It can be scary and unnerving to suddenly start experiencing health problems that you've never dealt with before, especially when it's something serious like hot flashes. When you suddenly begin having hot flashes and unexpected weight gain, your first instinct might be to panic. There are several conditions that can cause hot flashes and weight gain.
Menopause or Perimenopause
If you're gaining weight and having hot flashes, the first thing you should consider is menopause. If you're in your 40s, it's more likely that you are going through perimenopause, the change leading up to actual menopause. Menopause occurs when a woman's body has not had a menstrual period in one year due to the end of ovulation.
For some women, the symptoms of menopause are unbearable. If that's how it is for you, then talk to your doctor. There are herbs you can take, such as black cohosh, that can make the transition easier. Furthermore, hormone replacement therapy can be done after menopause to ease your discomfort. You might prefer more natural remedies. If so, consider using breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and soy supplements to help.
Menopause is not always the answer, especially if you are too young for menopause or have already gone through it. In that case, it could be hypothyroidism. Your thyroid, a gland in your neck, produces a hormone that determines how your body utilizes energy. When the thyroid doesn't make enough of its hormone, you can suffer from hypothyroidism.
Look for other symptoms in addition to weight gain and hot flashes to determine if you could possibly be dealing with hypothyroidism. You may feel weak and exhausted, no matter how much sleep you're getting. Excessive tiredness is one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism, so don't ignore it! You may also notice your memory failing more often or feel constipated on a regular basis. If these symptoms are popping up, go see your doctor. They can test you for hypothyroidism, and if you do have it, a simple hormone treatment can get you back to feeling like yourself.
One of the most common causes of hot flashes is an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders also affect how you sleep, eat and move. As a result, those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder may also experience sudden weight gain. Furthermore, anxiety disorders are often diagnosed along with depression, which often causes rapid weight gain. If you experience panic attacks, difficulty breathing, or constant anxiety or worrying, an anxiety disorder could well be at the center of your hot flashes or weight gain. The good news is that anxiety disorders can be treated with medication and therapy that can help you experience better quality of life.
If you're worried about weight gain and hot flashes affecting your life, you need to consider all the possible causes and talk about them with your doctor. They can help you figure out what's wrong and take the next step to restoring your health.