Difference between Sweats & Hot Flashes??

Hi again all;

Can you guys explain to me the difference between the "sweats" and "hot flashes"?

I know this may sound silly, but I really can't tell the difference.

I never sweat so much that I drench the sheets or my clothes, but I can be cold one minute and then all of a sudden get this "sicky" feeling wash over me then I start to sweat on my forehead and back of my neck.

It used to happen only when I thought about something stressful but now is happening more and more. Instead of my mind racing and the nasty, run away thoughts carrying me off, I thought I'd ask all of you here. (I am not on any chemo and haven't been for over a year so that's not it)...

God bless us all,

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I have similar issues and don't think it is the same as the drenching sweats which I have had also. I am 50 so I figure it is menopause related but i get anxious too because of the the stuff I hear about sweats and cancer. My doctor said he thinks it is the beginning of menopause but my hormone levels were still normal. You can have a blood test to determine if you are in menopause but apparently the sweats can still occur even if the blood test is negative. I am a mess at work. one minute a can have the chills and then my face feels like a fire ball! I check my temp and it is normal! Enough to drive you bonkers with all this other stuff!

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Oh Wow, I thought I was the only one like this. I am on chemo and I sweat all the time. I am rarely cold. My head is the only thing that sweats. I thought it was from the chemo or medications or thought i was going through menopause. When I asked my doctor, he is really not sure. I asked my obgyn and he told me he didn't think it was menopause. He suggested me to take remifemin. I took it for 3 months and it didn't help at all.
I can't stand being a sweaty mess!
God Bless,

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Hi Ellen,

Get a blood test. I finished with my chemo in January 2009 and my radiation in March 2009. Three weeks ago I had trouble sleeping and with eating some foods. I saw my oncologist and he did blood work. I had thrush and I did start menopause.


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I know I am in menopause but I am still not sure that with this horrible "sicky" feeling that just comes over me right before the sweat breaks out is the same as a menopausal hot flash.

Like Munker, one minute I am freezing and then BAM! I get the sick feeling and the heat & sweat on my face and back of neck, but never a temperature. My husband complains because I have to keep the house at the freezing level just to not feel sick all the time.

The worst time for me is at night. I can crawl into bed, pull the covers up because I am so cold, then within just minutes have to sit straight up with that nasty sicky feeling and have the heat and sweats. usually, getting out of bed and walking the floor for a minute it passes, then I go back to bed, cold again. At night, I keep the thermostat around 60 degrees. (You can imagine our energy bill in Florida)

Ladies AND gentlemen, step right up...

God bless us all,

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Sounds like menopause symptoms to me. God forbid mine get any worse! The other day I thought i was getting swine flu. I had chills and felt lousy and then my face was roasting. Of course no fever and no flu. I never know what each day or night will bring. When I feel the heat in my face/ears it also causes me to get anxiety and then i feel like i can't breathe and then I think it is because of my lung...what a vicious cycle. don't know how I keep it together at work!! Some days I think "oh no" now I am going to add insaniety to my cancer. way to much going on in the last 12 months!!

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Good Morning!
Holy Cow! I went through early menopause (age 38) and ,I was teaching elementary vocal music- can you imagine raising your hands to direct and discovering your students are "giggling" because you have underarm wet spots?????? It was horrible!!!
Anyway, the menopause is behind me now ( I'm 53)... but the reason I'm posting is 1) to sympathize with you, been there, done that, and 2) I thought I read somewhere, and I could be wrong, but I thought that chemotherapy causes instanteous menopause, regardless of the woman's age.
Okay, I'm done. Don't have a medical degree, just trying to remember if I read that right a while back.

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Ladies, does it "come and go"?

It was bad (like this) a year ago...then got better (I went for days and days with nothing), now it's back with a vengeance... The sweating part is horrible enough but the "sicky" feeling that just washes over me is awful.

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I know that my chemo (Cisplatin/Navelbine) put me right into menopause, and both of my Oncologists told me it would. I was 50 at the time, so I was on my way there anyway. I will say (and not to scare anyone) but before my surgery I had sweat running down my face hot flashes almost 3 times an hour every hour! It got worse the closer I got to my surgery. After they removed the mass/cancer I did not have a hot flash until I started chemo. My chemo ended a year ago, and I am still getting hot flashes, but mostly in the night time. I think (for me anyway) that stress will bring them on too.

Good luck to you!


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And Munker, a cancer dx makes us all a little fruity :)

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Oh Geezz, I started menopause at age 44. They came on like gangbusters and I was miserable with them. As the years went on, the symptoms were less intense, but still there.

First I was comfortable or chilly and then the bugger would hit. If I was home, the first thing I would do is pull off my socks and stick a foot inside the bottom of the freezer. Not Kidding ! I don't know if it helped, but my mind thought it did.

I still get some at age 71, but not nearly as bad as they used to be. Sometimes I will be in bed for 5 minutes and feel like I have to throw off the blankets and sit straight up. Frankly, I think some of that is the anxiety
in my life.

If you are in menopause, I hope you are NOT in for a wild ride like I had.
Good Luck and God Bless,

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First, chemotherapy often triggers an early menopause. That being said, hot flashes do NOT come with perspiration.....they feel more like a major league blush rushing through your whole body. And, yes this "hot flash" is visible....although it is not as visible as it feels like it must be. The sweats, often at night, are drenching sweats. I never had much of that, but for some reason, it seemed worse at night although some people also have those during the day. Good luck with these symptoms.

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Hey Ellen, wanted to know how you are?
I have been off the computer for a bit, dealing with pain issues. Hows the diet and everything?
I also get sweaty alot (nice) since i started chemo two years ago, its very strange but i am use to it now.

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Hey Girls,

14 years after my chemo and I am still getting so called hotflashes or whatever they are. Just like you get Ellen, I sweat on my forehead, my neck and I also sweat under my nose, but that's about it for the sweating part of it, (thank God)! But, I get hot all over for about a minute or two. It use to be a lot more intense then it is now. I use to get flashes about 20 to 25 times a day. NOT FUN!

Some weeks are worse then others, but I do get at least 1 to 3 hotflashes a day now.

Chemo threw me into menopause too, but that's normal and my Onc doc told me that 14 years ago, he was sure it would happen to me. He was right, but I had NO IDEA I would still be dealing with this crap 14 years later. I haven't had a period for 12 years. The first 2 years my period was off and on then it just stopped.

Like you, I'm not sure if these are flashes, or sweats. I'm not sure what to blame them on either. I am sure of one thing though, I'm sick of them, but I do know it's a small price to pay, just very uncomfortable and it does get old! Hang in there!

Best Wishes,

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When I suddenly become very flushed and feel like my skin Is generating the heat of the sun and I wish I could run out to make snow angels, I call that a hot flash. Don't sweat much with them though. During the night I wake up so sweaty! I shower before I go to bed and then again in the morning because I smell like a locker room LOL. The symptoms are more frequent when I take the steroids.

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Hi Ellen.

I've had menopausal hot flashes and quite different attacks of cold sweats, weakness, general misery -- I think what you're calling 'sicky'. The hot flashes were as tho somebody had turned up the thermostat and each time I'd have to ask 'Do you suddenly feel hot?' to whoever was with me. The 'sicky' sweats were hypoglycemic attacks and would clear up if I ate peanuts or something like that. Except one night it didn't clear up -- and it turned out to be a massive heart attack. The 'sicky' sweats were my ONLY symptom -- no chest pain, no SOB, just sweating and misery. Oh, I should add that giving up carbohydrates (Atkins) seems to have cured my 'sicky' sweats. If I get one now, I'll just call 911 and tell them I'm having a heart attack. ;)

Anyway, I think you should check it out -- at least start by keeping track of what you've eaten and when to see if there's a pattern with blood sugar. Good luck.


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I also get that once in a while with that sickly feeling you described washing over me, it is just miserable, I feel so terrible at the time, it feels like I have to throw up but I don't but then the sweat just breaks out, I usually just try and sit up and ride it out, just lying down seems to make the nausea worse, so I get up and open the door in the house and take an ativan to hopefully calm me, I have also been afraid that maybe it was my heart, but I didn't go to the hospital, I figured if it was going to kill me it probably would be quick. I don't know what it is, but the ativan seem to help,it just takes time for it to work so meanwhile I sit there suffering with it. I hope we can get this figured out. I don't get it too often thank god, but for a while there it was like once a week, I was thinking it was a panic attack, a severe one. Good luck Sandy

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My goodness, thank you all for kindly sharing your experiences with me - both good and bad. I noticed there weren't any men that posted so does that mean they think the "hot flashes" are a female thing (lucky us) not related to the sweats of cancer or IS it mainly a female issue? I am hoping for the latter because (except for Ellen's horrible discovery regarding her heart attack) that would mean it is a hormonal issue.

I asked my TCM and I am going to follow the advice here and have my bloodwork tested, mainly for peace of mind. The name of the test I learned is FSH if anyone else wants to know.

Also something else I stumbled up on is that sometimes a diet low in Vitamin A also cause hot flashes. The Vitamin A from protein sources (i.e., liver, eggs, milk) are rich is A and then there's the plant sources (i.e., pumpkin, squash, carrots, spinach) that your body converts to Vitamin A to be stored in your liver.

I find this REALLY interesting because I just finished a detox diet to do a "liver cleanse" and last night I discovered that doing a liver cleanse also depletes your liver of Vitamin A as well as consuming caffeine. Right after I did this program, my flashes began in intensity again.

Thank you all for your many kind responses. And Ellen_in_PA, I will have my heart checked out if the blood work is negative. I am so sorry you had to learn about the "sicky" feeling the hard way, but so appreciate you and everyone else here sharing your knowledge. We all get so caught up in the "Big C" that we sometimes forget about the rest of the body.

God bless us all,

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Hey Susie2;

Good to hear from you too! How are you? I am still drinking my green vitamix goo everyday, etc., etc. My body is so used to this extreme diet, I am afraid to take a break from it now, hahaha! We have had torrential rains here in Florida for the past week so I haven't been able to walk outside and had gotten cabin fever...I see blue skies today so I'm hoping to hit the street today. It always makes me feel better, physically, mentally, spiritually.

Please keep in touch and keep me updated on you -
God bless!

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Not so sure its menopause that is doing it. My husband sweats the same way. Usually once or twice a day to the point his hair is soaked, pillow soaked and he has to change his shirt. He is almost always freezing. His sweating only happens up around his head/neck area. Dr had no answers for us. I wonder if the cancer in his adrenal glands have something to do with it since they have something to do with male & female hormones ?

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That's a great point Ohio. I wish we all knew more. I am so sorry your husband is sweating so badly, that must be just misery. Maybe we can do some more of our own "investigative" research and come up with something!
God bless,

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