Hot Flushes – Why Me?

Some women never get them, but could your brain, as well as your hormones, be responsible for those flushes?


If you are lucky enough to know a woman who has had no hot flushes – and that is a rarity – then the answer to this question is probably Why Not Me?

Hot flushes on average last for four or five years and occur in up to 80 percent of women – even post menopause.

Women on a vegetarian diet seem to fare better with flushes as this diet is often higher in phytoestrogens such as soy.

Also, flushes are not limited to menopausal women alone as they also occur in pregnancy and in men undergoing certain hormone treatments for prostate cancer.

We know exactly what a hot flush is – but despite many advances in science no one quite knows what causes our temperature to soar and makes us sweaty and uncomfortable.

Cell research may hold the clue

A team of researchers in the department of pathology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine may have come closer to understanding the mechanism however.

It seems it may be related to a group of brain cells known as KNDy neurons as a likely control switch of hot flushes. KNDy neurons are located in the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain controlling vital functions that also serves as the switchboard between the central nervous system and hormone signals.

It seems these neurons play extremely important roles in how the body controls its energy resources, reproduction and temperature.

When you have a flush, your skin gets hot and you can see the redness of the skin. This is the body’s attempt to get rid of heat, just like sweating.

Except that if you were to measure your body’s core temperature at that point, you would find it is not even elevated – however much it may feel as if you are burning up and in a furnace.

Help for hot flushes:

It is already known from other branches of science that our minds have a powerful effect on our bodies. Staying calm during a flush is not always easy, but it will make a difference as stress is a major trigger for flushes how many of our other bodily functions.

Simple self help measures such as taking some deep, slow, calming breaths, and having a cold drink will help and give you some measure of feeling more in control of them.

Also progesterone helps rebalances the hormones and some women do find that they get fast relief  by applying the cream during a flush or sweat to the inner wrist where the skin is thinner as it is more rapidly absorbed.

It can also help  to make the last application of the day immediately before going to bed as many have reported this has also helped with sleep issues.

It is the changes and fluctuations in the hormone levels that cause a disturbance which leads to a hot flush. It is very common for the temperature control mechanism to be upset during menopause when the levels of both oestrogen and progesterone are falling.

The role of bioidentical progesterone in helping to control flushes is effective but for severe flushing or night sweats a combination cream of progesterone and oestrogen may be more beneficial.

Helpful information:

Keeping your hormones in balance is certainly crucial in getting control of your flushes, but if you are not sure whether you need just progesterone or a combination of progesterone and oestrogen then the following article will be helpful: