Hot Flashes: When to seek medical help?

By  , Expert Content
Feb 18, 2012

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Hot flashes are one of the many symptoms of menopause. However many other hormonal conditions can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes cause sudden feeling of warmth, which is associated with other symptoms such as red, flushed face and sweating.

Consult a doctor for hot flashes if:

  • You experience symptoms of hot flashes many times in a day. Most women have hot flashes 2 to 4 hours apart. They may happen at any time of the day, even several times in an hour (as many as 20 times per day). There are many effective treatments to control symptoms of hot flashes.
  • Your symptoms are severe and are disrupting your daily life-- such as if they occur often during the night, which prevent you from getting a good night's sleep--don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
  • Self care at home with lifestyle changes (such as regular exercises, eating healthy, quitting smoking and alcohol, maintaining a healthy body weight and sleeping in a cool environment) do not improve the symptoms consult for treatment--- medications can help to reduce symptoms of hot flashes.
  • You think that hot flashes are not caused because of menopause. Many other conditions such as fever, benign cutaneous flushing, rosacea, carcinoid tumour, pheochromocytoma, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid and hyperthyrosidism can cause hot flashes. Your doctor after examination and tests can diagnose the cause of your symptoms.

According to experts in the years before menopause (perimenopause) and after menopause (postmenopause) a woman should have full physical exam annually. During this exam a breast exam, pelvic exam, mammogram and tests for other medical conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease can be done--- so that if you have any problem related to menopause and age its treatment can be started timely.

Who to Consult

Health professionals who can help you manage the symptoms hot flashes include:

  • Family physician
  • Gynaecologist (a doctor who specialises in diagnosis and treatment of disease and conditions of female reproductive system)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant.



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