Hot flashes can strike unexpectedly and cause stress, nervousness, anxiety, profuse sweating, increased heart rate, and many other symptoms.
Hot flashes usually happen to women going through menopause, but can occasionally affect younger women too. Keep reading to learn more about hot flashes in young women.
Do Hot Flashes Only Happen to Menopausal Women?
A hot flash is when a woman experiences mild to extreme bodily heat for a short period of time, regardless of the external temperature. The heat causes flushing in the face, neck, and chest areas, and is often accompanied by an increased heart rate and sweating.
Hot flashes are very common in women who are going through menopause. Changes in hormone levels confuse the body and cause its natural register to incorrectly detect that the body is too cold and needs heating. The result is experienced as a hot flash.
Read on to find information on the causes of hot flashes.
Causes of Hot Flashes in Young Women
Because hot flashes are caused by changes in hormone levels, young women can experience hot flashes around the time of their period as their hormones fluctuate.
The following factors can also contribute to hot flashes in young women.
Panic attacks. Panic attacks are known to have a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, dizziness, extreme heat waves, sweating, increased heart rate, and shaking.
Premature ovarian failure (POF). Symptoms of premature ovarian failure include, hot flashes, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and decreased sex drive. With premature ovarian failure, eggs are not produced and the menstruation cycle is disrupted or put on hold. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for this condition.
High estrogen levels. Normally estrogen levels are high when the body is waiting for an egg to fertilize. If the egg is not fertilized, the body releases the egg and estrogen levels drop. If the body fails to release the egg, high estrogen levels lead to hot flashes.
- Menopause. In rare cases, menopause has been known to occur in a woman's twenties or thirties, usually induced by stress.
Please read more below on the treatments for hot flashes.
If you are a young woman who is experiencing hot flashes, you should see your doctor to try and discover the exact cause. Exercise and keeping a healthy diet though will always help the body. Keeping away from coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes can also lower the risk of contracting many diseases.
Explore the articles below for further information on hot flashes treatments.
- Sikon, Andrea and Holly Thacker M.D. "Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. July 2004: 71 (7).
- "Hot flashes in January". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004: 170 (1).
- Miller, Heather and Rose Maria Li, M.D. "Measuring Hot Flashes: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop". Conference report. Mayo Clinic. June 2004: 79.