Hot flashes

Patient: I had a hysterectomy two years ago and recently started having up to 40 hot flashes a day….is this normal or could something be wrong?

Symptoms: 40-50 hot flashes per day;

Doctor: Thank you for your question. It is very common to experience hot flashes after having a hysterectomy. There are several different types of hysterectomies however in general, the removal of the uterus (with or without the ovaries) results in changes in hormone levels which can precipitate hot flashes. The Uterus although an organ composed of smooth muscle also has endocrine functions which help in regulating estrogen levels in the body. After a hysterectomy, decreasing levels of estrogen causes the body to become sensitive to increases in temperature. When this occurs, various chemicals are released resulting in dilation of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin, and sweating to occur, to lower body temperature. This will result in symptoms of your hot flashes. We recommend that you see your doctor to discuss treatment options for your hot flashes. You can also modify your lifestyle by increasing your overall health and physical fitness with diet and exercise. If this does not help, you may require some prescription medications to treat your symptoms. The most likely treatment for hot flashes is hormone replacement therapy which is very expensive and has a lot of side effects. Please make sure you are thoroughly informed of all the risks and benefits before starting hormone replacement therapy by your doctor.Thank you for choosing Askthedoctor.com