Characteristics of hot flushes

What are hot flushes?

Hot flashes or flashes are the “heat attacks” experienced by women who are approaching the arrival of menopause (perimenopause).

When do first hot flashes generally take place?

This process originates in most women between 44 and 55 years, but it can start before reaching 40.

At what age do hot flashes of menopause end?

They usually last about 10 or 16 months, but sometimes they can last much longer.

Do all women have hot flushes when they reach menopause?

woman with hot flushes

Not all women experience hot flashes in menopause. In Asian countries it is not as usual as in the West, which suggests that it could have cultural and dietary causes, as well as a physiological component (by hormones).

80% of Western women say they have hot flushes when they reach menopause, being therefore the most frequently experienced symptom.

However, it is interesting to mention that in some Asian countries it is an unusual symptom. The percentage of women who experience hot flashes in Asian countries is: 60% in the Philippines; 27% in Taiwan; 19.6% in Singapore and even less in Japan.

This indicates that hot flashes could have other causes related to cultural differences (stress, etc.) and dietary (type of food, healthy habits, etc.), in addition to the possible physiological component mentioned above.

Symptoms of hot flushes

The main symptoms of hot flushes are:

  • Sensation of heat in the face and neck.
  • Heat in chest.
  • Body heat.
  • Heat rising from the breasts into the face.
  • Night sweats
  • Inability to sleep, etc.

Causes of hot flushes

women hot flushes

Hot flushes generally appear in women between 44 and 55 years old

Hot flashes are caused by hormonal changes that occur before the onset of menopause.

The main reason is caused by the decrease in estrogen and progesterone, resulting in poor regulation of body temperature leading to an increase in blood supply in the face, chest and neck, with the consequent feeling of heat and sweat accompanying this period.

Certain medications are sometimes responsible for hot flashes.


Hot flashes are very disturbing episodes in the life of a woman, especially at night, when the hot flashes and night sweats, make sleep almost impossible. For an affected woman to learn how to remedy hot flashes is very important if she wants to continue a normal life.

Among the top tips that should be taken into account, we can point out the following:

Avoid stress, use breathing and relaxation techniques

It has been proven how the adoption of breathing exercises or other relaxing activities help maintain a control of the metabolism, which is interesting to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

Women who suffer intensely from hot flashes should participate in any of these therapies.

Avoid heat and the fast changes of temperature

When it is too hot, it is important to find a cool place. Air conditioning is imposed as the ideal solution.

Other times, sudden temperature changes are responsible for hot flashes, whether moving from a cool to a warm environment and, less often, when going from a hot place to very cool one. The ideal thing would be to keep a room at about 22 or 23 º C.

If you have to change from a very hot place to a very cold one or vice versa, it is best to stay for a few minutes in a medium temperature, for example, cool yourself a bit before going out if the room is heated. Before entering into a fully air-conditioned place, stay in one place with a mild temperature.

Drink cold water

Women should maintain good hydration because the evaporation of sweat cools their body. Drinking water in abundance is important. In times of severe hot flashes, very cold water drunk in small sips can be a good way to cool yourself.

Use proper clothes to keep your body fresh

Clothes must be fresh, with natural fibers, like cotton, that lets the heat pass.

You should choose your clothes according to the ambient temperature.

Treatment of hot flashes according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

Mtc theory

According to the MTC, menopause decreases the energy of the kidneys.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), considering observations produced over millennia, explains the hot flashes of menopause according to The theory of the 5 elements.

According to this philosophy, it is considered that at menopause the water element decreases (corresponding to the energy of the kidneys and sexual organs) and increases the fire of the organism (corresponding to the heart organ).

Menopause and MTC

This imbalance produces the appearance of symptoms related to the increase of heat, such as hot flashes and dry skin, and with the excessive increase of fire: irritable character, euphoria, palpitations, etc.

In the diet, according to the MTC, women should promote the elements that benefit the kidneys, such as dark colored foods: red beans, adzukis, black sesame, algae, etc. In addition, you should avoid wasting ancestral energy: avoid stress and excess. Neither is alcohol suitable since it fuels the fire.

Ordinary treatment of hot flashes during menopause

The ordinary treatment of hot flashes is usually based on alleviating the symptoms.

The use of phytoestrogens or plant hormones such as soy isoflavones have been promoted as a remedy to replace the estrogen deficiency that leads to menopause. Due to the limited safety tests and the lack of studies on these supplements, it is the doctor who must administer and control this type of treatment.

Some doctors administer certain antidepressants that have the function of increasing the levels of serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone. It has been proven that women with high levels of serotonin do not usually suffer from hot flushes.

Natural treatment for hot flushes

The natural treatment of hot flashes is based in the use of a range of natural resources that can reduce or these extreme ” heat attacks” during menopause. It is mainly based on medicinal plants and a suitable diet.

punto rojo More information on hot flushes.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

6 April, 2020

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.