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Sunday, February 07, 2010 Daisy, Community Member, asks

Q: What are some causes besides menopause for hot flashes and night sweats.

What are some causes besides menopause for hot flashes and night sweats? I have been through menopause for five years and have never had a hysterectomy.

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Answers (2)
Dorian Martin, Health Guide
2/ 8/10 4:23pm

Hi, Daisy,

 

According to the HealthCentral site, hot flashes may persist for years after menopause for some women.

I also found this information on Women's Health Resource's website:

"What other conditions or circumstances can cause hot flashes that are not "menopausal"?

Many systemic conditions can also produce flushing such as carcinoid syndrome, systemic mast cell disease, pheochromocytoma, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid, pancreatic islet-cell tumors, renal cell carcinoma, hyperthyroidism, neurological flushing, emotional flushing, and spinal cord injury. These conditions are thought to secrete chemicals into the blood stream that can stimulate the nerves or blood vessels of the brain.

By far, the most common cause of hot flashes is a stress reaction that causes epinephrine and norepinephrine release into the blood stream. This in turn causes increased blood flow and thus increased heat. A hot flash may ensue to get rid of the heat. The trigger can even occur during deep REM sleep (presumably from dreaming). The next most common cause of a hot flash is just simply that the body is too warm. This can happen at night with thermal blankets or by just sitting with a portable computer on your lap for awhile. We have radiant heat panels at our house that overshoot the thermostat and often cause our family to have night sweats when they come on." 

Since there's a wide range of possibilities, I'd suggest that you visit with your doctor to determine what's causing these hot flashes.

 Take care and keep us posted!

 Here are some articles on our site you might find useful:

6 Tips for Managing Hot Flashes

Natural Alternatives for Menopause Symptoms

How to Choose a Doctor for Your Menopause Journey

 

Dorian

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Sandy Greenquist, Health Pro
2/15/10 5:33pm

Other than menopause, the most common cause for hot flashes in midlife women is low thyroid.  Other symptoms that would point to thyroid issues are dry hair and nails, hair loss and unexplained weight gain.  However, if you have no other symptoms, the hot flashes are probably from low estrogen and can continue for many years.  Actually, some women never get over hot flashes.  I hope you're not one of these women, Daisy!

Thanks for writing,

Sandy Greenquist, nurse-midwife and menopause clinician

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By Daisy, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/15/14, First Published: 02/07/10