free shipping on all orders

ABC’s of Menopause: Hot Flashes

Everything You Need to Know & How To Take Back Control

Mia West
February 13, 2024
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

Menopause is the “gift” that keeps on giving. With 34 associated symptoms that can easily be ascribed to a myriad of other health conditions, it can be impossible to know if what you’re experiencing is tied to menopause without a hormone test. Each week this series will break down symptoms to empower women to take back control of their health and enjoy some relief.

Aside from weight gain, hot flashes appear to be the most universally known symptom of menopause. A tale as old as time, menopause can lead to horrifying embarrassment, especially when it happens at an inopportune time, such as during a business presentation. However, the charming Drew Barrymore did us all a favor by owning her first flash, which happened to occur live on TV while she was speaking with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler on her popular talk show. Her very real and very relatable experience was a message to women everywhere that this is a normal fact of life. So what’s behind women turning into human furnaces?

What Causes Hot Flashes for Menopausal Women?

Hormonal fluctuations play a central role in the occurrence of hot flashes during menopause. The body's response to changes in estrogen levels triggers the characteristic sensation of sudden warmth, flushing, and sweating.

As estrogen levels fluctuate widely during perimenopause and eventually decline altogether during menopause, the hypothalamus, the body's temperature regulator, becomes more sensitive to slight changes in temperature. This heightened sensitivity leads to the sudden onset of hot flashes, often accompanied by an accelerated heart rate.

Hot flash triggers include hot weather, heated rooms, physical exertion, stress, smoking, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.

How Do I Know If My Hot Flashes Are Menopause Related?

Determining if hot flashes are linked to menopause requires consultation with a healthcare professional along with hormone tests. Given the overlap of symptoms with other health conditions, seeking professional guidance for an accurate diagnosis is essential.

What Else Causes Hot Flashes?

If you’re experiencing hot flashes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in perimenopause or menopause. There are several other factors that can instigate one.

  • Pregnancy: A study suggested that a third of women experience hot flashes, often in their first and third trimester.
  • Medications: Certain medications, including some antidepressants, diabetes treatments, high blood pressure and opioids, as well as cancer medicines.
  • Infections: viral infections such as a cold, flu or COVID-19 or bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, endocarditis (inflammation of your heart), or osteomyelitis (inflammation of your bone or bone marrow)
  • Health Disorders: This includes neurologic , mood (ex. panic disorder or anxiety), sleep, digestive (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or hormonal disorders, such as an overactive thyroid, endocrine tumors, or diabetes

What Are My Treatment Options?

There are a variety of ways to effectively manage menopausal hot flashes that range from simple lifestyle changes to medical intervention. Some strategies to consider are:

  • Cooling Techniques: Use fans, wear lightweight clothing, and keep the room temperature cool to alleviate hot flashes.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Avoiding trigger foods, caffeine and alcohol, as well as staying well-hydrated can help manage hot flashes.
  • Stress Management: Incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to reduce stress and minimize hot flashes.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Of all the available strategies, bioidentical hormone optimization provides the greatest relief for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes.
  • Non-Hormone Medications: Veozah, a new hot flash treatment, provides an option for women unable to take estrogen replacement due to specific medical conditions, which are rare. 

When Should I See A Doctor?

Individuals facing persistent or severe hot flashes that significantly impact daily life should seek medical guidance. Recent research has found a link between hot flashes and two serious health conditions - heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers pointed out that hot flashes weren’t a cause of either disease, but merely an indicator of future health issues. 

Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, but they may also be a sign of underlying health problems. If you are concerned about the link between hot flashes and heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, talk to your doctor. They can help you to assess your risk and develop a plan to reduce your risk of these diseases.


For women weighing their treatment options, Wellcore hormone specialist Ryan Lester, PA-C says, “Speak to as many clinicians specializing in menopausal symptom treatments as you can and ask in depth questions to determine which option will work best for you. Ultimately, the question is what treatments will provide the most benefits with the lowest risk. It is also important to consider the long term risk of avoiding bioidentical hormone replacement as one ages.”


Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

February 14, 2024
ABC’s of Menopause: Irregular Periods

Everything You Need to Know & How To Take Back Control

February 13, 2024
The Healing Power of Nostalgia

A Timeless Prescription for Feeling Good

February 13, 2024
ABC’s of Menopause: Hot Flashes

Everything You Need to Know & How To Take Back Control

About the Author

Mia West

A former journalist, Mia brings a high energy approach to communications rooted in insights, culture and brand DNA. She is driven by helping brands crystalize their story and foster meaningful, emotional connections with audiences. Over the years she has collaborated with prominent brands such as Petco, Keurig Dr Pepper, Jaguar Land Rover, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble Beauty, as well as many others in the retail, health & wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and sustainability realms. A California native, she lives in San Diego with her family at the beach.

Are you ready to feel alive again?
We're improving the lives of millions of people every single day. Will you be next?
Stop Waiting