Everything you need to know about menopause-related hot flashes including hot flash symptoms, triggers, prevention, and the different ways you can get relief.
If you suffer from menopause-related hot flashes, you need to know what causes them, what triggers them, ways to prevent them, and how can get relief.
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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 affect a large portion of the female population.
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. Some women will experience more frequent and severe hot flashes than others.
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
When a woman is having a hot flash, she will generally experience the following symptoms:
Sudden rise in body temperature
Upper body sweating
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
For many females, hot flashes are triggered with:
Eating spicy foods
Stress and anxiety
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
- 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
There are excellent, healthy therapies available without prescriptions. A few recommended ones are:
- Menopause Support Tea – Once-a-day tea that is formulated with clinically proven herbal ingredients designed to protect your heart while increasing estrogen levels and reducing hot flashes. ***I’ve worked out a special discount for my readers. Use code MIDLIFE at checkout to receive 10% off your order**
- MenoLabs – This doctor-formulated probiotic is hormone-free with all-natural ingredients to boost your immune system, promote menopause weight loss, relieve hot flashes, and increase energy. ** For a limited time, save $10 off your first purchase by using promo code MENOLABSSAVE10 at checkout.**
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.
Find a Certified Menopause Practitioner near you.
The Power of Hormones – Guide to Hormone Health
12 thoughts on “Hot Flashes: What Causes Them & How to Get Relief”
I remember the day that my hot flashes started! Everyone had suggestions and I took them all with a grain of salt. I think we all go through it differently but you’ve got some great suggestions.
Thank you, Darlene. Everyone is unique. You gotta do you! I am just hoping to get as many people talking about menopause as possible 🙂
I really in joyed reading your article about hot flashes. I am 56 years old and deal with them on a daily basis. But I actually have designed all natural products that help me with those. I have created an all natural body spray, body powder and soap. They really do work !
Hi Saroya, that’s wonderful! Readers can find your products at thesaroyacollection.com
Thank you for the informative article. I am just starting this whole process. I liked the info on the herbs that can be used to help. Great info!
Hi Carrie, I hope you’ll be able to use some of the info in the years to come 🙂
Great job detailing hot flashes and what you can do to ease them. I love the info sheet – thank you. Mine like to trick me into thinking they are gone and then pop back up again. One of the many joys of aging!
Thank you, Loretta! Mine are tricky like that, too…but I’m finally on to them 😉
What are your thoughts on Black Cohosh as a natural remedy for hot flashes?
Hi Kate! I have heard many women rave over Black Cohosh. It is suggested to give it a few weeks to start helping, and then not to take it more than a year.
I hot flash occasionally and I’ve been on HRT for years.
I hot flash on top of the fact that I suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
Most of my friends have them few and far between or have never had any.
Hmm, life’s not fair sometimes…..
Sorry to hear that Nancy. Life is definitely not fair but just think of how much stronger you are as a person for having been put through this!