Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Hot Flashes

Hot flash symptoms are remarkably similar for different women. Hot flashes are more common at night. A hot flash begins all of a sudden, with a surprising sensation of heat on your face and upper chest. This feeling of heat quickly spreads to involve much more of your upper body. The sensation lasts between two and four minutes. It is caused by dilating blood vessels near to your skin surface.

Many hot flashes cause women to perspire heavily, even to the point of soaking your clothing. Because a hot flash causes you to lose heat from your skin surface, it drops your body temperature slightly. When the hot flash subsides, your body goes to work trying to restore your core temperature to normal. During this recovery time, you can experience shivering, chills, and occasionally heart palpitations (extra beats or a sensation that your heart is racing).

Hot flashes can interfere with your sleep. Because they can awaken you repeatedly at night, they can cause daytime fatigue. Hot flashes and loss of sleep can interfere with your ability to concentrate on tasks, and for some women hot flashes and loss of sleep can contribute to depression.

Fevers can cause flushing and shivering as well, so take your temperature to make sure you are dealing with hot flashes instead of a fever. A fever is never caused by a menopausal hot flash symptom. If you feel hot and your temperature taken by a thermometer is abnormally high, you are experiencing a fever, not a hot flash.

Having reviewed this description, do you think your hot flash symptoms are typical?

Yes, I am having typical hot flashes.

No, my symptoms are not typical for a hot flash.

Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers.

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