Sweats, chills and hot flashes are all common symptoms of menopause, and often accompany one another. Uncomfortable and burdening, these symptoms can be incredible nuisances to menopausal women, especially when experienced in conjunction. They can even progress to such a degree of intensity that they inhibit normal functioning until they subside. It is therefore imperative for women suffering from these symptoms of menopause to learn the mechanics of them in order to alleviate them and create a more tolerable hormonal transition.
What Are Chills, Sweats and Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes and sweats are characterized by sensations of intense warmth and heat, usually in the upper region of the body. Usually accompanied also by a rapid heart rate and a flushing of the face, chest and neck, hot flashes and sweats are then followed by sensations of coolness and chills. Hot flashes, sweats and chills all vary in duration and intensity, but many menopausal women report them commonly lasting between thirty seconds and several minutes. During perimenopause, or pre-menopause, nearly half of all women experience hot flashes, chills and sweats to some degree, and three out of four menopausal women experience them as well.
Women who experience this set of symptoms during menopause commonly develop a routine. Certain women will experience mild hot flashes, sweats and chills very infrequently, while other women experience intense symptoms several times every day.
All three of these symptoms can be classified as vasomotor symptoms of menopause. This term applies to conditions that disrupt the routine functioning of the motor and vascular systems of the human body, often causing intense sensations of heat, profuse perspiration and other similar side effects varying from very mild to immobilizing and intense.
Sweats, chills and hot flashes all can occur during any time of day, but also can commence during sleep. When they happen at night, they are known as night sweats, as they leave the sufferer feeling sweaty and hot upon awakening.
What Causes Chills, Sweats and Hot Flashes during Menopause?
The main culprit of this set for menopausal symptoms is not entirely known, but it is widely believed that the hormonal imbalance and lack of estrogen that develops within your body during menopause are responsible for them and many other symptoms of menopause. They are more specifically the result of an overproduction of body heat by the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulated body temperature. During menopause and hormonal transition, decreasing levels of estrogen stimulate the release of certain chemicals by the hypothalamus. These chemicals cause a dilation of the blood vessels within the skin in an attempt to release heat, creating hot flashes, chills and sweats during menopause.
Hot flashes, chills, sweats and other vasomotor symptoms of menopause, like dizziness and heart palpitations, are usually less intense and frequent following the conclusion of menopause and hormonal transition, but some women continue to experience these symptoms well into old age.
The identification of triggers of these symptoms is important, but you also must treat and prevent them if you are often afflicted. Most women find that a combination of simple lifestyle alterations and alternative medicines is the most effective and safe way to prevent hot flashes, chills, sweats and a whole host of other menopausal symptoms. Treating these symptoms will allow you to regain normal functioning and better cope with menopause.
Learn how to avoid hot flash triggers during menopause.