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  #1  
Old 09-02-2012, 03:41 AM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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What do hot flashes feel like?

I'm 44, but my mother and sister both went through menopause early, so maybe it's near my time. It's OK, as I have 4 kids and certainly won't miss my fertility.

Today while in Target I suddenly got really hot. Now, I live in Tucson, so being hot and sweaty is nothing new, but this was in a air conditioned store. I also felt a bit week and nauseated. The worst of it only last 10 minutes or so, but I continued to feel like I just wanted to sit in front of a fan for at least an hour.

Was that a hot flash?

How many moths or years before they go away? Any advice on how to handle them?
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2012, 04:21 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
I'm 44, but my mother and sister both went through menopause early, so maybe it's near my time. It's OK, as I have 4 kids and certainly won't miss my fertility.

Today while in Target I suddenly got really hot. Now, I live in Tucson, so being hot and sweaty is nothing new, but this was in a air conditioned store. I also felt a bit week and nauseated. The worst of it only last 10 minutes or so, but I continued to feel like I just wanted to sit in front of a fan for at least an hour.

Was that a hot flash?

How many moths or years before they go away? Any advice on how to handle them?
It sounds like it might have been a hot 'flush' (we call 'em flushes in Australia), and I hate to disappoint you but the severity and the length of time you suffer them is really, REALLY variable.

Hot flushes were my only menopausal symptom, and they were incredibly mild compared to many women I have spoken to. I had a period of about 12 months where I was having flushes (lasting a minute or two) maybe 20 or 30 times a day, but they were manageable with a quick fan or sticking my head out the car window to maximise the breeze! Night-times would see me huddling under the doona, or five minutes later sticking my whole naked body above the bedspread....in icy conditions it was just like heaven! But seriously, they were totally manageable and I never felt the need to seek medical help. Hey, I found menopause a damned-sight easier than puberty...I guess I just got lucky.

That being said, I have an acquaintance who is now in her late 60's who has been suffering terribly since the onset of her menopause nearly 20 years ago. Her hot flushes are constant, and she is in a perpetual state of wetness and distress. HRT hasn't helped her at all either.

And there's all sorts of stories to be told in between. Don't expect disaster....take each day (and flush) as it comes, and unless it's impacting your life dramatically, I'd be loathe to look for medical solutions. It's, y'know, normal?

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:04 AM
mengvs mengvs is offline
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I just completed 6 months of "chemical menopause" thanks to a course of Zoladex implants, and at the peak of it all I was getting 20-30 hot flashes a day and another 10-12 each night. Here are a few things that helped me:

1. Only natural fibres in your bed linens. This means cotton, linen, and surprisingly enough, wool. No synthetics or polyester. Jersey cotton sheets and a wool-filled duvet made a world of difference for me.

2. Keep your bedroom as cool as possible. An overheated room triggered the night sweats/hot flashes for me.

3. Try sleeping in a light cotton nightgown so that when you get drenched, you can just whip it off. If you aren't wearing anything you'll soak through the sheets, which is much harder to remedy (particularly in the middle of the night!).

4. My body temp fluctuated wildly through the night and I often got quite cold after the hot flash had passed. My husband rigged up a remote control that I kept next to my pillow, which controls the electric blanket, a space heater (it was winter for much of my experience), a fan pointed at the bed, and the bedside lamps. I find my sleep was much less disturbed when I had "instant" temperature control just by pressing a button or two.

Everyone varies in terms of severity, length, etc., but be reassured by the fact that women who go through menopause naturally (i.e. not surgically or chemically induced) tend to have menopausal symptoms that are much less severe that what I've described above. I was an outlier.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:16 AM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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I've never had a hot flash accompanied by weakness and/or nausea, nor have I had one that lasted 10 minutes. That makes me wonder if you were experiencing a hot flash or something else. However, others may corroborate your experience.

The only thing I can contribute is the suggestion to develop a wardrobe that allows you to dress in layers that you can remove easily. That latter bit is important. Think cardigan rather than pullover. Sometimes just being able to roll up sleeves makes a difference.

OK, one more thing. I invested $5 or so in a very small desktop fan. I usually just need to run it for a minute or two when I get a hot flash, but it makes a big difference in my comfort level.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:43 AM
velvetjones velvetjones is offline
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I just started having hot flashes. Actually they started when I was visiting Florida a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was the FL heat and humidity until I realized I was the only one suffering.

Yes, they happen a bunch of times a day. 20-30 seems like a lot but I haven't counted. Could be that often.

For me all of a sudden it feels uncomfortably warm in the room. Usually evens out in a minute or two. I have flashes at night but not accompanied by sweats which my mom said were the worst part. I'm just constantly throwing the covers off and on.

My husband thinks I keep the bedroom too cool but really, I could take it cooler.

My mom couldn't remember how long they lasted and so far it's not horrible, just mildly uncomfortable. I have a fan at my desk at work.

I've heard there are herbal remedies but I've only done minimal research and haven't tried any so I can't recommend.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:55 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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I used to get them very occasionally, and they were a little scary when they first started happening. Being diabetic and having had very-low blood sugar episodes, my immediate thought was I was going to pass out from that cause; it was only somewhat of a relief to discover it was just part of the genetic insanity of my fucked-up DNA. My face felt like it was put under a sun lamp, my heart started pounding, and sweat broke out all over my body. I felt dizzy sometimes and couldn't stand up (or had to sit down). They tended to come and go in under 5 minutes, mercifully. Now that I'm on absolutely massive amounts of hormones, they have completely vanished (and otherwise, life is freaking fantastic!)
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2012, 09:16 AM
Sudden Kestrel Sudden Kestrel is offline
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Funny, I was just thinking about this last night as I was lying under the fan waiting out a hot flash. I do sometimes get nauseated and weak when I get one, especially if I'm out in public. In my case that's because sweating without an overt cause triggers a panic reaction with increased heart rate and feeling short of breath, etc. My thought last night was that a hot flash like I was having would probably frighten a lot of people.

I get multiple hot flashes a day, maybe up to a dozen, and have been getting them since I had a hysterectomy in the late '90s. I'm more likely to get the accompanying nausea and weakness if I forget to eat or if I am under extreme stress.

Welcome to the club. Dress in layers, natural bed linens as suggested above, and don't let anybody make you feel guilty for turning down the thermostat.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:01 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO, home of threads on medical topics.

twicks, who sailed through menopause without a single hot flash (nyah nyah nyah)
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2012, 11:13 AM
eenerms eenerms is offline
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This is another 'funny you should ask' as I sit here after a miserable night of approximately 4 hours sleep having night sweats (flushes/flashes). I agree with the others about natural fibers etc. I have another suggestion, have your doctor do a thyroid function test. Over active thyroid can cause sweating. Right now my doctor is trying to adjust my thyroid I went from under active to over active.

All the best and boo hiss to twicks!
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:06 PM
Sally Mander Sally Mander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
...but I continued to feel like I just wanted to sit in front of a fan for at least an hour.

Was that a hot flash?
If it had been a true hot flash, you wouldn't have wanted to sit in front of a measly stupid fan. You would have wanted to go to the grocery section, gone into the walk-in freezer, stripped naked and just enjoyed the lovely frigid icy coolness.

I'm slightly older than you and I've had a couple of hot flashes. Damn, they're awful. It's like a blast furnace has been switched on full blast inside you. Just unending hot, hot, hot.



:: shoots dirty looks at twickster on the way outta the thread ::
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2012, 01:42 PM
phall0106 phall0106 is offline
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After going through a surgically induced menopause many years ago (without HRT), I don't have too much to add to what else has already been said above, except that when I was first going through it, and had horrible hot flashes, I used a Chillow at nights, and it helped me get through the worst of it. I also remember being so thirsty, I could drink gallons of water (and most likely, did just that). Keep a glass of ice water handy--you can drink it, put your wrists on the cold sides, or at the very least, dump it over your head if it gets too bad.

I rarely have hot flashes any more, and when I do, they tend to be somewhat mild.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:36 PM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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I wonder if what OP descibed was the feeling you get when you have a fever "break"? Had you been sick recently?

I had night sweats post-pregnancy a number of times and the feeling was kind of similar. I took to sleeping on a soft old cotton bath towel for awhile, after a few sheet-soaking episodes.
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2013, 05:17 PM
ASanders ASanders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
Today while in Target I suddenly got really hot. Now, I live in Tucson, so being hot and sweaty is nothing new, but this was in a air conditioned store. I also felt a bit week and nauseated. The worst of it only last 10 minutes or so, but I continued to feel like I just wanted to sit in front of a fan for at least an hour.
So today while in Target I suddenly got really hot. It was hot outside but this was in an air conditioned store. I also felt a bit weak and nauseated.

I thought "gee, is this what a hot flash feels like?" so I go to my favorite search engine and type in "what do hot flashes feel like?" Lo and behold, what should pop up but a thread by this name from my very favorite message board.

Yep, I guess that's what hot flashes feel like. Oh, joy. (Maybe there's something about Target that perimenopausal women are sensitive to.)

Last edited by ASanders; 06-09-2013 at 05:17 PM..
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:15 PM
aurora maire aurora maire is offline
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I'll never forget my first one. I thought, gee I just got really hot, like a........flash, aw damn.

Mine were like a roller coaster. The first few months they were really horrible, then they eased up for a while, then back to just bad, then almost not noticeable. I thought they had gone for good and then the ride started again. All in all, I guess they lasted about a year and a half. It took me several months to notice that they were really gone. I never had the soaking night sweats, thank goodness.

I've wondered if my (relatively) easy passage was because I never took birth control pills so had never messed with my hormones. I didn't take anything while they were happening, either, just let nature take its course.
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:35 PM
Gullible's Travels Gullible's Travels is offline
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Hmmm..... most of you are really lucky, or is that I'm really unlucky? I've been having hot flushes for over 5 years now. I'll go a few months where they are so bad that it's almost unbearable then a few months where they're not too bad at all. When they're bad, I have 20 or 30 a day like mengvs, and I don't know how many at night but it feels like it's almost as many. I haven't slept the night through for over 5 years either, even when I'm going through a fairly good patch I'll be woken by a flush once or twice overnight.

I can't find any rhyme or reason to why they're worse at some times than others although they do tend to be a lot more manageable in cooler weather simply because I can throw layers of clothing off as needed.

One strange thing to me is that hubby, if he's touching me, can feel the flush starting before I do. If he's got his hand on my leg or arm for example, he says it gets really hot to touch and he'll say 'are you having a flush?' I look at him a bit surprised and say no only to start furiously fanning myself and getting up to stand under a fan about 15 seconds later.

I've tried a few of the so-called natural remedies without any luck. Overall the flushes do seem to be decreasing in intensity over the years, just have to hope they eventually fade away I guess.

I've never felt weak or dizzy with one though, it's hard to describe the exact feeling - a wave of extreme heat inside that can't escape followed by (sometimes drenching) sweating is as close as I can get - but it's extremely unpleasant as you all know!!
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