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 ?
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.
The change in hot flash activity from baseline to week 4 for each agent was calculated using both weighted and unweighted approaches.
Executive producer Heidi Houston adds, "I believe the information in Hot Flash Havoc will save marriages, sanity and allow for a better quality of life.
Pioneering research by Freedman suggests that a slight rise in core body temperature triggers a hot flash.
No other antidepressants or hot flash therapies were permitted.
After my one hot flash several years ago, I began using progesterone cream and then later switched to 200 mg of Prometrium.
Hesperidin isn't easy to find by itself, but you can get Hot Flash Formula, which combines it with two herbs found in other studies to reduce hot flashes: sage and black cohosh (call Women's Preferred at 800-728-2288 to order).
Additionally, no significant differences between the soy and placebo groups in the number of hot flashes or hot flash scores were detected.
During a hot flash, a wave of heat sweeps through a woman's upper body, her heart beats more rapidly, and she perspires profusely.
Mean hot flash scores fell comparably in both arms of the study, which enrolled breast cancer patients and women who never had the disease.
I started studying hot flashes more than 20 years ago, and when I told people what I was working on, they would giggle," remembers Robert Freedman of Wayne State University, the dean of hot flash research in the U.