a doctor who could determine if I was entering menopause based on a blood test. Hpoe this helps.

Julie
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Julie

Thank you for this. My hot flashes happen 1-1.5 hours upon waking. In the afternoon and evenings I’m usually cold. Every day i adjust my thermostat. Down in the a.m then up in the p.m. This began happening in my late 30s. Almost 42 now and my gyne still is in denial that I’ve started perimenopause.

Tami
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Tami

I wake up feeling very hot. Also if I sleep on my side (either side) my hands go numb. I’m 37

Georgina
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Georgina

What do you think the problem could be if im only 23?
I’ve had a normal blood tests and my thyroids checked? Its really annoying waking up because your too hot in the morning even if im naked.

Im a university student at the moment I wouldn’t say i’m more stressed.

Cheryl
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Cheryl

I am 47 and shortly after I wake up I am burning up and start fanning myself!! It happens every morning. It got so bad one morning I had to leave work with dizziness and wanting to strip down. Sorry, but the truth!!! This has gone on for the past few months and happens thru out day but worse in the mornings and evenings. No night sweats, I love crawling into my cool bed!!!

Dawn
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Dawn

This is me too. Every day now. Coincides with much lighter periods after 2 years of fl9oding and massive clots. Closer together periods. This year I’ve had 3 late which is unheard of. Flow is way lighter and since I started spotting daily the morning overheating has come with it.

I figure I’m at least 3 years in. Progesterone 4.6 in day 22. Waiting for estradiol. I tried otc stuff. Waste of time. Oh my vestibular migraine that also started with peri is way worse.

Darcy
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Darcy

I WAS GETTING HOT FLASHES MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY AND NIGHT FOR YEARS AND THEN THEY KIND OF QUIT. NOW THEY ARE BACK AGAIN BIG TIME!! I AM SO HOT IN THE MORNINGS…ITS AWFUL..I CANT SLEEP VERY WELL AND NOW I AM TERRIBLY ANXIOUS…ESPECIAlly at night. I am 56 years old and haven’t had a period in many years…HELP!!!

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