hot flash

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hot flush

colloquialism for a vasomotor symptom of the climacteric characterized by sudden vasodilation with a sensation of heat, usually involving the face and neck, and upper part of the chest. Compare: hot flash.
Synonym(s): hot flash

hot flash

A sudden brief sensation of heat, often over the entire body, caused by a transient dilation of the blood vessels of the skin, experienced by many women in the period around menopause and by both women and men undergoing certain medical treatments, especially hormone treatments for breast or prostate cancer.

hot flash

a transient sensation of warmth experienced by some women during or after menopause. Hot flashes result from autonomic vasomotor disturbances that accompany changes in the neurohormonal activity of the ovaries, hypothalamus, and pituitary. The exact causative mechanism is not known. All menopausal women do not experience hot flashes; among those who do, the frequency, duration, and intensity vary widely. Although physically harmless, the symptom may be extremely disturbing or, rarely, disabling. Hot flashes may be alleviated by cyclic or continuous administration of exogenous estrogen. Also called hot flush. See also menopause.
A symptom complex afflicting 80–85% of middle-aged women, first occurring during perimenopause, continuing with decreased intensity for years, appearing as transient waves of erythaema and uncomfortable warmth beginning in the upper chest, face and neck, followed by fine sweating and chills. Hot flashes are precipitated by emotional stress, meals and environmental cues, and are more intense if ovaries are surgically removed than if the decline of ovarian function is less abrupt
Mechanism Hot flashes are attributed to central alpha2-adrenergic activity
Aetiology Idiopathic, due to response of autonomic nervous system to decreased oestrogens; they are responsible for osteoporosis, atrophy of vaginal epithelium, leukorrhea and pruritus
Management While hormones—e.g., oestrogens in women and androgens in men—ameliorate symptoms of age-related hormonal decline, they are contraindicated in women with breast cancer, and in men with prostate cancer; megestrol acetate decreases hot flashes by 85%—vs. 20% with placebos. Oestrogen replacement ‘drives’ proliferation of endometrial tissue, which may result in adenomatous hyperplasia and occasionally endometrial carcinoma
Note: Hot flashes occur in eunuchs and in most men who have been acutely deprived of testosterone as in castration, a therapeutic modality for advanced prostate carcinoma; diethylstilbestrol may stop the flashes, but exacerbates cardiovascular disease and blood clots; in Europe, cyproterone acetate is used

hot flash

(hot flash)
Colloquialism for one of the vasomotor symptoms of the climacteric that may involve the whole body as a flash of heat.

Hot flash

A warm or hot sensation on the face, neck and upper body, sometimes accompanied by flushing and sweating. Some women refer to hot flashes as hot flushes.

Patient discussion about hot flash

Q. How Can Hot Flashes Be Treated? I am 62 years old. I have been experiencing hot flashes recently that really bother me. How can this be treated?

A. The problem of hot flashes is experienced by many women undergoing menopause. Until recent years, the main treatment offered, was the hormonal replacement therapy. Nowadays, this treatment is considered a bit problematic, therefore it is recommended to start with alternative options of treatment- a variety of natural supplements are available to try. It is also believed that dietary changes may relieve hot flashes. This includes avoiding caffeine, hot drinks, chocolate, spicy or hot foods and alcohol. Certain herbs are also believed to help.

Q. Hot flashes while on tamoxifen - is there anything to do? Hello, Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after surgery and radiation, I was given tamoxifene. In the beginning it was OK, but now I have hot flashes. Usually I can to hold my self until It passes, but some times (like during work) it’s just so bothering- is there anything I can do to make these flashes go?

A. Just a short update, I took Riki's advice and went to see my doctor a couple of days ago - now I just have to wait and see if the medicine he gave me will do the trick.

Q. Does any one have any suggestions for hot flashes? Soy is prohibited.

A. Hi,

There are several options. First you can try to dress appropriately, exercise regularly refrain from certain foods, coffe and smoking. There are several dietary supplements that may curb your hot flashes such as black cohosh.

You can read more here (

There are also medications to treat this condition (such as hormones, anti-depressant etc.) but they require prescription. You may consult your doctor to see what the best option for you is.

More discussions about hot flash
References in periodicals archive ?
Methodologic lessons learned from hot flash studies.
And while a Cochrane review showed that acupuncture resulted in a significant reduction in hot flash severity but not frequency (Cochrane Database Syst.
Some women will be able to stop taking HT entirely, if they've made it through the hot flash stage of the menopausal transition.
Treatment response was rapid, with women in the escitalopram group showing significant improvement in hot flash frequency and severity within 1 week of starting treatment, the investigators noted.
Leading the pack of herbal remedies touted for hot flash relief is black cohosh, with some randomized, controlled studies showing improvement in mild hot flashes.
It's a hot flash, a "natural" symptom of menopause.
LOS ANGELES -- The producers of award-winning documentary Hot Flash Havoc (www.
In addition, for 24 hours at the start of the study and three months after the injection, the women wore skin conductance monitors, which measured hot flashes objectively and also let the women record when they felt a hot flash.
The mean hot flash score (the product of the hot flash frequency and the average severity) improved by 56% (p = 0.
There was a broad peak of hot flash frequency, extending from late afternoon to evening hours, and a nadir that roughly corresponded to the time of the sleep episode," the researchers wrote in their poster.
In Western societies, 80 or 90 percent of women report having hot flashes at some point," says hot flash expert Robert Freed man, who is a professor in the departments of psychiatry and obstetrics & gynecology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.
CHICAGO -- Gabapentin and four newer antidepressants significantly reduce hot flash activity, according to a meta-analysis of 10 placebo-controlled studies that was presented as a poster at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.