Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause and up to 75% of women experience them at some point in their lives. However, hot flashes can start before menopause (perimenopause), and carry on after it as well (postmenopausal). This can leave women dealing with them for many years.
The exact cause of hot flashes is not known, and there is no cure. Initial thoughts point toward changes. in the part of the brain that regulates the temperature of your body. There are treatments available that help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes, but continued research is needed to find effective therapies for all women.
What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are a sudden rush of heat through the upper body and face. Women can experience redness and may also sweat. Your heart may beat faster, and as the hot flash begins to dissipate, you may get a chill. Some other medical conditions can result in hot flashes, but menopause is the main culprit.
If hot flashes happen at night, you can become deprived of sleep, and if you are losing sleep consistently, you can develop chronic insomnia. If hot flashes begin to bother you or negatively impact your daily life, it is time to talk to your doctor.
Is There Treatment for Hot Flashes?
Estrogen therapy is an effective treatment option for hot flashes, but not all women are candidates for this type of treatment. This leaves those that are unable or prefer not to take estrogen with limited effective treatments. Other therapies include antidepressants (Paxil, Effexor, Prozac), and other medications (Gabapentin, Clonidine).
How Can You Get Involved?
Seattle Women’s has extensive experience conducting clinical trials on hot flashes and has been involved in trials evaluating all of the hot flash medications that are currently on the market.
Our board-certified Gynecologists see women who are experiencing menopause symptoms and care for the women participating in our hot flash clinical trials.
Clinical research plays a vital role in the search to understand hot flashes and to find new treatment options. If you are experiencing hot flashes, or any other menopause symptoms, clinical studies may be an option for you. To learn more, talk to our staff at (206) 522-3330 extension 2 or visit our website.