Studies show that women who do experience hot
flashes along with their PMS symptoms have also reported they experience some
or all of the following symptoms.
and feeling overheated
chest and neck.
How Do You
Know If You Are Having Hot Flashes?
Women who experience hot flashes describe it
as being a sudden wave of heat enveloping them. It may begin at the neck which
then slowly progresses upwards to the face. Other women feel an internal
combustible heat. A hot flash may typically last for about 20 seconds. However,
the woman may have to wait quite a few minutes before she feels ‘normal’ again.
Some women may experience hot flashes through
the day or at night. You may have heard of night sweats. The severity of hot
flash a woman experiences in her twenties is usually milder compared to the hot
flashes she may later experience during her menopausal years.
Unfortunately, even if your menstrual-related
hot flashes occur for only several seconds, they may increase in frequency,
intensity and duration as you get older.
Hormonal Imbalance Causes Problems
Although there isn’t any conclusive evidence
yet to prove why hot flashes occur, many experts agree that it has something to
do with the fluctuation of hormonal ratios.
In the days leading up to a woman’s
menstruation period her body has a significant drop in estrogen levels. This
reduction in estrogen adversely affects the body’s ability to regulate body
temperature, therefore hot flashes are more likely to occur.
The sudden drop of this hormone (estrogen)
tells the hypothalamus in the brain that the body is overheating. Consequently,
the brain then signals the body to cool down and this causes the blood vessels
to expand, which increases the production of sweat.
Furthermore, this decrease of estrogen also
exacerbates any imbalances that may be already present in the woman’s
sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, and which may be unrelated to
There can be many reasons why an increase in
activity of the sympathetic system is triggered, including stress, anger,
anxiety and too much caffeine. When there is an increase in the activity of the
sympathetic system, the likelihood of having a hot flash also increases.
Many people find supplements help lessen the
hormonal fluctuations that are common before or during the menstrual cycle. If
your hot flashes become debilitating, consult your doctor.
Breathing – Helps Both Your PMS Symptoms and Hot Flashes
Research shows that 20% of women who practice
diaphragmatic breathing have been able to reduce the frequency and intensity of
their hot flashes. Plus, the same group of women were also found to have fewer
troublesome PMS symptoms.
exercises stimulate the relaxation response of the body thereby reducing the
production of cortisol – the stress hormone. Remember that stress can increase
the body’s core temperature, so the idea is to reduce stress as much as