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Cold Flashes in Women

The condition of cold flashes in women is associated with hot flashes, which in turn is a manifestation of several other conditions. This article helps you understand this condition in a greater detail.
As I have mentioned, cold flashes can be referred to as a manifestation of hot flashes. So in order to understand this problem, we have to know what a hot flash is. It is one of the most common symptoms that occur in 3 out of 4 women going through menopause. It usually leaves the person sweaty and red-faced. Although, menopause is known to be the primary cause, it can also be due to other hormonal changes in the body. If someone is having a hot flash, she would have a feeling of warmth to intense heat radiating her upper body and face, a rapid heartbeat and perspiration. Now, most women, after having had an episode of hot flashes, experience an intense feeling of cold. And this very feeling is known as the condition of cold flashes.

Symptoms that May Accompany Cold Flashes in Women

The following are not appropriately the cold flashes symptoms, but ones that accompany the condition. They include:
  • Spells of shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Cold sweats
  • Having an intense feeling of cold that is preceded by hot flash
  • Poor sleep
  • Restlessness
Causes
  • The reason for cold flashes in menopause is so common is because of the changing levels of estrogen in the body. Fluctuating levels of this hormone, affect the temperature regulatory system of the body. As a result, the brain raises or lowers the body temperature, giving rise to hot flashes followed by cold flashes.
  • Instances of cold flashes in girls happen mainly during menstrual cycle. During this time, there is a high risk of developing anemia, which in turn may cause the person to become sensitive towards temperature.
  • Certain medical conditions may also be responsible, common ones being HIV/AIDS, digestive disorder like diarrhea, vomiting, urinary tract infection, and gastroenteritis.
  • It is common for overweight people to experience hot and cold flashes at night and any time during the day. Also, those who have changing blood sugar levels may feel the same.
  • An injury to the brain may hamper the temperature regulation system of the body, giving rise to hot and cold flashes.
Treatment

As long as the problem of cold flashes is not interfering with one's daily life, and is tolerated well, there does not arise the need of any treatment. However, for some women, they do become bothersome. In such cases, there are treatment options available. For causes such as menopause or menstrual cycle, women can keep themselves warm as much as possible, to tolerate the chills. However, if the causes are some underlying medical conditions, then addressing them would deal with the disorder. Some patients may be recommended to undergo hormone replacement therapy, estrogen therapy and progesterone therapy. But some patients may not prefer going for these therapies. For them, the doctor might prescribe medications that do not affect the hormone levels of the body, but help in reducing the symptoms of cold flashes. These may include antidepressants (low dosages), medication for seizures or pain, and then drugs which are used to treat high blood pressure. What has to be known here is, all these medicines have not been recommended by the FDA to treat hot and cold flashes in women, but for treating other conditions.

Cold flashes can be avoided if people know how to reduce the intensity of hot flashes. For this, women must watch out for foods that trigger the symptoms, and must take up relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Practicing some breathing techniques such as deep breathing also helps, and so does avoiding smoking.
By Rajib Singha
Published: 1/25/2011
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