What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby papercut » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:27 pm

I read the thread titled "What IS a hot flash?" but it just says what one is, not what one feels like. What all is involved in the actual symptom itself, meaning, what does it feel like? Is it the same for everyone? I get a hot feeling in my head sometimes and it's the weirdest thing. I kind of feel like I'm going to faint but I don't faint. Is that a hot flash? I get stinkin' hot at night sometimes and I figure that's a hot flash.

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks.
~Kris
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby Brighid Moon » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:05 pm

For me, and I think everyone is different, it's like having a miniature fever (sometimes not so miniature either!) - I don't sweat, I've always had a problem with not being able to sweat, and that causes worse issues I think. I get very dazed, and can't think, like foggy-headed, and sometimes I get heart palpetations, head pressure (not a headache), or anxiety with it as well. It's exhausting, and I have to lay down. Mine last anywhere from 15 minutes to sometimes an hour or more, and everything I read says they're only supposed to be about 5-15 minutes, so I'm pretty sure that's not true for everyone, either. Either that or it's due to not being able to release the heat through sweating. I'm not sure. I can get anywhere from none, to one, to several a day (and when its several a day I'm just bed-ridden). I've also noticed when I'm not having a strong hot-flash, but I'm having a sharp rise in other symptoms, that I can tell if I'm having a hot-flash by looking at my eyes in the mirror in the bathroom. When I'm having a hot-flash my eyes get blood-shot! Doing this when I think I'm having an anxiety attack has helped me differentiate between what's anxiety and what's hormones, and that's helped me greatly. I can look in the mirror and say, "Oh, it's a hot-flash, it's just hormones, it'll go away soon." It keeps the panic at bay. :D
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby mi4angels » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:08 pm

Kris, yes, exactly! And what Brighid said too! :lol: Those have been my experiences exactly!
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby papercut » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:05 pm

Oh lovely. So I've been having them every day and I don't like them one bit. They seem to occur mostly in the morning so far, but sometimes in the afternoon and during sleep at night.

Does everyone turn red in the face? I think I get a light shade of pink. I keep a small mirror at my desk at work just to check! LOL

Is it something I need to see my doctor about? Maybe to just let him know that more symptoms are popping up? He told me to read "The Hormone Solution" by ..... eek, the author escapes me right now. Erica Schwartz, perhaps? Anyway, I think I need to go buy it and study it and memorize it and put it into practice. I am a wreck! Well, I feel that way, at least. I probably overexaggerate! LOL
~Kris
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby Brighid Moon » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:49 pm

I had no idea I was in peri-menopause until the hot-flashes hit. Two or three years before that I began having panic attacks out of the blue, and my skin began to get weird (rough, flakey, dry), and I started getting little, stiff, white hairs on my chin area. Didn't even think about it back then, until the hot-flashes hit two years or so ago. Then I knew! So I think your doctor is right, study as much as you can about this phenomena, because if it is peri-menopause you're going to be living with it for a few years. :yuck: Good luck!
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby papercut » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:47 pm

Great. lol Thanks. :)

The rough and flaky and itchy skin is the pits! I am currently battling a rough spot on my right pinky where the skin got so rough and flaky that it broke apart and I had a scab-type thing. Oh man, it hurt!!!!! Thank goodness for Aquaphore ointment!
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby catweazle » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi all, this is my first visit here :D
I am 46, since January of this year I have had very hot flushes, anything from around 5 to 20 per day.. plus and this is the worst of all, alternate month itchy skin which drives me insane particularly at night, it forms a rash on my tummy, chest and sometimes the sides of my neck, it itches like hell and on my legs and arms, it's not too bad during the day though still itches in places, I have used steroid creams from the doctor and been tested for everything, all results were normal, during the months of February, April and June the itchy skin stopped and the scratch marks and rash begane to clear up, now it's flared up again, I moisturise my body every single day, I have used E45 itch relief, and related creams and ointments and even emolients in my bath.. nothing works except steroid cream from my Doctor but it doesn't stop the itch until it subsides eventually.. however, no doctor will prescribe steroid creams and tablets on a long term basis.. I'll be fine in August then it'll start again in September.. help!!!

I'm at the end of my tether, my skin is on fire at night, I really am so misserable and depressed as I can't sleep at night either, coupled with the hot flushes it's a miserable uncomfortable time for me, I used to have the most clear and radient skin, now my whole body looks a red rashy and scratched marked sight

I don't know what else to try, my skin is sore and stings in places from the scratching.. I've been told this is all related to the menopause of which I'm at pre stages of, it's living hell, I just want a whole nights sleep instead of spening all night trying hard not to scratch and dabbing on calamine lotion every hour to cool my red hot skin down which it does but what seems minutes later doesn't last and doesn't stop the itching, I have even tried anti itch tablets which you buy over the counter at the chemist, even pirition tablets which are very expensive but again a total waste of time and money.. they don't work! I have another appointment at the docs on Monday again! but for the suggestion I read on this site, I will gladly try Progesterone Cream from a health food shop, I'm so desperate for a good nights sleep I'll try anything!!!, I welcom any other suggestions, I'm so tired and sore :(
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby minniepauz » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:10 pm

Hi catweazle and welcome to the forum! I take it you're from the UK (since you used the word flushes) :) When you get a chance, fill out a little info in your profile so others can learn a little more about you!

What you're describing doesn't sound like menopause (or perimenopause) to me...I'm talking about the itching and rash. Have you looked up your symptoms online? Something like "causes for itching and rash" and see if anything sounds like you might have. Have you checked with the doctors about the possibility of psoriasis or eczema?

I hope the information here will help you find solutions. You might want to post to Dr. Judy as well.
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby catweazle » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:21 am

Hi Dee,

Yes I am from the Uk.. I was reliably informed what I am suffering with regard to the itchy skin is very much related to the memopause, it will subside in time, and not be as bad each time it flares up.. had I been allergic to something I would suffer sonstantly, I suppose it's a bit like, teenagers with thier raging hormones which bring them out in acne/spots, ironically I do feel better this alternate month tna i did last alternate month, I have since used a cream with primrose oil in it and it seems to have soothed the worst of it better than my usual body cream, I have also bought some spa bath salts which are supposed to be good for skin irritations.. I can only try everythign and amything until my body decides to calm down.

As for the hot falshes as you call them, yes they are the same as hot flushes as we call them across the pond.. it feel very muchlike someone is holding a n electric fie in your face your face and chest instantly heats up and you feel .. well, basically very hot which lasts a few minutes

Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day helps, but hell, you're never off the loo.. LOL, also wearing cool cotton clothing and having fans on etc

I also put cold water into my usual hot water bottle and even stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes beforee I went to bed, by the morning the water bottle felt warm.. also I borrowed my husbands chillow, like a pillow but filled with gel which you are suppose dto place inside your pillow case, but I just lay my head on the cold plastic waterproof side instead of thevelverty side, it was heaven :D, there is nothing else one can do but do what is possible to stay cool, or I'm just hot staff :lol:

I will sort out my profile as soon as I can

Thank you for the lovely welcome, i did appreciate it

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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby papercut » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:05 pm

Hi Cat - welcome aboard!

Well, the hot flashes are getting more frequent for me now. How annoying! And I'm irritable as hell and so dang tired. I could barely stay awake during dinner last night.
~Kris
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby gorgeousfluffpot » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:31 pm

My hot flushes almost make me feel giddy, as they can be so intense. One minute you're pottering about normally and then - WHOOSH - a rush of heat originating form the core of your body as though a nuclear reactor has gone into overdrive. Red face, bloodshot eyes, worst of all a very red nose, and people looking at you and thinking "well you can tell she's had a drink or two", hair goes lank and you know that even if you stripped naked and ran down the high street waving your arms to fan your body, well you still wouldn't get cool because the heat is INSIDE you, not outside. And it can be localised - very very hot legs. Or a very hot face. Or a hot chest. Or hot everything ....!
I'm lucky in that I don't work anymore (yippee-yaddy-doo!!) and so can strip off and take a cold shower when I want. Actually I found that dunking my head into a bowl of cold water cooled me down, but ruined my hairdo. When I was in Australia I was sold a rolled up neckerchief that was filled with water-absorbing granules, and you soaked the neckerchief until it swelled up and then wrapped it around your neck to cool you down. The principle was that the neck is a principal source of heat - yes it worked and the neckerchief stayed cool, through evaporation, and actually was quite effective. Now if I could find the bloody thing I'd be laughing but after our house move last year (and how long can I blame a house move for not being able to find things?), well I can't find it. I have about thirty unpacked boxes that I cannot confront yet, and I bet it will be at the bottom of the last one that I open ...
No more synthetic fabrics for me, linen or cotton only. I carry a large Spanish fan around and fan myself often, actually I've started a bit of a trend around here and now see quite a few people with them, all of whom asked me where I got them from (junk and antique shops, usually but you can get them on Ebay). That does work a bit.
Drinks lots of water, lots of it, little and often. Yes you will piddle like there is no tomorrow but it will help you sweat, and that's evaporation. Oh, and forget the antiperspirants, because you need to perspire, it is taking the heat away. Deodorants are fine as they just treat the bacteria from your sweat and make you smell sweet, rather than like a ship's docker after a 12-hour shift. You just have to accept that your armpits will be damp and you'll have wet patches on your clothes but it does make a difference. While we're talking of armpits you could be REALLY REALLY BRAVE and decide not to shave under your arms. The armpit hair actually helps to carry away sweat and heat, according to the French ladies I talk to. You'd be surprised how many chic French ladies there are, all petite and perfectly groomed and shining shoes and all accessorised down to the last detail ... but with small woolly animals growing under their arms. Quite a shock when you see them the first time but it's accepted over here and I can see the point that the hairs help dissipate the heat.
I guess we all have tips to share on how to keep cool and this Chillow pillow thing sounds like a good idea. I may have a hunt around or internet search for one, since nighttimes are particularly hot. Mr. Gorgeous is a chilly soul and likes his sheet and duvet and sometimes a blanket whereas I throw off the lot and lie there sweating and wondering if a naked sprint around the garden at 3am would get me arrested!
Take cover! Hormones on the rampage again ...
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby minniepauz » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:30 pm

Here's a good link to those "cooling neckwraps": http://www.polarbreezebandanas.com/ and if you buy one (only $5 + shipping on sale) and send a photo, they will send you a free one. :) I like it cause they're made in the USA (Alaska) and not China! I think I will feature them in my next newsletter too!
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby gorgeousfluffpot » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:59 am

yup, Dee, they're the babies .... very effective although the designs are a bit lary!! Bet you won't see them on the catwalks this season ...
Take cover! Hormones on the rampage again ...
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Re: What exactly does a hot flash feel like?

Postby canvis » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:18 am

I think I may have had my first hot flash but I'm not sure. It felt so much like a Hypoglycemic episode that I have so I don't know if it was that or a hot flash. The reason I think it may not have been Hypolycemic related is I had eaten my regular breakfast so I shouldn't have had a sugar problem. I didn't expect to feel nervous and nauseous though with a hot flash. I was hot, shaky, nauseous, almost felt like I was going to pass out, and then very cold and totally drained. Just like I get with hypoglycemic episodes. I went and laid in my car for about an hour because I felt so bad. I still feel like I just need to go home and lay down. My arms and body just feels so tired now. Is this normal hot flash sypmtoms or was it hypo related instead? I am 47 (48 next month).
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