A hot flash is a sudden sensation of intense body heat, often with profuse sweating and reddening of the head, neck, and chest. These symptoms can be accompanied by mild to severe heart palpitations, anxiety, irritability and, in rare cases, panic.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of a woman's changing estrogen levels around the time of menopause. They strike unexpectedly, often at night, and usually last several seconds to minutes. Hot flashes:
Hot flashes are less commonly caused by thyroid problems, cancers, and psychological stress. Men commonly have hot flashes when taking hormone therapy for prostate cancer.
Several medicines are available to treat hot flashes.
Last Revised: April 26, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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