Hot flushes are the things that have made the menopause famous. 75 – 80% of women will suffer these feelings of intense heat over the trunk and face with an accompanying flushing of the skin. They usually last less than 5 minutes and the sweating that accompanies these “attacks” usually starts a minute after the feeling of heat has started.
Hot flushes are believed to be caused by the effect a hormone (Gn-RH) released by the hypothalamus has on the temperature-regulating area in the midbrain. Hot flushes can begin before the cessation of menses and most women have hot flushes for more than 1 year whilst 25 to 50% will suffer them for up to 5 years without treatment.
The frequency of the flushing may range from 1 or 2 a day, to one every 15-30 minutes. Flushing is more pronounced late in the day, during hot weather, after ingestion of hot foods or drinks, or during periods of tension. If the general troubles of life don’t keep you awake at night, these babies will and may lead to fatigue and depression.
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