Hot flashes are the most common symptom that menopausal women experience. 75-80% of women at their menopausal phase are troubled with its occurrence. Sometimes that even leads to more serious complications and radical decline of the women’s quality of life.
But why do hot flashes in women exist and how can women get through this symptom easier, safer and more effectively?
Evaluation of facts incorporated in hot flashes is vital for betterment of our being as a woman and for people around us.
What are hot flashes?
Hot flashes is one of the menopausal symptoms that gives an abrupt, intense feeling of heat, mostly felt at the upper part of the body, that lasts for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. It also reddens the skin and produces sweat. Hot flashes can sometimes be felt all over the body, but usually just around the neck and the face. Palpitation, or rapid heart rate, sometimes occurs as episodes of hot flashes and feeling of dizziness, nausea and/or anxiety.
Episodes of hot flashes can be felt any time of the day.
The severity of hot flashes differ in each individual. Some women are not bothered by the symptom, some experience it for a very short while, while others may have it for a longer time. However, hot flashes decline in severity as time pass.
The science behind hot flashes
The root of hot flashes is not yet defined. Some experts say that it is due to a drastic decrease of estrogen hormones in the body. The imbalance of this hormone leads confusion of the hypothalamus (the part of our brain responsible for our body’s temperature) that the body is overheating. Hence, it will throw signals to the brain to lower the body’s temperature by dilating the pores of the skin (which make the skin red like a ripe tomato), and intense perspiration (excessive sweating and clammy disturbance). Other studies indicate that it is because of the high levels of gonadotropins, (hormones that are responsible for sexual development, and reproductive function), which is a consequence when women’s ovaries fail.
Are there hot flashes in men too? The answer is yes! The Harvard Medical School has found out that the decrease in testosterone in men as they age, could be the culprit of this problem. The problem could get worse, especially if men get treatment for prostate cancer, which decreases the hormonal levels. This is done to ensure that the medication for prostate cancer will work as needed.
How to ease the hot flashes
Though there are a wide variety of synthetic drugs that your doctor could prescribe to get through with the nuisance of hot flashes, it is still preferred, even by the professionals, to ease with hot flashes through natural ways. In this case, lesser side effects are expected, and the ability of the body to cope with the changes is going to be a lot smoother.
Women and men who experience hot flashes could begin fighting the symptom through the simplest ways.
- Find relief by dressing in layers so that when episodes occur, it’ll be easier for you to find comfort by adjusting your clothes based on how you feel.
- Write down what you have eaten and see if there is a pattern that might initiate the episodes of hot flashes. Common foods to be avoided that trigger hot flashes are alcohol, coffee or products with caffeine, and spicy foods.
- Try to stay calm when the hot flashes are felt. Do not treat it as a big deal. Relax and take a deep breath. Panic attacks are common in episodes of hot flashes. It’s good to practice relaxing techniques to ease both symptoms.
- Always have a fan nearby so in case hot flashes occur, immediate relief could be found.
- Tell the people around you that you have that problem so it will not be such a big deal when hot flashes strike.
- Changing your lifestyle into a healthier one is not only good for menopause but much as well with your whole bein
Diet and Exercise
Drink a lot of water
You’re feeling hot when hot flashes attack. You can simply drink the heat down! As hot flashes occur, we extremely perspire (or sweat); hence, we lose a lot of water inside our body that might lead us to dehydration. Drinking a lot of water can lessen or even prevent the episodes of hot flashes. Experts recommended that women should drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
It does not necessarily mean you have to do a vigorous workout, the important is you do something to sweat. Find some exercise or daily activity that you like or enjoy. Try meditation and yoga. Many women find that it helps them both with hot flashes and their overall well being.
It’s good to include food sources that are high in magnesium. Magnesium helps in relaxing your body and avoid stress. In that case, it can also help with reducing your hot flashes as you feel calmer. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which also eliminates hot flashes as well as whole grains, such as barley and oatmeal should also be included in the diet. Dietary fiber helps eradicate hot flashes by restoring estrogen levels in menopausal women.
- Black Cohosh – Black cohosh is a plant known in North America that is mostly taken as a supplement. It comes in stores as a 20 mg capsule with a recommended dose of 40 mg a day, making the dose as two capsules a day.
- Flaxseed – Grounded or oil Flaxseed can be purchased in any health stores. It also contains phytoestrogens that minimize episodes of hot flashes. The recommended dose is 1-2 tablespoon, which you can eat along cereal every breakfast.
- Dong Quai – Dong Quai is known to be a good source of natural estrogen. As result of its intake, it can help the body with proper temperature regulation, one of the special roles of estrogen in the body.
Alternative Ways to Manage Hot Flashes
You can do simple massage to your pressure points. This will help you relive your hot flashes. Check this video to know which pressure points you should massage to lessen your hot flashes.
Some experts consider hormone therapy as a relief to symptoms such as hot flashes in women during menopause. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), or mostly known as bioidentical hormone therapy or natural hormone therapy, is the use of identical hormones on a molecular level to suffice the needed amount of estrogen and progesterone levels of the menopausal women. The identical hormones being used in this kind of treatment include estrone and estradiol. These hormones are so identical to estrogen and progesterone that the body identifies them like one, hence the increase of bioidentical hormones produces the same effects to the body, which is the elimination of the unwanted signs of menopause, including hot flashes.
Read more about BHRT from this website too!
How hormone replacement therapy is done varies on procedures, depending on what you and your doctor agrees upon. Usually this therapy is performed by taking oral tablets, through injections (which is rarely used), by inserting intrauterine devices (such as rings or implants), adhering patches (slowly release of hormones beneath the skin), using transdermal gels or insertion of vaginal rings; but all of them has one cause and that’s to eliminate the disturbing symptoms of menopause. Through these ways, artificial hormones are acquired from the medicinal products that stabilize the circulating sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. This action is needed by menopausal women to minimize or eliminate the symptoms of menopause such hot flashes.
As women begin taking HRT, you will feel immediate changes in your body. Symptoms of menopause such as episodes hot flashes are reduced or totally eliminated. When this happens, the physician will adjust the dosage to its lowest to reduce the possibility of risks. Menopausal women then should shift to a healthier lifestyle such as maintaining a balanced diet and doing exercise. Go to section Help-self-help for more information about how you can feel better in menopause.
What is your secret remedy? Share with us below! If you know a friend who suffers from hot flashes, be sure share this article!