What are hot flashes – ask just about any woman who is on the journey from pre-menopause to menopause and beyond and they will all have an answer to this question as well as some story about their worse hot flash. At least approximately 80% will as there are 20% of menopausal women who never experience them or only have them so rarely that they don’t even know what a full-blown hot flash really is.
Full-blown hot flashes just suddenly hit most women without any warning. This sudden feeling of warmth starts usually most intently over the face, chest and neck. Often the skin will become blotchy red almost as if you are blushing. Sometimes this is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat. They are often accompanied by profuse sweating that can leave you chilled as the hot flash goes away.
The cause of hot flashes is the body adjusting to the reduction of estrogen occurring at that time of life when menstrual periods are stopping. Menopause can last as long as five or more years so five or more years of hot flashes can become quite tedious and uncomfortable.
For some women the hot flashes are worse at night as sleep will be interrupted and they will find their nightclothes and the bed sheets all soaked in sweat. Hot flashes can occur several times a week or for some women several times a day.
Physicians usually prescribe estrogen or progesterone to counter these effects. This is considered the most effective medical treatment. But therapy with hormones comes with a plethora of possible side effects, such as blood clots in the lungs and legs, as well as a possible enlarged risk of stroke and heart disease. Women are more and more looking to natural remedies to help with this symptom of menopause.
Several ways to reduce the risk factors of hot flashes are: Quit smoking. As women who smoke are more likely to have increased hot flashes and lose weight. The reason for this is that women with a high body mass index or BDI have more hot flashes.
Make some lifestyle adjustments. Like keeping cool by dressing in layers; keep air flowing by opening windows or using a fan; turn down the heat and drink cold drinks.
Many women stop hot flashes by stress reduction means such as meditation, yoga, relaxation or other techniques for calming the body and the mind.
Women in countries like Asia report fewer hot flashes than those in Western cultures. It is believed that this is due to their diet which includes estrogen-like compounds, such as red clover, soy and many other plants.
Soy has been researched and suggests that it does have some benefits reducing hot flashes. But it is suggested that you get soy from foods rather than supplements. Foods that have soy include tempeh, miso, soymilk, white soybeans, tofu, soy powder, and texturized vegetable protein.
The herb black cohosh is also popular in fighting hot flashes but there are no studies that have been able to confirm this. Many say that black cohosh offers relief against hot flashes as well as other symptoms of menopause such as headaches, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
Ginseng has not been proven with any studies on demising hot flashes but it does seem to increase good moods and helps sleep which may help to smooth over other symptoms. Many women do have success with supplements that are natural.
Summary: This article focuses on the issue of hot flashes and its symptoms. It describes the reactions of these flashes on women and how can they be effectively controlled. Some remedies are also mentioned in the article.
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