Hot flashes are very common when women are dealing with menopause. They are one big reason that many women head to hormone replacement centers to get help. There are some other things you can do to alleviate the problem of hot flashes.
To deal with a hot flash, it is important to understand what it is. A woman will feel suddenly very hot for no real reason. They may be accompanied by a fast heart beat, warm skin, a flushed face, upper body sweating and tingling in the fingers. While the exact cause of hot flashes is not known, they are generally assumed to be caused by fluctuating hormone levels, which is why so many women seek out treatment at a hormone replacement center. Not every woman experiences these to a level that is serious, some barely notice them at all while for others, they are life changing experiences.
There are some things that are known to trigger hot flashes and if they are a problem, women may want to avoid:
- Stress or anxiety
- Spicy foods
- Hot environments
- Cigarette smoke (second hand smoke can be as much of a trigger)
- Tight fitted clothing
Some women benefit from keeping a record of their experiences with hot flashes. If you go to a hormone replacement center, this can help them help you. Make a note of what you were doing and where you were when you had a hot flash. There may be a pattern to your problem that you do not see right away.
Things you can do to help with hot flashes:
- Dress in layers. Layers let you remove clothing when you start to get hot or feel flushed. This lets you change what you are wearing to adjust to the temperature where you are.
- Try ice water. If you can anticipate a hot flash is about to come on, try sipping some ice water. It can cool you down and prevent the symptom from being really bad.
- Use an ice pack. If you have a lot of hot flashes at night, keeping an ice pack near your bed may help the worst of the hot flashes.
- Try some natural remedies. If you do use any supplements, make sure you tell the people at the hormone replacement center, some supplements impact the efficacy of the hormone replacement therapy. Peppermint oil can help if you put a little on the back of your neck during a hot flash. Other supplements that have been shown to help include: black cohosh (cctaea racemosa or cimicifuga racemosa), red clover (trifolium pratense), Dong quai (sngelica sinensis), evening primrose oil (oenothera biennis) or soy. You should talk to your health care provider about any supplements because they may interact with any medications you may be taking.
- Try hormone replacement therapy. There is a reason so many women go to hormone replacement clinics, the treatments they offer can be very helpful for a lot of women who are experiencing the negative symptoms associated with menopause and improves the quality of their lives. Estrogen replacement levels out the level of that hormone in the body, which has the effect of reducing the symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Try other medications. There are other medications that can be very effective at helping with the various symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes. Some medications that are normally used for other conditions can be useful in treating the symptoms of menopause. Pregabalin and gabapentin are two drugs that are normally used for nerve pain (gabepentin is also used for seizures) can help women with hot flashes. Effexor, Prozac and Paxil have all been used by women with menopause despite the fact that they are most often used as anti-depressants.
- Acupuncture and meditation can help. Some women find relief from menopause symptoms such as hot flashes when they receive acupuncture treatments. Some research does back that up. At the same time, meditation can help women lower their stress level, which is a big trigger for hot flashes.
- Lead a healthier lifestyle. Being healthier overall can help reduce hot flashes. If you smoke, quitting will help. Eat a well balanced diet and get the recommended amount of exercise.
Hot flashes are not fun but there are things women can do to lessen their influence on their lives.