All women will go through menopause. For American women, the mean age is 51. The symptoms of menopause vary as greatly as women do 2. Some women experience no symptoms while others have severe symptoms. Some women have symptoms for years while others may have them for only months. The most well-known symptom is the hot flash. But cold flashes are just as likely to occur.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Hormones play a large role in the many symptoms that may occur, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, night sweats, hot flashes, cold flashes, irregular periods, chills, mood swings, hair loss or hair thinning.
Menopause & Chills
A cold flash, often called the chills, is a sudden feeling of intense cold, usually accompanied with shivering. The difference between cold and shivering as a reaction to weather as opposed to a medical condition is the unexpected situation in which it happens. This causes you to feel cold and shiver to help your body’s temperature rise to meet the new set point.
Due to estrogen levels decreasing, hormonal and biochemical imbalances occur, according to the 34 Menopause Symptoms website. The falling estrogen levels are thought to be the cause of both hot and cold flashes. The hypothalamus, the area of the brain responsible for body temperature regulation, becomes overactive. This causes the hypothalamus to release chemicals that cause blood vessels in the skin to expand in order for heat to be emitted. The end result is a cold flash.
- Due to estrogen levels decreasing, hormonal and biochemical imbalances occur, according to the 34 Menopause Symptoms website.
What Are Hot Flashes in Your Legs?
Estrogen replacement therapy is a popular hormone therapy often used by women during menopause and is an effective treatment for body temperature regulation. Other medications, such as:
- low dose antidepressants
- can help reduce cold or hot flashes
- according to MayoClinic.com 1
The 34 Menopause Symptoms website suggests wearing layered clothing to accommodate for the temperature changes. During a cold flash, it helps to get up and move around to increase blood circulation.
Menopause is a fact of life but it is not a medical condition to which there is a cure. Contact your doctor if you feel your symptoms are interrupting your daily life. Treatments can help alleviate symptoms such as cold flashes 2.
Menopause & Chills
What Are Hot Flashes in Your Legs?
How to Kill Lice With Extreme Cold
Cause of Skin Goosebumps
Cayenne and Belly Fat
Hair Breakage in Menopause
Vitamin B-6 and Raynaud's Disease
Can Ovulation Cause Hot Flashes?
How to Treat a Freeze Burn
Menopause & Eczema
- MayoClinic.com: Menopause
- 34 Menopause Symptoms: Menopause Article: Hot Flashes and Cold Sensations
- University of Illinois Medical Center: Health Library: Chills
- Lugo T, Tetrokalashvili M. Hot Flashes. [Updated 2019 Apr 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539827/
- Lugo T, Tetrokalashvili M. Hot Flashes. [Updated 2019 Apr 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
- Bansal R, Aggarwal N. Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Concise Review. J Midlife Health. 2019;10(1):6–13. doi:10.4103/jmh.JMH_7_19
- Morrow PK, Mattair DN, Hortobagyi GN. Hot flashes: a review of pathophysiology and treatment modalities. Oncologist. 2011;16(11):1658–1664. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0174
- Nair PA. Dermatosis associated with menopause. J Midlife Health. 2014;5(4):168–175. doi:10.4103/0976-7800.145152
- Dalal PK, Agarwal M. Postmenopausal syndrome. Indian J Psychiatry. 2015;57(Suppl 2):S222–S232. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.161483
- Cochran CJ, Gallicchio L, Miller SR, Zacur H, Flaws JA. Cigarette smoking, androgen levels, and hot flushes in midlife women. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112(5):1037–1044. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e318189a8e2
- Freedman RR. Menopausal hot flashes: mechanisms, endocrinology, treatment. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014;142:115–120. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2013.08.010
- Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA. Factors that may influence the experience of hot flushes by healthy middle-aged women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010;19(10):1905–1914. doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1852
- Low DA, Hubing KA, Del Coso J, Crandall CG. Mechanisms of cutaneous vasodilation during the postmenopausal hot flash. Menopause. 2011;18(4):359–365. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3181f7a17a
- Mallhi TH, Khan YH, Khan AH, Mahmood Q, Khalid SH, Saleem M. Managing Hot Flushes in Menopausal Women: A Review. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2018;28(6):460-465.
- Schilling C, Gallicchio L, Miller SR, Langenberg P, Zacur H, Flaws JA. Current alcohol use, hormone levels, and hot flashes in midlife women. Fertil Steril. 2007;87(6):1483–1486. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.11.033
- Carpenter JS, Wu J, Burns DS, Yu M. Perceived control and hot flashes in treatment-seeking breast cancer survivors and menopausal women. Cancer Nurs. 2012;35(3):195–202. doi:10.1097/NCC.0b013e31822e78eb
- Sood R, Sood A, Wolf SL, et al. Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes. Menopause. 2013;20(2):179-84.
- Thurston RC, Christie IC, Matthews KA. Hot flashes and cardiac vagal control during women's daily lives. Menopause. 2012;19(4):406–412. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3182337166
- Innes KE, Selfe TK, Vishnu A. Mind-body therapies for menopausal symptoms: a systematic review. Maturitas. 2010;66(2):135–149. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.01.016
- Freedman RR. Physiology of hot flashes. Am J Hum Biol. 2001;13(4):453-64.
- Kronenberg F, Downey JA. Thermoregulatory physiology of menopausal hot flashes: a review. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1987;65(6):1312-24.
- Sturdee DW. The menopausal hot flush--anything new?. Maturitas. 2008;60(1):42-9.
- Williams-frame A, Carpenter JS. Costs of hormonal and nonhormonal prescription medications for hot flashes. Womens Health (Lond). 2009;5(5):497-502.
- Wiśniewska I, Jochymek B, Lenart-Lipińska M, Chabowski M. The pharmacological and hormonal therapy of hot flushes in breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer. 2016;23(2):178–182. doi:10.1007/s12282-015-0655-2
- Bonanni E, Schirru A, Di perri MC, Bonuccelli U, Maestri M. Insomnia and hot flashes. Maturitas. 2019;126:51-54.
- Elavsky S, Molenaar PC, Gold CH, Williams NI, Aronson KR. Daily physical activity and menopausal hot flashes: applying a novel within-person approach to demonstrate individual differences. Maturitas. 2012;71(3):287–293. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.12.011
- Kargozar R, Azizi H, Salari R. A review of effective herbal medicines in controlling menopausal symptoms. Electron Physician. 2017;9(11):5826–5833. Published 2017 Nov 25. doi:10.19082/5826
- Pruthi S, Qin R, Terstreip SA, et al. A phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of flaxseed for the treatment of hot flashes: North Central Cancer Treatment Group N08C7. Menopause. 2012;19(1):48–53. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e318223b021
- Johnson A, Roberts L, Elkins G. Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Menopause. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2019;24:2515690X19829380. doi:10.1177/2515690X19829380
- Ee C, French SD, Xue CC, Pirotta M, Teede H. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes: clinical evidence update and its relevance to decision making. Menopause. 2017;24(8):980-987.
- Bansal R, Aggarwal N.Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Concise Review.J Midlife Health. 2019 Jan-Mar;10(1):6-13. doi: 10.4103/jmh.JMH_7_19.
- Ee C1, French SD, Xue CC, Pirotta M, Teede H.Acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes: clinical evidence update and its relevance to decision making.Menopause. 2017 Aug;24(8):980-987. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000850.
Nicole Adams is an accomplished writer, publishing in print and online. She has submitted hundreds of articles for websites, including CBS Local and Education.com. Adams earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with concentrated studies in health and nutrition, and animal behavior and nutrition. She loves to cook and volunteers in animal rescue.