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How to Eliminate Hot & Cold Flashes From Anxiety

Micah Abraham, BSc
How to Eliminate Hot & Cold Flashes From Anxiety

Anxiety is more than just worries. It is the activation of your fight or flight system - the system that tells you when you need to feel fear. The ability to experience anxiety is actually a positive. Without anxiety, you wouldn't run or fight when confronted with danger. It's only when your fight/flight system overacts that you end up struggling with anxiety.

The fight or flight system is designed to both notify your entire body that you're in a fearful situation and give you the tools you need to handle it. Unfortunately, when you suffer from an anxiety disorder, those same systems end up causing significant distress. One example of this problem is hot and cold flashes.

Hot Flashes and Health

Hot and cold symptoms can be incredibly disturbing. They may prevent you from sleep and cause you to feel like something is wrong. They occur during periods of intense anxiety, during anxiety attacks or sometimes simply at night when your mind is too active.

Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of your hot and cold symptoms, but these flashes may be caused by anxiety.

The Hot And Cold Experience

These "Flashes" are really just changes to your body temperature. During periods of intense anxiety, your body temperature heats up due to vasoconstriction, which is when your blood vessels tense up as they deliver more blood to the areas involved in fight and flight.

Vasoconstriction causes your body to heat up, and this creates what's known as a "hot flash." Your body heat appears to come out of nowhere, giving it its "flash" effects.

But the body also has a way of cooling itself down after it heats up. As soon as you start to experience heat, your body also releases more sweat. That sweat then reaches the air, and you start to cool down - in some cases becoming very cold. This is the "cold flash." Your body itself isn't necessarily becoming colder, so much as it is reacting to the sweat that it released to cool down after the hot flash.

When these hot flashes and cold flashes occur at night, it's often referred to as "night sweats."

How to Stop Hot Flashes

You can't control your nervous system. The fight or flight response is specifically designed to ensure that in the event of actual danger, you make the right decision to fight or flee. While anxiety may be troubling, its biological purpose is still very useful, and without it you would be in severe danger when faced with a situation that should cause the fight or flight response to react.

So you can't simply "turn off" these flashes on a whim. But you can affect the degree that they disrupt your life, and reduce your anxiety itself to prevent hot flashes from occurring. Many people try the following:

Many people try herbal supplements as well, but there aren't many that support the idea they control anxiety hot flashes. Remember, although it can feel like a hot flash lasts forever, they're generally somewhat short lived. It's the way they drain your body that makes them appear to last.

Hot and Cold Flashes - The Cure

Because hot flashes are the result of your sympathetic nervous system overacting, there's little you can do to guarantee that your hot flashes will stop unless you learn to manage your anxiety.

Your treatment depends on the type of anxiety problem you're experiencing, your other symptoms, and how they affect you. Different severity of anxiety may also benefit from different types of treatments. Those with generalized anxiety disorder may not benefit from the same treatments as those with panic attacks, yet both can cause extreme anxiety that may trigger hot flashes.

Also, women that are going through menopause and men with low testosterone may also experience hot flashes, and these hot flashes may be made worse by anxiety and stress, but may not be caused by stress. In those cases, it may be important to talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your menopause/testosterone balance, and worry about your anxiety and hot flashes second.

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