If you’re entering the age of menopause and you’ve ever been overwhelmed by a sudden sensation of overheating, you’re in good company. Hot flashes are the most common menopause-related discomfort, affecting more than 75 percent women in midlife, according to The North American Menopause Society. Hot flashes involve an immediate feeling of heat, especially on the face, neck and chest. Your skin may become red and flushed, and some women perspire heavily and experience rapid heartbeat or chills.
Amy Brendel, M.D., an internist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation says understanding the causes and treatment options can help women cope. Here she answers commonly asked questions: