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Menopause is a normal condition that all women experience as they age. Before menopause happens, women enter into perimenopause, where they start experiencing symptoms.
One of the most common complaints during this time is in regards to hot flashes and night sweats. These troublesome symptoms affects a large portion of the female population.
>>Be sure to save the free hot flash info sheet included at the end of this article<<
What is a hot flash?
A hot flash is the sudden feeling of intense heat on the face, neck and chest, usually accompanied by profuse sweating. They start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen, making you break out in a sweat.
When they happen while you are asleep, they are referred to as night sweats. They generally wake you up and make it difficult to get back to sleep.
Who is affected?
Hot flashes affect up to 75% of women in the United States over the age of 40 that are transitioning into menopause. They are the most common symptom of menopause.
Why do hot flashes happen?
Hot flashes happen as a reaction to the decreasing amount of estrogen the body produces, which causes a hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms of Hot Flashes
- SUDDEN RISE IN BODY TEMPERATURE
- HEART PALPITATIONS
- UPPER BODY SWEATING
- TINGLING FINGERS
Duration of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes can happen over the course of a 5 – 10 year span. the frequency of a hot flash happening ranges greatly. Some women experience a few hot flashes per week, while others may have up to 20 hot flashes per day. Each hot flash generally lasts somewhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes in length.
Hot Flash Triggers
- ALCOHOL DRINKING
- CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION
- EASTING SPICY FOODS
- STRESS AND ANXIETY
- CIGARETTE SMOKING
I created a Menopause Symptoms Tracking Journal to record and monitor when symptoms happen, to help learn what the possible triggers may be. It’s also an ideal tool for discussing your treatment options with your health care provider. Learn more here.
Hot Flash Prevention
- Avoid the most common triggers such as eating spicy foods and consuming alcohol or caffeine
- Follow a balanced diet of foods rich in phytoestrogens like soy, flax, sesame seeds, oats and barley
- Exercise on a regular basis in well-ventilated spaces
- Avoid wearing clothing made of synthetic materials, wool, and anything silky
Hot Flash Relief
Many women are able to keep their hot flashes under control with a few simple tips.
- Stay in an air conditioned climate or keep a fan handy, especially at your desk and at your bedside
- Only wear breathable clothing. Be cautious of 100% cotton because while it absorbs the water from your body, it drenches the material
- Dress in layers that can be easily peeled off as needed
- Take frequent cold showers to cool your body
- Sip ice water throughout the hot flash
Treatment for Hot Flashes
Natural Over-the-Counter (OTC) Supplements
The following are affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a small commission for me, at no additional cost to you.
- Black Cohosh – relieves symptoms related to reductions or imbalances in estrogen levels
- Red Clover – contains a type of phytoestrogen and is linked to reducing menopause symptoms
- Evening Primrose Oil – helps hormonal changes associated with menopause
- DIM Diindolylmethane Plus BioPerine – this menopause supplement is Non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan.
- Staying Cool – soy-free blend of natural vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts to help manage hot flashes
- Estroven Sleep Cool– formulated especially for hot flashes and night sweats, also includes melatonin
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Some women may choose to take hormones to treat hot flashes. During the menopause transition, the ovaries begin to work less and less well, making the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone decline over time. Hormone therapy evens the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body.
HRT is an effective treatment for hot flashes and night sweats, but there is a higher risk of developing other issues such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer, if taken.
Discuss the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy with your doctor to determine if it is right for you.
Click here for a hot flash info sheet you can save.
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