What Triggers Hot Flashes: 10 Common Things

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

What Triggers Hot Flashes: 10 Common Things

Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, and many women will experience difficult hot flash episodes over the course of their lives. While hot flashes are caused by hormonal imbalance, there are other things that may increase your chances of experiencing a hot flash, so knowing what triggers hot flashes and avoiding these common triggers will likely help you to reduce your frequency of hot flashes.


Warm Surrounding Temperatures

When the day is hot, or even just a bit warmer than usual, you are more likely to experience a hot flash because your body temperature is already rising. Hot tubs and saunas make this even more likely.


Tight Clothing

Other of the most common hot flash triggers is tight clothing. This makes it harder for your body to cool down by losing heat through the skin because there is so little air moving near your skin.


Heavy Clothing

Wearing a warm sweater on a cold winter day is tempting, but wearing clothing that is too heavy can make you too warm and bring on a hot flash. Also, turtlenecks are well known as hot flash triggers.


Hot Electronics

Using a hair curler can increase your body temperature to the point where you begin to experience a hot flash. Even other electronics can trigger hot flashes as well if they are hot enough.


Strenuous and Lack of Exercise

After an intense workout, it is fairly common to experience a hot flash because of the increase in body temperature that was caused by your exercise. Interestingly, a lack of regular exercise can also trigger hot flashes. To find a balance, look for gentle exercises that are not high-impact.


Hot Drink and Spicy Food

Drinking hot tea of coffee raises your internal temperature and might bring on a hot flash.Spice can cause a sensation of heat, so eating spicy foods is very likely to cause a temperature increase that will end with a hot flash.



Caffeine also raises body temperature and tends to increase your heart rate, both of which are associated with hot flashes as well, and can bring hot flash symptoms.


Alcohol and Smoking

Similarly, alcohol can cause a change in body temperature that can induce a hot flash. Smoking can also bring on hot flashes due to a raise in body temperature.



While the reasons behind stress causing hot flashes are less understood, one reason for its ability to trigger hot flashes is because it can cause sweating and raised temperature along with rapid heart rate.



While fatigue tends to cause the opposite of most hot flash symptoms - a slower heart rate and often lower body temperatures - it still can cause a hot flash to occur.

To keep yourself from experiencing hot flashes, try to avoid as many of these triggers as possible, and learn which ones are problems for you. For more information on preventing hot flashes, read about using black cohosh for hot flashes.