Does nausea always accompany hot flashes? You may not be the only one feeling nauseated after a hot flash during your menopausal years. There are many physiological reasons causing nausea and sickness after a hot flash. Several underlying diseases, too, may have symptoms that lead to both nausea and hot flashes.
Let us discuss the possible reasons why these may occur and if there are reasons to worry.
What causes nausea after a hot flash?
To understand what causes nausea after a bout of a hot flash, we need to understand why hot flashes occur at first. The primary reason behind hot flashes in women and some men is a fall in the level of sex hormones. Women experience low levels of estrogen as they near menopause. Some men too face low levels of testosterone as they start aging. During such times, it is common to go through hot flashes during the day and night. Low levels of sex hormones trigger the hypothalamus to misjudge the body’s temperature. It upsets the body’s thermoregulation and makes the body feel warmer than the normal temperature. Thus, to cool down the body, the hypothalamus makes the person go through a hot flash, followed by sweating.
The fluctuation of the hormones can be one reason why you feel nauseous after a hot flash. Moreover, the intense feeling of warmth, followed by excessive sweating, is bound to make you feel sick. Every time you are stuck in a claustrophobic ambiance, or go out in intense heat, it makes you feel nauseous and uncomfortable. The same feeling follows a hot flash, making you go through a similar experience due to the internal heat and rise in core temperature.
Other Causes Of Nausea And Discomfort After Hot Flash
Even though the primary reason for a hot flash is hormonal imbalances or low levels of sex hormones, there may be some other causes of hot flashes, accompanied by nausea.
· Blood Pressure
A fall in blood pressure may sometimes make a person go through hot flashes and make you feel nauseous. There isn’t enough study to establish a direct link between high blood pressure or hypertension and hot flashes, though.
· Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar can make you sweat excessively. There is also a link between low blood sugar and nausea. As soon as your blood sugar levels drop even slightly, you tend to feel sick. During the menopausal years, fluctuating hormones can lower your blood sugar levels at times. A slight dip can give you headache, discomfort, sweating, and nausea, along with a hot flash.
· Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety during a hot flash are possible reasons for feeling nauseous. Panic and stress often make us feel sick to the core. Anxiety too plays a role in making a person sweat excessively and feel uneasy. Combined with hot flashes triggered by stress, a person goes through palpitations and nausea.
What Medical Conditions May Nausea And Hot Flashes Suggest?
These two symptoms go hand-in-hand to notify you regarding many underlying medical conditions or physiological states.
The most certain reason behind hot flashes and nausea happening together is menopause. If they appear in women after the age of 40, it’s a sign that you have entered the perimenopause phase, which are the years leading to menopause. You may have irregular monthly cycles during this time, experiencing heavy flow, missed periods, and even very light flow to spotting during these years.
The fluctuating levels of estrogen, and the sudden drop affects your blood pressure, blood sugar, and makes you go through anxiety, stress, and irritability. All of these factors play a role in the frequent hot flashes followed by nausea, sweating, and sickness.
Your hot flashes may be a sign of some good news as well. According to studies conducted on pregnant women, most of them go through hot flashes during pregnancy and right after conceiving. Women may feel nauseated and have hot flashes with sweating during the very early weeks. Many take this as a sure sign of successful conception.
However, they do not occur for everyone, and is not as reliable a sign as a missed period or morning sickness. Check for other symptoms like tiredness, lack of appetite, loss of taste, sore breasts, sensitivity to smells and sudden cravings. Most importantly, if you have been planning a child, go through a medical check-up if you start getting hot flashes and nausea, along with the other symptoms discussed.
Women may also go through hot flashes and nausea during any of the trimesters in pregnancy. Many women do not get them very early in pregnancy, but later feel excessively hot and nauseous very often. They may feel their limbs sweating, or heat radiating upwards from their neck, followed by profuse sweating.
Doctors believe that it’s the ovulation that increases the core temperature in women’s body, which remains so till about 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Moreover, increased metabolism and blood circulation during pregnancy raise the body temperature. These are the reasons that make pregnant women often go through hot flashes, followed by nausea and sickness.
Problems with the thyroid gland may be one of the possible reasons for nausea and hot flashes. Hyperthyroidism is a condition when the gland produces more thyroid hormone than necessary. Hot flashes and excessive sweating are often the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, along with palpitations and irregular heartbeat. The patients also become heat tolerant and feel extremely fatigued and nauseous.
Hot flashes accompanied by nausea are common symptoms seen in both men and women in their mid 40s. These may continue upto a few years due to the hormonal changes in the body. They are usually not a cause of worry, and can be managed by a few lifestyle changes.
Eating a low-fat diet, wearing loose clothes, having cool showers, and managing stress levels can be beneficial. Also, try to avoid the hot flash triggers like tight clothing, caffeine, cigarettes, spicy food, etc.
If they occur too frequently or too early before you reach 40, or give you excessive discomfort, it would be wise to seek medical consultation.