What medical conditions other than menopause can cause hot flashes?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
Hot flashes and sweating can be associated with causes other than menopause. Increased thyroid activity (hyperthyroid), some medication side effects, and rare conditions such as carcinoid and pheochromocytoma can all cause hot flashes. A thorough discussion of your symptoms and history, along with testing hormones related to some of these other causes can help clarify the picture. Testing the reproductive hormones of estrogen and FSH is typcally not helpful. During perimenopause these levels fluctuate wildly and the blood level doesn't really match the symptoms a woman might be experiencing. 
Dr. Julia Schlam Edelman
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Causes for hot flashes that are not related to postmenopause include certain prescription medications, some over-the-counter supplements, as well as common medical conditions, including thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and hepatitis.

Niacin, which is given to reduce cholesterol, and Lupron, an injection given to shrink fibroids or control endometriosis, also cause hot flashes. Tamoxifen, given to reduce the risk of breast cancer (or the risk of recurrent breast cancer), and Evista, given to build bones, are prescription medications that can be associated with hot flashes. More unusual medical conditions that cause hot flashes include tuberculosis and sarcoid, a lung disease. With a medical history, exam, and lab tests, your doctor can identify why you are experiencing hot flashes.

Hot flashes and sweating can be related to other diseases apart from menopause such as thyroid abnormalities, leukemias, pancreatic tumors, carcinoid and a rare cancer called pheochromocytoma. Your doctor should test hormone levels to determine if menopause is the cause of these symptoms.

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