Hot Flashes

Hot flashes, called night sweats if they occur during the overnight hours, are the result in a temporary rise in body temperature, experienced by the patient as a surge of heat. Sweating, elevated heart rate and lightheadedness are classic symptoms of hot flashes. They are primarily experienced by women and are thought to be caused by hormonal changes, especially during menopause. Younger women may also experience hot flashes, particularly during their menstrual cycle; if such hot flashes occur regularly, they could be caused by dysfunctions in the pituitary gland. Problematic hot flashes can be treated with hormone replacement therapies if they result from menopause; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be prescribed.