Things You Might Not Know About Hot Flashes

woman with hot flash fanning with paper

lady undergoing chemotherapyDid you know that menopausal women are not the only victims of hot flashes? Women who have undergone surgical menopause or who are on estrogen blocking drugs for cancer treatment may also suffer from hot flashes. Men undergoing certain treatment for prostate cancer too can suffer from hot flashes. People living with MS know all to well that overheating make their symptoms worse. In fact, some cancer patients become so distressed and debilitated by hot flashes that they opt to quit treatment — telling just how awful they can be. "We know that up to one-third of women stop chemotherapy because they just can't stand the hot flashes anymore," says anesthesiologist Dr. David Walega, chief of pain medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "They're willing to put themselves at higher risk of cancer recurrence because they can't live with that side-effect of treatment."

Hot flashes don't just cause heat related discomfort; when one occurs, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated triggering the body's fight-or-flight mechanism. "People feel a sense of urgency or intense anxiety, flushing, heart racing, an increase in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, they feel like they need to run and get the heck out of wherever they are;" says Walega. That often debilitating panicky sensation can last for several minutes and may occur several times a day. While the causes of hot flashes remain a mystery, researchers know that there are connections between the stellate ganglion (a collection of nerves at the base of the neck) and the areas of the brain that control the body's thermostat.

There are other ramifications for long-term health aside from severe episodes being uncomfortable and often debilitating. In fact, researchers have shown cardiovascular health is at risk in people who have severe uncontrolled hot flashes; sufferers typically also have poorer memory and concentration and do not perform as well on cognition and memory testing as women without hot flashes. Although not definitive, research is still ongoing, but the theory is that markers for cardiovascular disease may be affected by the vascular and neuroendocrine changes associated with hot flashes. Bringing them under control could have far-reaching benefits.

WrapMeCool® is a natural, nonmedicinal solution to hot flashes whatever the cause. The scarves and wraps provide immediate, soothing coolness to mitigate the nasty effects of hot flashes.

 

*Underwood, Nora, (2019, Nov./Dec.). No Sweat.  Zoomer Magazine, 35(7), 66-67. (We liked this article so much we decided to share an excerpt.)






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