What can cause hot flashes other than menopause?** If you’re not menopausal, hot flashes could be caused by medication or an underlying condition.
Hot flashes are so common during menopause that they often top of the list of menopausal symptoms.
But what if you’re not going through menopause?
Or what if you think that the hot flashes you’re experiencing are unrelated?
What can cause hot flashes other than menopause?
If you’re trying to figure out why you’re feeling a little hot under the collar, we’ve got some answers for you.
Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- What is a hot flash?
- Besides menopause, what causes hot flashes?
- How can you treat hot flashes?
- When should you be concerned about hot flashes?
What is a hot flash?
A hot flash is a sudden, intense sensation of heat.
It usually ripples through the upper body and face, and can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.
Hot flashes can make you feel sweaty and dizzy, and may cause your skin to flush red and your heart to palpitate.
Once they pass, you might feel chilly or shivery, and some people feel a bit anxious, too.
(Yeah, we know, not the best.)
During menopause, about 80% of women experience hot flashes, though the timing and duration of these episodes varies between women depending on their weight, race, and dietary habits.
And if you’re experiencing hot flashes after menopause, you’re certainly not alone.
Besides menopause, what causes hot flashes?
Can hot flashes be caused by something other than menopause?
Here are a few potential causes of hot flashes that are unrelated to menopause.
Hyperthyroidism is the medical term for an overactive thyroid.
It means your thyroid is producing more of the thyroid hormones than your body needs, which can give rise to hot flashes.
Very occasionally, thyroid cancer can also cause hot flashes that aren’t related to menopause, so it’s best to speak to your doctor.
Sometimes, feelings of anxiety and panic attacks can bring on hot flashes, a racing heartbeat, and sweating.
A steamy sleeping space
(No, we’re not talking about the good kind!)
To sleep well, your bedroom should be pretty cool.
Sleeping under heavy bedding in a hot bedroom can make your body react with a late-night hot flash or night sweat.
If you’re taking niacin as a vitamin B supplement, hot flashes can be a common side effect.
You can keep taking niacin if you wish, but chat to your doctor about changing your dose, or see what they think about taking an aspirin first, which this study says can reduce hot flashes.
If you have HIV, TB, or certain tumors that release hormones, you might be prone to hot flashes.
Carcinoid syndrome, which is quite a rare condition, can also cause hot flashes.
If you’re experiencing hot flashes regularly, speak to your doctor.
They can run a series of tests to find the underlying cause.
What you eat and drink
Unfortunately some of the good things in life, like spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, can also cause your thermostat to malfunction a little.
Try avoiding them for a while if you think there might be a link.
How can you treat hot flashes?
It depends on the cause.
If a medical condition or some medication you’re taking is at the heart of it, speak to your doctor about whether trying a new or different kind of treatment would reduce your hot flashes, or stop them altogether.
A slight adjustment might set you right.
If they’re caused by lifestyle factors, try changing a few daily habits.
Wear lighter clothes, drink loads of water, avoid super-hot places, try and reduce your stress levels by meditating or exercising, and make gentle changes to your diet.
Don’t make any medication changes, like cutting back on the niacin you’re taking, until you’ve chatted to your doctor.
When should you be concerned about hot flashes?
Most hot flashes aren’t usually anything to worry about, but it is important to know what’s causing them.
Before you chat with your doctor, gather some data to share with them.
Jot down how often your hot flashes happen, for example, and whether there seems to be any link to a time of the day, any medication you take, or your diet.
This, together with blood tests (if your doctor chooses to run them), should help to give you some answers. It’s best to be in the know.