Dr. Oscar A. Aguirre of Aguirre Special Care in Denver Discusses Hormones, Menopause and Hot Flashes

Posted: September 4, 2012

Real hot flashes are not caused by fevers, illness or even burning desire. Rather, the culprit is sex hormones. Estrogen levels in women and testosterone levels in men often fluctuate. If these hormones are suppressed, blood vessels will dilate, and the dilated blood vessels allow more blood to rush through the body. This sudden increase in blood flow brings with it more heat and flushing — typically to the body’s upper half. While this may sound alarming, hot flashes aren’t dangerous – but as you may well know, (along with 85 percent of all women who experience them at some time), they can certainly be uncomfortable.

First, although the hot flashes in and of themselves are not dangerous, if you suddenly begin to experience them, it’s good to discuss this with your doctor.  In rare cases, hot flashes can be symptoms of more concerning conditions.  More often than not, women experience hot flashes because of pregnancy, perimenopause or menopause.

In fact, hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause. In addition, outside factors such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, spicy foods, lack of exercise, fat intake, chocolate and even temperature can all trigger a hot flash.

A condition that is often associated with hot flashes is called night sweats which are really just hot flashes that occur during sleeping hours. While turning down the temperature in your bedroom at night can be helpful, this won’t eliminate night sweats, though many choose to dress in layers that can be adjusted as needed.

So what can be done if you are experiencing hot flashes?  Some choose to simply wait out menopause, and these symptoms will eventually fade.  Others choose prescription hormone replacement therapy; while this is a great option for some, many women have conditions or family histories that make prescription medication unadvisable.  An excellent choice offered by Aguirre Specialty Care is the use of Bio-identical Hormones.  Bio-identical hormones have the exact molecular structure of the hormones that a woman’s body produces naturally — no different from the hormones that a woman’s body produces.

For more information on Bio-identical hormones, contact Aguirre Specialty Care at 303.322.0500