- 1 How To Deal With Hot Flashes Naturally
How To Deal With Hot Flashes Naturally
Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of perimenopause and menopause, and also the most complained about. Many women experience them, and some women experience such severe episodes that they wake them up from sleep and generally affect negatively their quality of life.
According to the North American Menopause society (NAMS), hot flashes are experienced by more than two-thirds of women in the US during perimenopause, and almost 100% of women with induced menopause, that is, menopause as the result of certain illnesses like cancers or certain procedures such as hysterectomy with the removal of the ovaries.
So what exactly is a hot flash? And can they be prevented or treated?
A hot flash, sometimes called a hot flush, is a quick feeling of heat throughout the body, but especially the face, neck and upper chest. Experts are not sure what causes them, but they are related to hormonal activity and changes in circulation triggered by it.
During hot flashes, the small blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate in order to cool down. A woman might also begin to sweat (have night sweats in particular) in order to cool down her body. Some women have also reported a rapid heart rate or feeling chilled during their hot flashes.
Some women have hot flashes for a very short time during perimenopause and then menopause. Other women may have hot flashes for the rest of their lives. These usually become less severe the further a woman is away from her menopause. In some instances, however, they can occur relatively steadily in terms of frequency and severity for the rest of her life.
Hot flashes for women are trigged by hormonal fluctuations, but there are some lifestyle issues that might also trigger them and which can therefore be modified in order to decrease their frequency and/or reduce their severity.
How to control hot flashes naturally
To prevent hot flashes, experts recommend that you avoid the following triggers:
- Smoking tobacco
- Eating spicy foods
- Wearing tight clothing
- Staying out in the heat too much
Other lifestyle steps you can take to reduce hot flashes naturally include:
- Keep your bedroom cool but not cold at night.
- Try a cool pillow. You can buy chill pillows that will stay cool for hours.
- Use fans to keep your skin cool throughout the day.
- Wear natural fibers such as cotton, not synthetics.
- Exercise lightly every day, such as walking, swimming and cycling.
- Try yoga
- Try meditation
- Use long, deep breathing, about 6 breaths per minute, for about 5 minutes in the morning and at night, and when a hot flash starts.
- Watch your nutrition:
- Eat more foods rich in:
- Vitamin B complex, such as whole grains and leafy greens
- Vitamin E, such as in sunflower seeds, almonds, fresh spinach, olive oil and kiwi fruits
Natural remedies for hot flashes
Although some alternative therapies like botanical and herbal therapies have shown promise for relieving menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, more research is needed. Remember that just because a treatment is natural does not mean it has no risk of side effects. Do your research carefully, take each item one at a time, and monitor your symptoms to see if what you are taking makes any difference to your hot flashes.
The most common plants and herbs that have been shown to help relieve hot flashes include:
- Soy products-they contain plant estrogens. Try tofu and soy milk.
- Black cohosh
- Evening primrose oil-avoid if you take blood thinner
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include:
Try all of these natural ways to treat hot flashes and see which one work best for you.