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
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

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.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
After 12 weeks of treatment with the oral small molecule, women had a 93% reduction in moderate to severe hot flashes, compared with a 23% reduction for those taking placebo (P less than .0001).
As an example of a placebo that isn't clear cut, consider the changing status of magnesium for hot flashes. For the last half-decade, we've suggested it to breast cancer patients.
Among the findings: up to 80 percent of women experience hot flashes. Some women--the lucky few--just had a few flashes or none at all.
Women have long been prescribed off-label psychiatric drugs to treat hot flashes, especially if they can't tolerate hormone therapy--or have a history of heart disease, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke.
Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms, strike up to three-quarters of post-menopausal women.
A recent meta-analysis (a statistical technique that combines the results of several studies) found that isoflavone supplements derived from soy reduced both the frequency and severity of hot flashes compared with a placebo.
Elkins and his colleagues randomized 184 postmenopausal women with moderate to severe hot flashes to either five weekly hypnosis sessions or a structured attention control condition of equal duration.
Limitations of this study include the small pilot sample size which might miss a mild potential benefit, and the individual subjectiveness of recording hot flash severity.
"Hot flashes are a bothersome issue for women experiencing menopause," says Dr.
Manson says, "there are very few women in that age group who experience the primary symptom that drives most women to hormone therapy in the first place: hot flashes. As far as its use for moderate to severe hot flashes, I think it still has a role in clinical practice for short-term treatment and is the most effective treatment out there."
The magnitude of the reduction in hot flash scores 4 months after the final acupuncture session was even greater than at 8 weeks, both for electroacupuncture and sham acupuncture.