Causes of Hot Flashes in Young Women

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Hot flashes are most common during menopause and during perimenopause. Hot flashes in young women are also rather common, but not talked about as often. There are several causes of hot flashes in young women. Hot flashes are characterized by episodes of feeling very warm, becoming flushed, perspiration, rapid heartbeat, chills as the hot flash goes away, and in some cases, weakness, feeling faint, fatigue, and dizziness.

Estrogen Crash

Estrogen crash occurs when the levels and production of estrogen suddenly declines. This most commonly affects women between ages 15 and 44. This crash results in affected women being in the early stages of menopause. This is most common when both ovaries suddenly stop functioning or when both ovaries are removed. The ovaries may be removed alone or through a complete hysterectomy. Both cause a cessation in the production of estrogen, which can lead to hot flashes. Replacing estrogen through hormone replacement therapy can help to alleviate the symptoms of this conditions, including alleviating the hots flashes.

Diet

Consuming too much of certain foods and drinks can cause you to experience hot flashes. Wine that is comprised of sulfites can cause hot flashes. Think of that feeling of warmth you experience when drinking your first glass of wine. Meats that contain nitrates can also cause hot flashes. Avoiding the foods and drinks that cause you to experience hot flashes will help to prevent you from experiencing diet-related hot flashes.

Pituitary Gland

Diseases and conditions affecting the pituitary gland may cause hot flashes in young women. Hypopituitarism is rare and is characterized by this gland not producing enough, or none, of one of its hormones, or more than one of its hormones. In addition to hot flashes, you may also experience fatigue, reduced sex drive, reduced appetite, anemia, no or irregular periods, not being able to produce breast milk, loss of pubic hair, weight loss, trouble staying warm or sensitivity to cold, facial puffiness, or infertility. Treating the underlying condition causing this condition can help to relieve it. Hormone replacement medications can help with this conditions, such as levothyroxine, desmopressin, corticosteroids, sex hormones, and growth hormone. Other pituitary gland disorders may also cause hot flashes.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by the thyroid gland producing too much of the thyroid hormone. Sometimes it is also known as overactive thyroid. Many different factors can lead to this conditions, such as consuming a lot of thyroid hormone, getting too much iodine, thyroiditis, and Graves' disease just to name a few. This condition can cause several symptoms in addition to hot flashes in young women. The symptoms most commonly experienced may include difficulty concentrating, frequent bowel movements, heat intolerance, increased sweating, nervousness, weight loss (and in rare instances weight gain), fatigue, goiter or thyroid nodules, increased appetite, irregular menstrual periods, and restlessness. The following treatments are typically used to treat this condition: radioactive iodine, antithyroid medications, and surgery to remove the thyroid. Some of the symptoms, such as sweating, anxiety, and rapid heart rate may be treated with beta-blockers.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that is contagious. It may spread to other organs, but primarily affects the lungs. In addition to hot flashes, you may experience cough (will sometimes produce phlegm), excessive sweating (particularly at night), fever, chest pain, wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss. This condition is most often treated with a variety of drugs. Those used most often include isoniazid, pyrazinamide, rifampin, and ethambutol. Other drugs may also be used. The medications used are typically taken for at least one year and maybe longer.

Other Possible Causes

Other factors may cause hot flashes in young women. These include diabetes, stress, alcohol, white sugar, energy drinks, HIV, smoking, caffeine, spicy food, and certain medications.

Resources

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hot-flashes/DS01143

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