Does your core temperature rise during a hot flush?
Are you someone who experiences hot flushes? Or are you someone who is curious about the science behind it? In either case, you might have wondered if your core temperature rises during a hot flush. Let’s dive deeper and understand what happens to your body during a hot flush.
What Is A Hot Flush?
A hot flush, also known as a hot flash, is a sudden feeling of warmth spreading across the face and neck (with some other parts too) followed by sweating or chills. It is typically experienced by menopausal women but can affect anyone regardless of gender or age.
Hot flushes can last anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes and may occur multiple times per day. While they don’t cause any serious health issues, they can be uncomfortable and interrupt daily activities.
Factors That Contribute To Hot Flush
Several factors contribute to experiencing a hot flush such as:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medications (such as tamoxifen)
- Caffeine intake
- Spicy foods
So better start avoiding caffeine drinks with extra spices in it!
How Do Hot Flushes Occur?
According to research, the exact mechanism that causes a hot flush isn’t clear yet. However, it appears that certain areas in the brain that regulate body temperature (such as the hypothalamus) misinterpret signals from hormones like estrogen due to fluctuations in hormone levels (another reason why hormonal balance is important!) The misinterpreted signal tricks the brain into thinking that our body temperature is higher than it actually is causing increased blood flow leading to flushing reddening of skin etc., rapid heartbeat, sweating & sometimes even chills afterwards.
The idea of one portion of our own body deceiving another seems both baffling and comical at once!
Effects on Temperature: Yes/No?
This is where things get a bit complex. According to some research, our core temperature does not change during hot flushes (so your heart can handle it and you don’t have to worry). Despite feeling hot, the body’s internal temperature remains stable as sweating cools it down.
However, other theories suggest that there might be a slight increase in the core body temperature during hot flushes. Studies on this topic are limited and inconsistent; therefore, its claim seems hazy at best.
What Does Science Suggest?
If we go deep into scientific study towards thermoregulation & climacterium – some of the discussions found were:
- During menopause, estrogen levels decrease leading to reduced vasodilation responses by blood vessels causing increased sensitivity
- Due to decreased estrogen levels which cause arterial dilation, individuals may feel a roller coaster effect of warmth followed or preceded by chills.
- Vasomotor symptoms or worsening of flushing occur with increasing age due probably due skin ageing exacerbating subtle changes induced by hormone deficiency
- Deficits in memory sometimes worsened by night sweats finally impact social life too!
Well okay! Then how do I reduce my chances of getting them?
Tips To Reduce The Frequency Of Hot Flush
While one cannot completely prevent hot flushes, here are a few tips that might help reduce their frequency:
- Wear breathable clothing made from natural fibers like cotton
- Use external cooling techniques such as cold compress/ice cubes
- Avoid caffeine intake before bedtime
- Exercise regularly
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
Remember overhearing an elderly woman blaming her own woolly sweater for indicating exaggerating these occasional flashes!
When Is It Time To Seek Professional Help?
In most cases experiencing warm flashes occasionally isn’t something you need serious medical attention for however if they become frequent & severe enough to interfere with daily activities then steps must be taken accordingly such as:
- Consult your general physician, they may prescribe hormone therapy or other medications that might help
- When hormones are not a preferred cure option, low dose SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) known to affect the hypothalamus causing improvement in symptoms.
Pro tip: It is always best to see professional help whenever in doubt!
The Final Verdict
The occurrence of hot flushes is unpredictable and varies from person to person. While there isn’t any exact answer regarding whether core temperature increases during hot flushes or not, what we know for sure is that they can be minimized by keeping oneself physically active and maintaining a healthy daily intake cycle.
While our body tricks us occasionally with tiny thrillers like these it always deserves utmost care & adequate attention so don’t shy away when in need!