What Causes Hot Flushes, And What Are Other Symptoms Of Menopause?
If you’re between the ages of 40 and 55 and have experienced episodes of a sudden and transient sensation of warmth or heat spreading over your body creating a flushing or redness that is particularly noticeable in your face or upper body, it is quite possible that you are experiencing a symptom of the onset of menopause known as hot flushes.
Hot flushes, which can range from delicate flushes to a sensation of engulfing flames which threaten internal combustion, are a result of your body’s reaction to a decreased supply of the female hormone, oestrogen. For some women oestrogen production decreases gradually, producing fewer hot flushes, but for others, the ovaries stop oestrogen production more abruptly which can be a rollercoaster ride. About 75% of women are estimated to experience hot flushes during menopause.
Menopause begins when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period stops. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, however, a small percentage of women experience premature menopause before the age of 40. Early menopause can also take place between the ages of 41 and 45.
Typically a woman may begin to experience menopause symptoms around her mid 40’s. There is usually a prolonged stage of gradually falling and fluctuating hormone levels which can last upwards of two years before a woman’s final period. This stage is known as perimenopause.
Some Symptoms of Menopause
- Menstrual cycle changes – changes in the usual bleeding pattern
- Night Sweats
- Hot flushes
- Decreased or increased frequency of urination
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Mood changes
- Weight changes
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Aches and pains
- Sleep disorders
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory Lapses
- Changes in body odour
While menopause is part of the natural order of things in a woman’s life, your body’s transition through perimenopause and actual menopause can be fairly frustrating and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are medical treatments available that are recognised as being effective in improving your quality of life such as bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and regular hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
However, while HRT and BHRT may be extremely useful for women whose lives are highly disrupted by menopausal symptoms there is also room for you to explore a more natural approach which is aimed at restoring balance in the whole body and which can greatly reduce the need for a pharmaceutical approach.
Instead of simply masking the symptoms of menopause with hormonal treatments or medications, it is also important to listen to your body’s underlying message and address any imbalances that may present themselves. Often, simple lifestyle changes and techniques can greatly assist in balancing your hormones and reclaiming your health and vitality.
Dr Alain Sanua is a qualified medical doctor currently practising integrated medicine. Among his many interests, he has a particular passion for treating hormone imbalances. Contact him today to discuss how you can best manage your hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms.