- Is a Burning Sensation the Same as Hot Flashes?
- 34 symptoms of menopause
- What causes the tingling in my hands?
- What about in the face? Is that paresthesia as well?
- Is the tingling sensation dangerous?*
- What can I do about the pricking in my thumbs?
- When should I consult a doctor?*
- Burning Legs
- Hot Flushes and Menopause
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- What does it feel like to have a hot flush/flash?
- Can you get cold flushes or chills at menopause?
- Why do hot flushes occur?
- What are Hot Flashes a sign of? Triggers for hot flushes – what causes hot flushes?
- What are Night Sweats?
- Hot flushes and Night Sweats – solutions
- We canvassed readers for their tried and tested remedies for hot flashes and got the following feedback – some of these might help you. Here’s what they recommend:
- Yoga Tip For Hot Flushes:
- What other menopause symptoms will I get along with Hot Flushes?
- Hot Flashes Anxiety Symptoms
- Hot flash, flashes anxiety symptoms descriptions:
- What causes hot flashes anxiety symptoms?
- How to get rid of hot flashes anxiety symptoms?
- 31 Most Common Menopause Symptoms
- What is perimenopause?
- What is the average perimenopause age?
- How long does perimenopause last?
- What are the common symptoms of the perimenopause?
- Perimenopause treatment: What are your options?
- Is there a perimenopause test?
- Perimenopause supplements
- Menopause Symptoms That May Surprise You
- What you need to know about hot feet
- Causes of hot feet
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Fungal infection
- Exposure to heavy metals
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)
- Chronic kidney disease
- HIV and AIDS
- Alcohol abuse
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
- Lifestyle factors
- When should I see a doctor?
- 3 Surprising Menopause Symptoms Explained
- Read the full video transcript below
- Surprising symptom 1: Nipple Pain
- What you can do to help yourself
- How kelp can help you
- What to be aware of with breast changes
- Get your bra size checked regularly
- Surprising symptom 2: Tingling, pins and needles & electric shocks
- Surprising symptom 3: Hot, burning feet
- Hot feet with joint aches and pains
- Poor circulation
Is a Burning Sensation the Same as Hot Flashes?
I am 56 years old. Recently I started having hot flashes. Initially I would just get hot and within a few seconds I’d start to sweat. But now I am feeling something closer to a burning sensation, especially in my hands and feet, and discomfort in my body as a whole. Do women experience hot flashes in different ways like this? I know I don’t have diabetes — but is it safe to say this is part of menopause?
— Indira, Puerto Rico
Different women experience hot flashes and other menopause symptoms in different ways, so the burning sensation you’re experiencing could indeed be due to hot flashes. You are pretty savvy to mention that you don’t have diabetes because that was the first thing that came to mind when I read your question. I’m assuming that you have recently been screened for diabetes, but if not, you may want to bring this up with your doctor just to be sure this is not the cause of your symptoms. You might also want to be screened for deficiencies in vitamin B12 or other vitamins, as well as electrolyte abnormalities — these can be linked to tingling sensations as well. Even if the tests are normal, you may want to consider taking a multivitamin to boost your levels.
If you’re noticing these symptoms only on one side of your body, it could be a precursor to a stroke so be sure to discuss this with your doctor. It could have a neurological basis and be something that needs to be evaluated more quickly. If the symptoms are on both sides of your body and involve both your arms and legs, it’s more likely to be a symptom of hot flashes (or one of the neuropathy conditions discussed above). You should monitor whether the tingling symptoms occur at the same time as the flashes. You can also try some techniques to relieve the hot flashes and discuss the matter with your doctor if you don’t feel better fairly quickly.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Menopause Center.
34 symptoms of menopause
How much do you really know about the symptoms of menopause? Hot flushes and night sweats are among the more commonly recognised side effects of this midlife hormonal shift, yet there are plenty of other far less familiar related symptoms. Some more life-affecting than others, but because so many women still don’t feel able to open up, many of us don’t even realise the physical and emotional symptoms we’re experiencing are hormone-related.
Hot flushes and night sweats. 75% of menopausal women experience hot flushes and night sweats which can affect women for an average of five years during menopause.
Irregular periods and shortened intervals between periods often happen in early menopause.
Increased libido can occur prior to starting menopause, when your body can have a dramatic surge in oestrogen. You might find yourself wanting more sex than you did before.
Vaginal dryness affects half of post-menopausal women aged between 51 and 60 according to a survey by Menopause Matters.
Mood swings were studied by experts at the University of Calgary in Canada, who tracked 282 women going through menopause. Mood swings affected 78 of them.
Breast soreness can happen at this transitional time when your periods slow and finally stop. The change in hormone production is what causes it. Breasts can also appear less full due to the change in oestrogen levels.
Headaches during menopause can be more common amongst women who suffered with them during their periods. They are common, but should they persist, a doctor visit is recommended.
Joint pain. A recent study has shed new light on a little-known type of arthritis known as ‘menopausal arthritis’ which affects women at the onset of the menopause and causes moderate to severe pain and swelling in mainly the fingers and wrists.
Burning tongue. Oestrogen plays an important role in the formation of saliva, therefore, once oestrogen levels decrease this can cause burning mouth syndrome. This condition is where burning pain occurs in widespread areas across your whole mouth including your tongue, lips, roof of mouth and cheeks.
Electric shocks. It is a certain fact that the female hormones behave erratically in perimenopause and menopause and in some women, this can lead to increased levels of electric shocks. Although an electrical shock sensation can happen at any time, it is known to often occur immediately before a hot flush.
Digestive problems. Oestrogen helps keep the stress hormone cortisol in check. But when oestrogen runs low, cortisol increases, which in turn has an impact on our digestive system. Common digestive problems include bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, weight gain, flatulence and nausea.
Gum problems and experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth affects between 10 to 40 per cent of menopausal women, according to research.
Muscle Tension is the feeling that muscles are always tight or strained, sometimes to the point of chronic pain and is closely related to stress and anxiety.
Itchy skin. Lower oestrogen levels in your body can lower collagen levels, which can lead to thinner and dryer skin.
Tingling Extremities while not a common menopause or post-menopause symptom, can be unsettling and unpleasant. This tingling can affect any part of the body, though it commonly occurs in the feet, legs, arms, and hands.
Anxiety. Did you know that mental changes and feelings of anxiety stemming from the menopause may strike as many as one in three women?
Fatigue. A quarter of women report suffering from extreme cases of tiredness during menopause.
Hair loss and other hair changes can start in the run-up to and during menopause. Hair thinning during menopause is difficult to counteract. Nobody over 40 will have the same volume of hair they had in their twenties, but menopause can be an extra and accelerating cause of hair loss.
Sleep disorders. The years from peri-to-post menopause are when women report the most sleeping problems, says the National Sleep Foundation. In fact, as many as 61% percent report symptoms of insomnia.
Difficulty concentrating. Oestrogen is a “master regulator”, it regulates your brain, pushing it to burn glucose to make energy. As oestrogen declines the brain doesn’t work as hard, so energy levels in the brain decline and can cause a general lack of focus and concentration.
Memory lapses caused by fatigue and hormonal changes can make you more forgetful than usual. But these memory lapses are usually only temporary.
Unexplained dizziness is often overlooked but dizziness and vertigo are not uncommon during menopause and are thought to be caused by hormone fluctuations, in particular, a drop-in oestrogen production.
Weight gain resulting from hormonal changes during menopause can be combatted with a healthy diet and exercise as the metabolism slows.
Stress incontinence can happen around the time of menopause, although natural ageing rather than hormones may be the main factor here.
Bloating is not uncommon during menopause and is often most commonly experienced during the preliminary peri-menopause stage.
Allergies can sometimes occur with a change in hormone levels. You may discover that you are allergic to things that you never had a problem with before because hormones are so closely linked to the body’s immune system.
Brittle nails can be caused by lower oestrogen levels, which lead to dehydration. This ’dryness’ can affect your whole body, including hair and skin.
Body odour changes can happen because menopausal women may find they sweat more than usual. Hormonal changes can also change the way you smell.
Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations can be caused by lower menopausal oestrogen levels overstimulating the nervous and circulatory systems. It’s important to get this checked out though, in case a cardiac condition is to blame.
Depression is four times more likely to affect women of menopausal age, compared to women under 45.
Irritability and feelings of sadness are the most common emotional symptoms of menopause. Often, they can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as learning ways to relax and reduce stress.
Panic disorder. Fluctuations in hormone levels unfortunately means that menopausal women are more susceptible to panic attacks than almost anyone else. There are lots of lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can assist with managing anxiety and panic attacks.
Osteoporosis can be a high-risk factor after menopause. Some women will experience a 20% drop in bone density five to seven years after the menopause, which makes them at greater risk of developing osteoporosis, according to nhs.co.uk. This rapid dip in bone density is caused by falling levels of oestrogen.
Don’t dismay! Although the list of possible menopausal symptoms is long, not all women will experience all or any of them. And in most cases, they are manageable with the right advice, lifestyle changes and treatment.
If you ever get a weird tingling, crawling, numbness, or itching in your extremities – hands, feet, arms, legs – it might just be menopause.
We all know the pins-and-needles feeling of realizing you’ve been in one position too long and your foot fell asleep, or of toes warming up after an afternoon of sledding. But when the tingling or burning happens for none of the usual reasons, it can be a little alarming.
Fear not. It’s called paresthesia, it’s not uncommon, and it usually stops when estrogen levels stabilize. Knowing that doesn’t make it any less annoying, so we’re going to talk about what it is and how to get rid of it for our Symptom of the Month.
What causes the tingling in my hands?
Menopause and nerves have a complicated relationship. Surprise – declining estrogen levels may be the culprit. Because estrogen levels impact our central nervous system, when those levels start to fluctuate, some of the nerves are impacted.
The sensations can take a lot of forms: tingling, burning, crawling skin, cold, numbness, the classic pins-and-needles, and increased sensitivity. Women report symptoms from intermittent and mild to lasting and painful, even to the point of waking them from sleep.
What about in the face? Is that paresthesia as well?
This is most likely due to essentially the same cause, but with a different outcome. Most women report menopausal paresthesia of the hands, but it’s not uncommon to experience the same effects in the face. It can be particularly unpleasant, and can cause serious questions about your overall state. If your facial paresthesia is caused by the same declining estrogen levels, then the same treatments and remedies can theoretically be just as effective, which we’ll get to shortly.
Is the tingling sensation dangerous?*
Paresthesia due to hormone fluctuation isn’t dangerous on its own, although numbness in the feet can cause women to lose their balance and fall when walking or running. Some women report the numbness or other sensation can make it temporarily difficult to grip or do fine finger movements. When suffering a bout of paresthesia, it’s important to pay attention to how your body may be affected and adapt to any reduced ability. This can also lead to increased menopausal anxiety, so it’s important to pay close attention without stressing over it too much, or you’ll be doing more harm than good.
What can I do about the pricking in my thumbs?
As usual, there are lifestyle changes to try first:
- Eat right. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies helps regulate the body and may help moderate symptoms.
- Regular exercise improves blood flow and reduces tension, both of which can help relieve paresthesia. Stretch. Move.
- Get acupuncture and/or massage. Again, improving circulation can really help with paresthesia symptoms.
- Sleep, hydrate, cut back on alcohol and caffeine. You know all these already, and should be doing them for all your menopause symptoms. Give your central nervous system all the support it needs to do its job well.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking is hard on the circulation, restricting blood flow.
- Add supplements. B12 deficiency is a particular cause of paresthesia, and adding iron, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, D, and E might help. If you suspect you may be low on B12, that’s a good time to see a health care professional.
If none of these make the paresthesia manageable, talk to a doctor about medical interventions like hormone replacement, topical creams, or a low-dose antidepressant medication.
When should I consult a doctor?*
Tingling and burning sensations can be caused by more dangerous conditions such as fibromyalgia or stroke, so if you have any of the following as well as the paresthesia, talk to your doc:
- Difficulty controlling arms, legs, hands, or feet; problems walking
- Increased urination or inability to control bladder or bowels
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
- Changes in vision or speech, slurring
- Fainting or black outs
- If the tingling is present in more than just an extremity, especially if it’s present in half of your body.
While paresthesia related to menopause is considered “chronic” (long lasting or recurring), there are ways to moderate the sensations until estrogen levels reach their new normal and sensations reduce or disappear. If paresthesia is interrupting your sleep or impacting your quality of life, talk to a doctor or trusted health care professional for ways to find relief.
*As always, the information contained in this blog is not intended to replace expert advice from a medical professional. If you think your paresthesia may be related to causes other than menopause, please seek help.
Do you have tingling extremities of the unpleasant kind? Have you found relief? Please share! Fill us in on the details in the comments below. You’re also welcome to join the conversation on genneve’s Facebook page or Midlife & Menopause Solutions, genneve’s closed Facebook group.
Experiencing other odd symptoms like cold flashes, sore breasts, or ringing ears? Be sure to check in with our Symptom of the Month series for answers!
Treatment of burning legs depends on the underlying cause.
Most people can expect a full recovery from meralgia paresthetica in four to six weeks. First-line treatments can include the following:
- Drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Advil) can relieve pain. Shop online for acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Physical therapy can build leg strength.
If your pain is severe or symptoms continue for more than eight weeks, your doctor might recommend the following to reduce pain:
- corticosteroid injections
- tricyclic antidepressants
- antiseizure medications, such as gabapentin (Neurontin), phenytoin (Dilantin), or pregabalin (Lyrica)
Surgery to decompress the nerve might be recommended if you’re pain is very severe and persistent, but this is rare.
Your doctor may recommend the following when venous reflux is diagnosed early:
- Compression stockings put pressure on your legs to help move blood. Find compression stockings online.
- Get moving. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods to reduce pressure on your legs. Exercise also helps pump blood.
- Blood thinners can prevent the formation of blood clots.
If the condition has progressed, your doctor might recommend a procedure to close a problem vein. Doing so forces blood to flow through healthier veins. These procedures include:
- Sclerotherapy. Your doctor injects a scarring solution to close the affected vein.
- Endovenous thermal ablation. A laser or high-frequency radio waves are focused on the problem vein and closes it.
- Ligation. Your doctor cuts and ties off the affected vein.
Treatments for peripheral neuropathy can include:
- Pain relief. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can ease mild symptoms. Stronger painkillers might be prescribed for more severe symptoms.
- Antiseizure medications. Developed to treat epilepsy, antiseizure medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) may relieve nerve pain.
- Topical treatments. Capsaicin cream may relieve your symptoms if you’re looking for a natural option. Purchase capsaicin cream online.
- Lidocaine patches. These patches are applied to your skin and may offer pain relief. Shop for lidocaine patches here.
If your case of peripheral neuropathy is more serious, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Electrodes are placed on the skin to deliver a gentle electric current to relieve symptoms.
- Physical therapy. Exercises can strengthen muscles and improve movements.
- Plasma exchange. A machine removes the plasma from your blood as well as antibodies that are attacking your immune system. The affected plasma is treated or replaced with a substitute and then returned to your body.
There’s no cure for MS yet, but treatment can manage symptoms in most cases. Treatment focuses on slowing MS progression and minimizing recovery time following flare-ups. Medications to treat MS include:
- alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)
- dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
- fingolimod (Gilenya)
- glatiramer acetate (Copaxone)
- natalizumab (Tysabri)
- ocrelizumab (Ocrevus)
- teriflunomide (Aubagio)
Hot Flushes and Menopause
Hot flushes, sometimes known as hot flashes, are one of the most common symptoms of the menopause. They affect approximately 80% of women at menopause.
Hot flushes are one of the primary symptoms of menopause.
Hot flushes and night sweats
Along with irregular periods, hot flushes are one of the primary signs of the onset of the menopause. For most women, hot flushes occur occasionally and do not cause much distress. However, for a smaller percentage of us, around 20%, hot flushes can be severe and interfere with quality of life and sleep. Women tend to experience hot flushes for about two years on average, but for a small percentage, approximately 10%, hot flushes can continue for up to 15 years!
What does it feel like to have a hot flush/flash?
A hot flush is a vasomotor or blood vessel symptom that can vary in intensity and duration. A typically hot flush will last for between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. You may experience an unannounced brief feeling of intense heat that makes our face and neck feel red and hot and possibly look blotchy. Some women report what feels like a sudden rush of blood from their toes to the top of their head others say they feel like they might combust. You may feel very hot and then chilly. The hot flush can sometimes cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat and pulse, including heart palpitations. The skin may feel sweaty and you may also feel dizzy.
Can you get cold flushes or chills at menopause?
Some women report sudden chilly feelings which sound very similar to hot flushes in the opposite direction on the thermostat.
During and after a hot flush some women experience headaches, shaking and dizziness. These physical symptoms can compound psychological symptoms such as feelings of anxiety, depression and lack of confidence. If you’d like to read more about anxiety, panic attacks and social anxiety
Why do hot flushes occur?
Hot flushes are caused by fluctuating hormone levels especially oestrogen and to a lesser extent progesterone. These fluctuations impact the functioning of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling body temperature, appetite, sex hormones and sleep.
My Second Spring E-book
NEW TO MENOPAUSE? Try our e-book – The Best Friend’s Guide to the Menopause – €8
“So glad you have an ebook. Love the friendly approach & top tips. Highly recommend!” B
A hot flush or hot flash is a blood vessel symptom.
What are Hot Flashes a sign of? Triggers for hot flushes – what causes hot flushes?
Hot flushes are caused by falling oestrogen levels at menopause. You may notice that they are being triggered by caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol and external heat sources like a hot bath or an overheated room. If so avoid these triggers. For some women, stress and tension cause more frequent hot flushes. And indeed stressing during a hot flush and fanning yourself/taking off layers can make it worse – have you noticed?! Women who smoke are more than twice as likely to experience severe hot flushes than women who have never smoked.
What are Night Sweats?
During the night you might experience symptoms similar to hot flushes. You might wake up to find you are drenched and need to change your bedclothes – no fun at all! If this is happening regularly you might find it practical to sleep on a towel and just switch the towel during the night rather than removing all your sheets. Night sweats can disrupt your sleep, possibly adding to other symptoms of the menopause, such as insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, depression and memory lapses.
You’re likely to have more frequent hot flushes after monthly periods have stopped altogether, and they may last for several years. They do however tend to stop once oestrogen levels stabilise.
Some women only experience hot flushes during the day, others only experience night sweats.
The Best Friend’s Guide: Anxiety – A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause – €12
Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much
Low libido can by caused by hormonal adjustments
Hot flushes and Night Sweats – solutions
Hot flushes and night sweats affect each of us differently and most often no treatment will be required.
The following is a range of self-help remedies that may help you cope with these common symptoms of menopause:
- Keep a journal to record the frequency, duration, and possible triggers for hot flushes and night sweats.
- Reduce or avoid consumption of spicy food or alcohol if they are triggers.
- Wear cotton clothing. Wear loose thin layers and a layer that can be taken on and off like a cardigan or jacket, to take the heat out of a hot flush.
- Use bedclothes that you can throw off easily. Consider lying on a towel, which can be changed easily if night sweats are intense.
- Sleep on Silk, it has the wonderful property of being a thermoregulator which means it will keep you cool or warm depending on your body temperature. Silk absorbs moisture/sweat without becoming damp. Consider investing in silk sheets or a silk pillowcase. Silk pillowcases have the added benefits of helping to avoid wrinkles and preventing ‘bed-head’ as they are non-static. They are also hypoallergenic. Visit our sister company The Silk PIllowcase to purchase the Ultimate Silk Pillowcase in Ivory. Please use the discount code SILK10 on www.thesilkpillowcase.com to receive a 10% discount.
- If stress is a factor consider including yoga or mindfulness in your daily plan.
- Wipes or a water spray can help lower skin temperature.
- Cucumber drink – liquidise a cucumber and add to a pint of water, store in the fridge and take a glassful before going to bed.
- Take regular moderate physical exercise to help circulation and make your body more adaptable to temperature changes. Weight management is key to ensuring a positive menopause and reducing many symptoms of menopause.
- Turn down the thermostat on your heating and make sure to drink plenty of cold water.
- Consider the addition of herbal remedies in consultation with a herbalist.
- Siberian Ginseng, in capsule form, is good for hot flushes, night sweats, headaches and palpitations; it also gives you more energy.
- Sage tea or tincture taken as an infusion has tonic and hormonal properties. It helps with inflammation and excessive perspiration and it also has oestrogenic properties.
- Vitamin E in supplement form can help reduce hot flushes.
- Homoeopathic remedies could be helpful. Have a look at Lachesis, Graphites, Pulsatilla and Sulphuric acid to see if they match your pattern. Consult a professional homoeopath. In the meantime, this article on homoeopathy might help you.
Sleep on Silk!
We canvassed readers for their tried and tested remedies for hot flashes and got the following feedback – some of these might help you. Here’s what they recommend:
- “I have tried Hormone Power by Hippocrates, Bernadette Bohan sells it here in Ireland, I found it ok but not great, my sister, on the other hand, finds it great.” Marie
- “Black Cohosh worked really well but can only be taken for around 6 months as it can cause problems with the liver if long-term use. It is not available in the Republic of Ireland but you can get it up North.” Chris
- “I take Multi-Maca from Forever Living, I have been on it for 2 weeks and my flushes have dramatically reduced, my mood is much better, no anxiety, so that is my choice for the moment. This is available from my nutritionist.” Joanne
- “Sage is extremely good at balancing the heat within the body so it works on the flushes and sweats, I have a cup of sage tea regularly throughout the day. I also chew on a few Goji berries.” Robyn
- “I’m in the early stages of ‘my second spring’ and found when I’m very stressed the hot flushes come hot and heavy. A friend recommended a magnet made by Lady Care, it is said to reduce or alleviate hot flushes, palpitations, muscle tension and anxiety. It attaches to underwear and is non-invasive and I forget I’m wearing it! It definitely helps me (well for now anyway). I bought it in Boots it cost about €35” Liz
- “My friend sleeps with baby wipes on her forehead.” Rosanna
- I find the best thing for the flushes is complaining. I complain loudly and no matter what’s wrong with anyone else I’m much worse. Makes me feel much better to complain!!” Eimer
- “Ice cube at the back of my neck pure bliss lol”. Deirdre
Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much
Try this simple home remedy for Hot Flushes as proposed by yoga teacher Estelle Birdy
Yoga Tip For Hot Flushes:
You feel the flush starting. Stop. Pause. What’s your predominating sensation in this moment? And now? And now? And now? How about now? Flush over? Congratulations you have just been fully present over the course of several present moments.
The hot flush can be your friend because, if you stop seeing it as something you need to control, something you are suffering, something you want to end, and simply experience it as a sensation arising in each present moment, well hey, you’ve just seen reality for those few moments and that’s kinda cool. I’m mindful here also, of studies of menopausal symptoms in various cultures and across various socio-economic groups. Worldwide, it appears, poorer, busier, more rural women experience less agitating symptoms than richer, less occupied, city-dwelling women. Could be the diet, could be the not getting real ladies. No one’s saying that night sweats are a whole pile of fun. Believe me, I know. Equally, no one can say that a huge change to a new and empowering way of life, is going to be a bed of roses.
If you’d like to hear more from Estelle I highly recommend this blog called Embrace The Change!
What other menopause symptoms will I get along with Hot Flushes?
As mentioned earlier, a fall in oestrogen is the main cause of hot flushes. Falling oestrogen can also cause irregular periods, fatigue, insomnia, early waking and mood swings. These are some of the most common first signs of menopause or perimenopause – please have a read of our article on Perimenopause and 8 Useful Steps to find out what you can do to glide smoothly through perimenopause and menopause!
Read our article Perimenopause and 8 Useful Steps
Hot Flashes Anxiety Symptoms
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: November 12, 2019
Hot flash, flashes anxiety symptoms descriptions:
- You experience a sudden hot flash, spell, or episode.
- You break into a seemingly uncontrollable hot sweat.
- You also might experience a brief moment or moments of feeling unusually hot.
- It seems like your body is having issues with heat.
- It feels like your body has just had a hot flush where you suddenly feel hot and begin to sweat.
- It feels like it’s too hot, yet your environment is normal temperature.
Hot flashes can occur on or in your arms, hands, fingers, toes, legs, feet, head, face, stomach, anywhere on or in your body, or encompass your entire body.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms can persistently affect one area of the body only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many and/or all areas of the body over and over again.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may have a hot flash once in a while and not that often, have them off and on, or have them all the time.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.
Hot flashes can last for a brief moment, a few moments, a few minutes, ten to twenty minutes or more, or for hours at a time.
The hot flashes anxiety symptom can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
Hot flashes anxiety symptoms often seem more problematic when undistracted, trying to rest or go to sleep, or when sleeping. Some people are even woken up by hot flashes.
What causes hot flashes anxiety symptoms?
Behaving in an apprehensive manner (worried, fretful, fearful, nervous) causes the body to activate the stress response, which causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason this response is often referred to as the fight or flight response or the emergency response.
Part of the emergency response changes include increasing perspiration, heart rate, respiration, and metabolism. These changes alone can cause the body’s temperature to rise. There are other changes that occur, too, that can cause the body’s temperature to rise. Experiencing hot flashes is a common consequence of behaving anxiously and the resulting stress response changes.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar sensations and symptoms to that of an active emergency response..and many more, including causing involuntary hot flashes.
We explain these reasons in more detail in Chapter 9 (our member’s symptoms chapter) in the Recovery Support area of our website.
How to get rid of hot flashes anxiety symptoms?
When the hot flashes anxiety symptom is caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the response and its changes. As your body recovers, this anxiety symptom should subside. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
When hot flashes are caused by persistent stress, such as from stress-response hyperstimulation, it may take a lot more time for the body to calm down and recover, and to the point where the hot flashes anxiety symptom subsides.
Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered from the stress of being anxious, anxiety caused hot flashes will completely disappear. Therefore, they needn’t be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about your hot flashes anxiety symptom. Sure, they can be bothersome and annoying, but again, when your body has recovered from an active stress response and/or sustained stress, this symptom will completely disappear.
If you are having difficulty with troublesome worry, you might want to connect with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to overcome what seems like uncontrollable anxiety.
For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior – a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety’s underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
- For a comprehensive list of Anxiety Disorders Symptoms Signs, Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.
- Anxiety and panic attacks symptoms can be powerful experiences. Find out what they are and how to stop them.
- How to stop an anxiety attack and panic.
- Free online anxiety tests to screen for anxiety. Two minute tests with instant results. Such as:
- Anxiety Test
- Anxiety Disorder Test
- OCD Test
- Social Anxiety Test
- Generalized Anxiety Test
- Anxiety 101 is a summarized description of anxiety, anxiety disorder, and how to overcome it.
Return to Anxiety Disorders Signs and Symptoms section.
31 Most Common Menopause Symptoms
By Nicole Beasley
Updated January 31, 2020
Reviewer Deborah Horton
Menopause is something that every woman goes through at some point. Natural menopause can occur between age 35 or 60, depending on the woman. More research needs to be done to determine why menopause occurs at any time during such a broad age range.
However, some factors can cause early onset of natural menopause. One study shows that smokers may go through menopause as early as 35, while non-smokers are more likely to have onset around the age of 40. If you are in your mid to late 30s or older and start having any of these symptoms, it is likely that you are starting the process of menopause.
Hot flashes or hot flushes are the most common symptom of menopause, occurring in 74 percent of surveyed women. A hot flash or hot flush is when a wave of heat or warmth floods over the body. It creates a redness in the skin, which is why it is frequently called a flush. This is the body’s chief reaction to lowered estrogen.
Hormone changes can influence weight gain and redistribution of fat. While you may not experience significant weight gain, you may notice that your weight redistributes itself to settle more around your waist and less in other areas.
Night sweats are similar to hot flashes but occur during sleeping. The body is flushed with heat, causing extreme sweating while sleeping. This can cause disruption of sleep, which may be one reason why tiredness and fatigue are so common among menopausal women. You’ll know if you have night sweats because you will wake up to soaked sheets.
Tiredness and fatigue are quite common among menopausal women. Part of this could be due to insomnia and night sweats that many women experience. However, the hormonal changes going on could also be a factor in causing fatigue. You may find it difficult to get moving in the morning or get tired easily during physical activity.
Insomnia is a common menopause symptom. Hormonal changes in the body cause changes to dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which can lead to an inability to sleep. This is one reason for fatigue, and it is also contributed to by night sweats.
Hormonal changes, fatigue, and a combination of other symptoms are likely to make you irritable during menopause. You may find that you are quick to snap at people when they bother you or interrupt you during a task. You may also find that you get more easily frustrated while trying to perform tasks.
Many women experience depression during menopause. Depression can occur for many reasons, but the hormonal imbalance does play a role. More often the combination of the hormone changes and the other symptoms of menopause lead to the depressive state. Many women going through menopause are on antidepressants.
One of the first menopause symptoms you will notice is irregular periods. Your periods may become irregular before you notice any other symptoms of menopause. Irregularity can widely vary from woman to woman and can last for several months or years before other symptoms occur.
Many women assume that irregular periods from menopause will be further apart, but this is not always the case. In many women periods become closer together and then further apart, becoming nearly impossible to predict. You could go two weeks between cycles then six weeks before the one after that. Any irregularity in periods can be a symptom of menopause.
Loss of Sex Drive
The decrease in estrogen from menopause can often cause a loss of sex drive or libido. Many women who are going through menopause do not feel their best. They feel as though they are not as sexually attractive, which can lead to not wanting to have sex. Also, the lack of estrogen can take away sex drive.
Vaginal dryness is another symptom of menopause that can contribute to a loss of sex drive. As estrogen levels decrease, the vagina can become very dry. This can cause sex to be very uncomfortable, causing women do not want to engage in the activity. Vaginal dryness can also lead to a pH imbalance which can lead to yeast infections.
Some women experience hair loss or thinning of their hair during menopause. This symptom is not as common, or it may not be immediately noticeable. It may occur slowly over time, and not be noticeable until the significant loss has already occurred. Some researchers speculate that hair loss and thinning is simply coincidental and common among older women in general.
Many women have difficulty concentrating during menopause. The lack of concentration has as much to do with distracting symptoms as it does with hormonal changes. You may find that you have difficulty focusing on complex tasks. Multi-tasking may become completely impossible. You may also have difficulty remaining engaged in reading or watching movies or television.
Short-term memory loss or memory lapses are also a common menopause symptom. Part of this could be because you are not getting enough sleep. Fatigue and other symptoms combined with hormone changes could cause you to become more forgetful. Usually, these memory lapses are temporary, and you can eventually remember what you were trying to recall.
Some scary medical conditions can cause dizziness, so it is important to get checked out by a doctor if you have frequent dizzy spells. However, dizziness can occur as a result of lowered estrogen. When you have dizzy spells you will get a spinning sensation, may feel lightheaded, and may lose your balance. Dizziness can lead to falls, so it is important to tackle this symptom as soon as it presents itself.
Three types of incontinence are common in menopausal women. The first is stress incontinence, which occurs when the bladder leaks when laughing or coughing. The second is urge incontinence, where the bladder gives almost no warning of being full and cannot be held in spite of your best efforts. The third type of incontinence is overflow, in which the bladder empties without giving the signal that it is full.
You may experience one or all three of these types of incontinence when you go through menopause. It is unclear, however, whether this is a symptom of menopause or if it is simply coincidental that many women have incontinence during this age range.
Bloating can occur during menopause for many different reasons. It could be a side effect of digestive issues as the hormone changes cause changes in how food digests. It could also be related to irregular periods or the hormone changes in general. Bloating could last for hours or days, and usually presents as fullness in the belly that can sometimes be painful.
Because hormones and the immune system are linked, changes in hormones can sometimes lead to the development of allergies. You may discover that you are allergic to things that you never had a problem with before. Lactose allergies are common, as is hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, these new allergies are often not temporary and will probably stick around long after your body adjusts to the new hormone levels.
Low estrogen levels can lead to dehydration, which may cause brittle nails. Brittle nails could also be a sign of nutritional deficiency, so if you notice this symptom, you should check with your doctor to make sure there isn’t another underlying cause. Brittle nails can usually be overcome with nutritional supplements orally or for the nails themselves, as well as making sure you are staying hydrated.
Body Odor Changes
The hormone changes your body goes through during menopause can cause you to sweat much more profusely than you ever have before. Also, the changes in hormones themselves can cause changes in body odor. This menopause symptom can be embarrassing, but the easiest way to overcome it is to add extra showers and use scented lotions and deodorant sprays.
Lower estrogen levels can cause over-stimulation of the nervous system and circulatory system. This can lead to heart palpitations or a sudden strong beating of the heart that is difficult to calm. This can be one of the scarier symptoms of menopause. Because an irregular heartbeat could have many different cardiac causes as well, it is important that you discuss this symptom with a doctor if it occurs.
Serotonin and dopamine are affected by dropped estrogen levels, and these mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters can be responsible for high anxiety. Anxiety can present as a feeling of impending doom for little or no cause. In extreme cases, it can lead to panic attacks which can be debilitating and painful. Some women feel mild anxiety as well simply due to the other symptoms they are experiencing and the fact that they are getting older.
You may experience breast pain, breast tenderness, or soreness as a result of the hormonal changes of menopause. This menopause symptom usually presents itself as tenderness or pain when the breasts are touched or stimulated. It can cause problems with libido, and it can also cause extreme discomfort when wearing a bra.
It is important to note that breast pain and tenderness can also be a sign of a more serious condition. If breast pain lasts more than two or three months or worsens, you should see a doctor. You should also be doing monthly self-examinations on your breasts and reporting any lumps or discharge to your doctor immediately.
Headaches during menopause are most frequent in women who frequently had headaches accompany their periods. When you get headaches due to hormone changes in the body, they can be difficult to treat. While headaches are quite common as a menopause symptom, any severe headaches that prevent you from fully functioning or lasting more than two days should be reported to your doctor.
About half of women experience joint pain as a menopause symptom. Joint pain is a soreness in the joints, usually after exertion or exercise, but sometimes with prolonged sitting. Joint pain can be a symptom of arthritis or other medical conditions common among menopausal women, so this is another symptom you’ll want to report to your doctor if it persists or becomes difficult to move.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome is a less frequent symptom of menopause. It is thought that lower estrogen leads to a destruction of the bitter taste buds, which then sets off pain in the surrounding tissue. When you have burning mouth syndrome, you may experience a burning sensation or pain in your mouth, tongue, or gums.
The Sensation Of Electric Shocks
The feeling of light electric shocks can sometimes occur during menopause. It is believed that this is due to the lower estrogen levels wreaking havoc on the nervous system. It may feel something like a static shock and can occur anywhere on the body. It usually lasts just a brief moment but can be quite unpleasant. Many women report that they get electric shocks across the forehead just before a hot flash.
Changes in estrogen levels can disrupt the natural transit of food in the stomach and intestines, which can lead to some digestive issues. You may experience bloating, increased gas, cramping, or nausea. Typically, these symptoms do not last long, and only occur when eating certain foods. If you have stomach pain or increased gas lasting more than two days, you should see a doctor make sure there isn’t another underlying cause.
Gingivitis and bleeding gums are common among menopausal women. While this could be the result of aging or poor dental hygiene, some studies have linked it to lowered estrogen production. It is important that you address any gum issues with your dentist or doctor as quickly as possible. Left unchecked it could lead to serious dental issues and infections.
Muscle tension, particularly in the neck and shoulders, is a common symptom of menopause. Lowered estrogen levels result in increased cortisol production. Cortisol is also sometimes called the stress hormone. Increased cortisol can lead to muscle tension, particularly in the neck and shoulders, but could occur anywhere in the body.
Itchy skin that feels as though something is crawling on you is another symptom of menopause. The lower estrogen levels in your body also lower the collagen in your skin. This can lead to thinner and dryer skin, which can lead to an itchy or crawling feeling. Making sure that you keep your skin moisturized is very important for menopausal women.
Tingling In Limbs
You may experience tingling, or a feeling of something is crawling on you, particularly on your arms, legs, fingers, or toes. This is frequently caused by the havoc that the lack of estrogen plays on the nervous system. The feeling could be akin to when your foot or hand “falls asleep.” There can, however, be many other more serious causes of this tingling sensation, so it should be reported to your doctor right away.
When To Get Help
Most menopause symptoms are mild at first and worsen as estrogen levels decrease. You may want to seek out help for treatment of your menopausal symptoms by talking to your doctor if your symptoms are severe.
Also, you may want to consider seeking out a qualified therapist to help you through this transition. A psychologist can help you manage symptoms of depression and anxiety, and help you work through the emotional ramifications of going through this major life change.
What is perimenopause?
We’ve all heard of the menopause. But some of us may not necessarily have heard of the perimenopause. So what exactly is it? Well, simply, it’s the period right before the menopause begins, and your periods stop.
What is the average perimenopause age?
Occurring in the years running up to your final period, it usually begins as you approach your late 40s to early 50s.
How long does perimenopause last?
The average length of perimenopause is reported to be around 4 years, but it can vary anything from a couple of months to 10 years. The jury is still out as to whether these are caused by the hormonal roller coaster or whether it’s just coincidental that they happen at the same time as hormones start to dwindle.
What are the common symptoms of the perimenopause?
Tingling tongue, achy joints or itchy skin? Even those with heads deeply buried in the sand when it comes to any sign of menopause have heard of classic symptoms such as flushes, sweats and insomnia. But you may be surprised to learn that a range of less familiar – and more surprising – symptoms may also occur at this time. Gynaecologist Dr Heather Currie reveals the surprising symptoms that can occur in the years before your final period…
A Burning Tongue
One of the weirder symptoms of the perimenopause affecting four out of 10 women, this is thought to be a result of activation of pain-sensitive nerve cells surrounding the bitter taste buds at the back of the tongue, which can be damaged by dwindling oestrogen.
MORE: Menopause weight gain: what they don’t tell you
Symptoms, which can also affect gums, lips and other areas of the mouth, typically start between three years before and 12 years after menopause.
- Drink plenty of fluids but avoid fizzy drinks
- Steer clear of alcohol and products containing it such as mouthwashes which can irritate the lining of your mouth
- Avoid spicy foods and acidic foods and drinks, such as tomatoes, orange juice, soft drinks and coffee
- Try mild or flavour-free toothpastes or ones for sensitive teeth
Hot flushes affect six to eight out of ten perimenopausal women. First signs often include a vague sensitive skin sensation followed by an intense whoosh of heat that can cause you to break into a sweat lasting for three to five minutes. ‘Fluctuating hormones are thought to make the body oversensitivity to normal ups and downs of body temperature,’ explains Ms Domoney.
- Avoid caffeine, hot spicy foods and alcohol
- Wear natural fibres, loose layers of clothing you can take on an off and keeping the bedroom cool.
- HRT can also be great at making them magically disappear.
- You could also try Natural Health Practice Black Cohosh Plus, which contains Black Cohosh, Red Sage. Milk Thistle. Agnus Castus and Dong Quai, £19.97 (60 capsules) fromnaturalhealthpractice.com
A 2009 review found irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, bowel discomfort and changes in bowel patterns together with diarrhoea and/or constipation are to become more common perimenopausally both in women with and without IBS. They are thought to be caused by the effects of fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone on pain ‘pathways’ in the gut and the brain.
MORE: Postmenopausal? 7 ways your body changes after the menopause
- Exercise, stress management, regular meals and limiting caffeinated and fizzy drinks and alcohol can help
- Insoluble fibre (bran) found in wholemeal bread and cereals can exacerbate symptoms so steer clear
- Soluble fibre found in foods such as oats, pulses and linseeds can by contrast help, especially with bloating, so try to eat every day
- Probiotics can help rebalance gut bacteria, which may be a factor in IBS. Try Activia yoghurts from supermarkets or a probiotic supplement such as Bio-Kult £8.99 (30 capsules) from pharmacies.
More than half of women experience joint and muscle aches and pains perimenopausally. Ms Currie explains, “Oestrogen is responsible for stimulating collagen, a fibrous protein that gives the skin, strength and resilience and helps act as a scaffold for it and other tissues.” Danish research meanwhile suggests that oestrogen has an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Although it may be uncomfortable, exercise can help. Yoga, walking and muscle-strengthening exercises such as squats and lunges which help stabilize joints are good choices
- A hot water bottle or heat pack can help increase mobility especially before exercise, while a cold pack can reduce inflammation and swelling
- Eat more Brazil nuts – tthey are one of the best sources of selenium low levels of which are linked to arthritis. Other good sources include seafood, beef, chicken and vegetables. Alternatively try a supplement such as Healthspan Selenium 200mcg, £6.45 (180 tablets) (healthspan.co.uk)
- In studies GOPO® Joint Health supplement helps ease pain, improves mobility, reduces the need for painkillers and may even rebuild joint tissues and cartilage. It contains a rosehip extract and vitamin C, needed for collagen formation. Get them for £18.99, from Boots.
‘Itchy skin (medical name pruritus) is another common symptom, again usually caused by drier skin due to loss of oestrogen and collagen,’ says Heather Currie. Acne, thinning skin, wrinkles and changes in pigmentation are other reported symptoms. Unusual sensations, known as parasthesias, can also occur including tingling, numbness and something called formication, an unpleasant sensation which feels as if insects are crawling on or under your skin. These are thought to be caused by the effects of fluctuating hormones on the central nervous system. See the doctor if you experience these.
- Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as herrings, salmon, sardines, walnuts, fortified eggs
- Drink six-eight glasses of water a day to keep skin hydrated
- Hot water can be harsh and drying so shower rather than bath and use warm water
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. E45 Intense Recovery Moisture Control body lotion is said to alleviate dryness in two weeks. £5.49 from Boots.
- Avoid irritants. Smoky atmospheres, stress, and lack of sleep can exacerbate itchiness
Dizziness And Vertigo
Although they don’t often appear in medical textbooks, dizziness, light-headedness and vertigo frequently crop up on patient websites and forums and, says Ms Currie, often occur with flushes. The cause is unknown but a 2010 US study suggests a type of headache called vestibular migraine, which may or may not cause a headache, may be responsible. It’s thought to be due to hyperexcitability of the brain triggered by the effect of fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone on brain messenger chemicals.
- Keep a diary to see if you can identify and avoid triggers – stress, poor sleep, light, noise and foods such as coffee, blue cheeses, chocolate and red wine are common ones
- Stress management, exercise and limiting your intake of salt, especially around the time of your period may help
- Prescribed medications from antidepressants to antiepileptic and certain blood pressure lowering drugs may help.
A skipping heart beat
‘Palpitations – fast or irregular heart beats – are extremely common perimenopausally. We don’t know why but fluctuating levels of oestrogen causing sudden widening of the blood vessels – the same mechanism that causes hot flushes – may be responsible,’ says Heather Currie.
MORE: Menopause supplements: foods, vitamins and herbal remedies to help you cope
A recent study found that heart rate increased by, on average, four beats a minute during a hot flush. Palpitations often occur at night or while you are relaxing and are usually more of a nuisance than harmful.
- Rest and breathe quietly for five minutes, and they will usually subside
- Regular meditation can help keep them at bay
- Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine, which can exacerbate palpitations. And don?t smoke
- Learn how to take your pulse so you can identify when it is fast – it should be 60-100 beats a minute
- If dizziness, fainting, or tightness in the chest or neck accompanies palpitations seek immediate medical help.
Perimenopause treatment: What are your options?
There are a number of natural ways you can ease your symptoms…
• Don’t smoke
• Get into regular sleep patterns
• Drink less alcohol
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Introduce more calcium into your diet
Alternatively, you could try hormone therapy, but always discuss this in detail with your doctor first.
Is there a perimenopause test?
There are home-use test kits that measure the Follicle Stimulating Hormone, but this doesn’t necessarily give a conclusive answer on whether you are in the menopause or perimenopause.
Vitamin supplements such as Black Cohosh or Flaxseed, which is known for easing night sweats, can also be beneficial.
Calcium is great for helping with bone density, while Wild Yam is said to be an alternative to hormone treatment.
Ginseng is a natural mood booster, while St John’s Wort has been used historically to treat depression. For a full guide to the
Menopause Symptoms That May Surprise You
Most women experience some physical or emotional symptoms when they reach menopause, which is typically in their early fifties, though it can occur at any age between 35 and 59. Hot flashes are the most common of these symptoms — at least two-thirds of women going through menopause experience them — but there are many other uncomfortable signs to watch for, too.
For example, the most noticeable signs and symptoms at menopause include:
- Body odor
- Breast tenderness
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Dry mouth and dental problems
- Dry skin
- Hair loss or thinning hair
- Inability to concentrate
- Irregular periods
- Loss of breast fullness
- Mood changes
- Night sweats
- Skipped periods
- Sleep problems or insomnia
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
Menopause symptoms, including missing or late periods, are different for every woman. Most women tell of having irregular periods before they stop menstruating altogether.
While almost all women at menopause will complain about hot flashes or menopause itching, many do not notice more serious menopause symptoms that can increase the risk of heart disease and require a doctor’s attention, including increases in:
- Blood pressure
- Blood-clotting proteins
- Glucose intolerance
- LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Total cholesterol
According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause is diagnosed after your body goes 12 months without a period. While menopause can happen in your late 30s, 40s or 50s, the average age is around 51.
After menopause, it is important to get regular physical exams and checkups with your physician, because a woman’s risk of certain more serious health conditions may escalate with the loss or decline of estrogen, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessel)
- Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
- Sexual dysfunction (vaginal dryness and low libido)
- Urinary incontinence (menopausal vaginal and urinary tract changes)
- Weight gain (slower metabolism and inactivity)
Many women relied on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the past to manage menopause symptoms like hot flashes; however, doctors hesitate to prescribe HRT today. Many scientific studies link HRT to the increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Now many women at menopause take prescription drugs or use different self-care strategies to manage uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture
- Exercise regimens like yoga and low-impact aerobics
- Herbal preparations like black cohosh
- Lifestyle modifications (smoking cessation, improving sleep)
- Phytoestrogens (plant-derived chemicals such as soy that have estrogenic action)
- Over-the-counter preparations
- Relaxation techniques like meditation
If you are wondering what unusual menopause symptoms you may experience at this time of life, read on.
What you need to know about hot feet
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Hot feet is a hot or burning feeling in the feet. This relatively common sensation often occurs at night and ranges from mild to severe.
Occasionally, hot feet can be accompanied by symptoms such as “pins and needles” (paresthesia), numbness, redness, and swelling. However, usually, there are no physical signs of hot feet.
This article discusses the causes of, and treatments for, hot feet.
Contents of this article:
- Causes of hot feet
- When should I see a doctor?
Fast facts on hot feet:
- Hot feet can arise from factors such as a person's occupation or choice of footwear.
- Athlete's foot can cause hot, itchy, or burning feet.
- Wearing shoes or socks made from synthetic materials can also lead to hot feet.
- Often, treating the medical condition that causes the hot feet can relieve symptoms.
Causes of hot feet
There are several causes of hot feet, including:
Share on PinterestHot feet may have a number of causes including nutrient deficiencies, fungal infection, and pregnancy.
Nerves require certain nutrients to function correctly. If the body cannot absorb nutrients, then the risk of nerve damage — and hot feet — increases. Deficiencies in folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B-12 can contribute to neuropathy.
According to research, malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies are associated with:
- alcohol abuse
- eating disorders
- lower economic status
- older age
One of the most common causes of hot feet is diabetic neuropathy.
This condition is caused by damage to the nerves and is a complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Along with burning sensations, symptoms include pain, tingling, and numbness in the arms, hands, legs, and feet.
Women who are pregnant may experience hot feet due to hormonal changes that increase body temperature. An increased load on the feet due to natural weight gain and an increase in total body fluid may also play a role in hot feet during pregnancy.
Menopause can cause hormonal changes that lead to increased body temperature and hot feet. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.
At any one time, it is estimated that 15 to 25 percent of people have athlete’s foot, a common fungal infection.
Prompt treatment of this infection is important because it can spread to other areas of the body, as well as to other people.
Exposure to heavy metals
Being exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, or mercury, can cause a burning sensation in the feet and hands.
If levels of these substances build up in the body, they can reach toxic levels and begin to interfere with nerve function.
Used to treat cancer, chemotherapy destroys rapidly-growing cells in the body. However, it can result in nerve damage and the associated symptoms of burning and tingling feet and hands.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)
In some people, this form of hereditary neuropathy can lead to hot or tingling feet. Affecting 1 in every 2,500 people in the United States, CMT is among the most commonly inherited neurological disorders.
Chronic kidney disease
Also known as uremia, chronic kidney disease results from damage to the kidneys. The organs are no longer able to remove toxins from the body through the urine. Over time, toxic build-up can cause neuropathy.
Having low levels of the thyroid hormone — a condition known as hypothyroidism — can lead to tingling, numbness, or pain in the feet, legs, arms, or hands. These sensations occur because having consistently low body levels of thyroid hormones leads to nerve damage.
HIV and AIDS
One of the symptoms of AIDS or late-stage HIV is peripheral neuropathy, and hot or burning feet. Damage to the nerves is estimated to affect nearly one-third of people with HIV.
According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, some AIDS medications — including certain nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) — also cause neuropathy.
Another common cause of hot feet, excessive alcohol intake, can lead to nerve damage in the feet and other body parts, a condition known as alcoholic neuropathy.
This nerve damage occurs because alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and use certain nutrients that are vital for proper nerve function. It also happens because alcohol is toxic to nerves in the body.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
Guillain-Barré syndrome is caused when the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms include varying degrees of numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs and feet, and can involve the trunk and arms.
GBS is a rare disorder that affects 1 out of every 100,000 people. Men and women are equally prone to GBS.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
This neurological disorder is characterized by impaired sensory function and progressive weakness in the legs and arms over a long period of time. It can cause a tingling or burning sensation in the feet and hands.
Erythromelalgia is a rare condition that mainly affects the feet. It is characterized by intense pain, redness, and heat sensations in the feet and hands. Symptoms can occur continuously or periodically.
This condition, characterized by inflammation of blood vessels, can cause pain and tingling in the feet as blood cannot flow freely to the extremities. It can result in tissue damage.
In this inflammatory condition, small groups of inflammatory cells — called granulomas — grow on the body. If the skin or nervous system is affected, the feet may burn or feel hot.
Poor footwear and standing or walking for long periods of time, especially in hot temperatures, can lead to hot or burning feet.
The treatment for hot feet varies and depends on the underlying cause of the symptoms. Treatments can include:
Addressing the underlying medical condition
When, for example, hot feet is caused by diabetic neuropathy, regulating blood sugar levels may bring relief.
Hot feet caused by inflammatory and chronic conditions may be treated by managing the condition and following the prescribed treatment regimen.
Sometimes switching medications may help, as in the case of HIV medications that lead to neuropathy. It is important to only switch medications in consultation with a doctor.
Share on PinterestWearing different shoes every other day may be a recommended lifestyle change to help treat hot feet.
If improper shoes, sweaty feet, or recurrent athlete’s foot are causing hot feet, the following changes may help:
- Wear different shoes every other day to allow each pair to air out between wears.
- Ensure shoes fit properly and have good airflow. Use supportive inserts if necessary.
- Change socks regularly, especially after working out. Look for socks that wick moisture away from the skin, or choose natural cotton socks.
- Never wear damp socks or shoes.
- In warm weather, wear sandals that allow the feet to breathe.
- Wear flip-flops when using public pools and showers to reduce the risk of contracting athlete’s foot or another foot infection.
- Use foot powder to absorb excess moisture from the feet. A range of foot powders are available to purchase online.
- Where possible, avoid prolonged periods of standing or walking.
- Cool down hot feet after a long day, or before bed, by placing them in a basin of cool water.
When should I see a doctor?
People who are experiencing hot feet on an ongoing basis, or whose hot feet are severe or accompanied by other symptoms, should see a doctor to pinpoint the underlying cause.
Where nerve damage is the cause, urgent treatment is necessary to stop the progression of the neuropathy.
Seek emergency medical treatment if:
- A hot or burning sensation in the feet comes on suddenly.
- Hot feet, or any other symptoms, arising from exposure to toxins.
- The burning sensation spreads up the legs.
- There is a loss of feeling in the toes or feet.
3 Surprising Menopause Symptoms Explained
Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I’m going to talk about three surprising symptoms of the menopause. Now, these are symptoms that have cropped up now and again over the years, but we realise that quite a number of women actually do suffer from them, so I thought I would just go through them.
Surprising symptom 1: Nipple Pain
The first one is nipple pain. And ouch! This is such a horrible one. Your nipples can actually get so sore and so tender that you can’t actually bear to wear a bra, you can’t even bear to have clothing touching you.
This one usually tends to occur during the perimenopause, when your hormones are fluctuating quite a lot, very often that this is triggered when your oestrogen does a sudden spike. It can be accompanied by breast tenderness, it can be accompanied by bloating, by cramping, also by heavy periods or prolonged periods.
What you can do to help yourself
Now, if you’re not on any hormonal medication then you could look at the herb Agnus castus. But this can sometimes take two to three cycles to kick in. So, in the meantime, you could use something called St. John’s Wort Oil. And this is a lovely oil because it helps to reduce nerve pain. And you can apply this maybe three or four times a day. Very sparingly and just massage it very gently into the nipples.
How kelp can help you
The other thing you could look at, a lot of women say that a kelp supplement can help them. We’re not really sure why, we haven’t quite figured that one out, but for some women, it seems to do the trick. It also seems to help for breast tenderness, too. So it’s certainly worth trying maybe for a couple of months.
Now, just a quick word on kelp. It’s not recommended if you have any thyroid problems or you’re on any thyroid medication, but for a general menopause supplement, it’s an absolutely great one. We find it works really well for quite a few different issues.
And also, it’s a lovely support for your metabolism. And we know that during the menopause, our metabolism can slow down and that can contribute to weight gain. So although this is not going to make you lose weight, it can actually help to support and to keep your metabolism steady. So, it’s well worth adding into your daily health routine.
What to be aware of with breast changes
Now, the other thing that’s really important here is any breast changes, no matter how small or how insignificant, please get this checked out by your doctor.
Get your bra size checked regularly
Oh, and just one more thing. Our breast tissue size and shape can change dramatically in the perimenopause and in the menopause, and wearing an ill-fitting bra can actually be part of the problem, especially if you’re wearing the underwired ones. So, when you’re in the perimenopause and menopause, it’s really important to get your bra size checked really regularly.
Now, I did this a few years ago and I was absolutely horrified because my size was completely out. So, I now make sure that I get myself checked really regularly, and it’s a good excuse to buy some nice new bras anyway.
Surprising symptom 2: Tingling, pins and needles & electric shocks
Now, second symptom is tingling pain, pins and needles, and electric shocks. So, this is not a very common one but it can become quite disconcerting because the tingling and the shocks can happen at any time.
And pins and needles very often start during the night, so you might get that really horrible tingly feeling or that kind of dead arm feeling. And it can be sore enough to actually wake you up, which is not what you want, especially if you’re not sleeping particularly well anyway. This tends to be caused by falling oestrogen affecting the nerves themselves, and just causing maybe the nerves are shortening out a little bit.
So, for this one, one of the best things that I would recommend is a fish oil supplement. And don’t forget the magnesium as well. One of the other things that can happen in the menopause is that we can end up with low vitamin B12. It’s something that is just pinging on our radar at the moment. And one of the symptoms of low vitamin B12 is electronic shocks and nerve tingling. So, if you’re getting this regularly then I would advice that you just get this checked out by your doctor.
Surprising symptom 3: Hot, burning feet
Now, the next one is hot feet. This is another horrible one because there you are in bed just dropping off to sleep and suddenly your feet start to burn and they get so hot that there’s just no chance of you falling asleep at all. And a lot of women say to me that they have to stick their feet out at the end of the covers because they just can’t cope when they’re all wrapped up in their duvet.
Now, there can be various causes for this one, and one of the main ones is low B5. And we know that during the menopause our nervous system gets pulled in, and if we’re getting a lot of anxiety and stress, then we can be quite low in the B vitamins. So, I would suggest a really good vitamin B complex, maybe 50 milligrams, and then take an extra maybe 25 milligrams of vitamin B5 on its own. And normally that can help really well.
Hot feet with joint aches and pains
The interesting thing is that the hot feet sometimes accompanies joint aches and pains. So, if you have this particular combination, it could also indicate that you’re a little bit high in uric acid. And in which case, having a couple of cups of nettle tea a day, or taking nettle tincture can often sort this one out. But remember to drink plenty of water with this one too because dehydration can be another factor.
The other thing it may be is poor circulation. So, we would advice just to get your blood pressure checked by the doctor if your hot feet are happening on a regular basis.
So hopefully, you found this interesting. I’ve got loads more very interesting and strange symptoms of the menopause, and I will be going over them from time to time. But, I shall look forward to seeing you next week on another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.