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Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: Is it possible for an 83 year old women to start experiencing hot flashes/night sweats when never having this in the past

By Deborah Hook
 
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or is this most likely linked to something else?

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Diane Porter

Hi, Deborah! We're so glad you found Empowher. Let's see what we can find out for you.

From your question, I am assuming that you went through natural menopause many years ago, but had an easy transition, never feeling the hot flashes or night sweats then, correct?

May I ask if you take any HRT (hormone replacement therapy)? If so, have you recently changed anything about it? (Starting it, stopping it, a change in kind or dosage?)

Have you been ill recently?

Have you recently started or stopped another medication (other than HRT)?

How long has this been happening, and how often?

Do you have any other medical conditions that you deal with, such as high blood pressure or diabetes or thyroid?

Have you started any new vitamins or supplements (like niacin) recently?

In general, when a woman suffers hot flashes or night sweats, she is dealing with changing levels in her hormones, specifically estrogen. Here's a page that tells how these temperature changes in the body happen:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/cause-hot-flash.htm

But there are other things that can cause hot flashes, such as lifestyle and medications. Something is affecting your hypothalamus, the part of your brain that regulates your temperature (and other things like appetite and sleep cycles).

Here are some things that can trigger hot flashes in many women:
-- alcohol
-- caffeine
-- diet pills
-- spicy food or hot food
-- hot tubs or saunas or hot showers
-- hot beds or hot rooms or hot weather
--smoking

One study I found noted that about 10 percent of older people (men and women) experience hot flashes or night sweats, and that they commonly also have some of the following symptoms:

nighttime: fever, muscle cramps, numbness in the hands or feet, vision problems, or hearing loss.

daytime: fever, restless legs, lightheadedness, bone pain or diabetes.

Are any of these true for you?

The difference for you, of course, is that this has just started recently. That's what makes me think that perhaps there has been a recent change in something that is affecting you in this way. Please get back to us with a little more info if this is helpful. And it might be a good idea just to call your doctor's office and talk to the nurse there to report these symptoms. If there is a drug interaction going on, for instance, they might be able to figure it out quickly.

March 27, 2009 - 8:46am
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