You probably are already aware that menopause, which occurs usually between the ages of 40 and 50, is accompanied by many symptoms like hot flashes. However, these symptoms can sometimes persist for many years following the end of your hormonal transition, continuing into post-menopause, usually until the age of 60. In some unfortunate cases, hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms can persist even longer than that and contine well into older age.
Although symptoms of menopause tend to vastly decrease in both frequency and intensity, post-menopausal hot flashes can still be incredibly disruptive and uncomfortable. However, just like their menopausal counterparts, post-menopausal hot flashes can be treated effectively through many of the same methods that also alleviate the side effects of hormonal instability and imbalance.
What Are Hot Flashes After The Age of 60?
Hot flashes that persist after the age of 60 are the very same hot flashes that occur during the earlier stages of hormonal transition and menopause, just labeled and categorized differently. Just like menopausal hot flashes, these begin with intense sensations of warmth or heat within the chest or face that then spread throughout the rest of the body. This heat also is accompanied by an increased heart rate, a flushing or reddening of the face, chest and neck, and profuse perspiration.
The duration of hot flashes varies between individual women, but they usually last anywhere between several seconds and several minutes. Hot flashes become more erratic and irregular with age, but they also tend to decrease in intensity and frequency.
Hot flashes can be categorized by three major levels of severity:
Mild hot flashes:
Often go unnoticed because of their benignity, and they usually do not interrupt normal functioning.
Moderate hot flashes:
These flashes are definitely noticeable, as they produce a significant amount of warmth and obvious sweating.
Severe hot flashes:
Intense hot flashes like these warrant immediate relief, as they produce immense amounts of internal body heat and easily disrupt whatever task is at hand.
There are many factors that influence the development of hot flashes after the age of 60, and you must be aware of them when attempting to prevent this condition. Learning all you can regarding hot flashes after 60 will help you to more effectively and safely alleviate this symptom of hormonal instability.
What Causes Hot Flashes During Post-menopause?
The precise culprit of post-menopausal hot flashes is largely unknown, but it is commonly accepted that they are the result of a miscommunication between the body and the hypothalamus, the regulatory section of the brain that controls body temperature. The lack of estrogen and other hormones that develops within your body during menopause causes false signals to be sent to the hypothalamus, resulting to the production of more body heat.
In response to this request, the hypothalamus commands the release of certain chemicals that cause a dilation of the blood vessels within the skin. This dilation creates body heat and also prompts the sweat glands to commence production, resulting in hot flashes.
Hot flashes, as well as dizziness and heart palpitations, belong to a group of conditions called vasomotor symptoms; all three relate to the alternative dilation and constriction of the body’s blood vessels. These types of symptoms usually decrease in intensity and frequency following the conclusion of menopause. Sometimes, however, they become more irregular and erratic instead.
What Can Trigger The Onset Of A Post-menopausal Hot Flash?
Hormonal instability and a lack of estrogen may be the main culprits of hot flashes, but there are several other factors that can influence their development after the age of 60. The following are some common triggers of hot flash:
- Excessive amounts of stress
- Spicy foods and drinks
- Alcoholic beverages
- Caffeinated beverages
- Smoking tobacco products
- Warm environments and exposure to the sun
- Some dairy products
Not only should you avoid the above, but you should also implement some minor alterations into your lifestyle and daily routine. For example, wearing light layers of clothing that can easily be stripped away allows you to be more prepared to deal with a hot flash. Avoiding sources of heat, like hairdryers and fireplaces, will also prove beneficial. It is infinitely important to promote hormonal stability by eating healthily and exercising regularly.
These activities will reduce your stress levels, which is nearly as important as maintaining hormonal stability when attempting to prevent post-menopausal hot flashes after the age of 60. Learn more about hot flashes and chills.