Women who are in their menopause feel sudden warmth, heat in the body. This intense feeling can occur in back, neck, chest and face. It can cause lot of sweating after which one will feel chilled. Hot flashes happens during menopause when the menstrual period becomes irregular and getting ready to stop. Hot flash symptoms and going through the experience can be uncomfortable and it can last for many years and can interrupt day to day life.
According to research if the hot flash begin earlier stages of life, it can lost longer. Studies also show that both African American and Hispanic women get hot flashes many years than Asian and white women.
During menopausal transition ovaries begin to work less and less and the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones declines over time. These changes are responsible for hot flashes and the other name for hot flash is vasomotor symptoms.
General symptoms of hot flash:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Skin suddenly feels warm
- Blushing and redness of neck, face, ears, chest and back
- Severe sweating
- Tingling in fingers and pricing sensation under feet
- Feeling of dryness
- Chill after hot flash stops
- Leg pain and spasms
- Night sweats and sleep disruption
Other uncomfortable sensations comes with hot flashes : heart palpitations, dizziness feeling, a pressure feeling in the head, weakness. Night sweat that causes sleeplessness can result in poor concentration, memory issues, irritability and exhaustion during the day.
Causes of hot flashes:
Hormonal changes in the women body during menopause cause hot flashes. Other factors that can trigger hot flashes are: Alcohol, spicy food, hot drinks, caffein, tight clothes, hot room, stress and anxiety, some of the medications, smoking, hot drinks, exposure to severe sun
One can change life style and apply such strategies to go through hot flash period.
- Sip ice water through out the day or drink cold water
- Turn on fan while you are sleeping
- Dressing in layers – with appropriate fabrics
- Place ice pack in freezer always and place ice pack on neck, chest and back area
- Avoid spicy foods
- Use air conditioner or go to a place/shop/mall – public areas where free air conditioner is available like Library
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Avoid caffeine and hot beverages
- If you are a smoker – stop smoking
- Learn yoga breathing techniques – sheethal yoga helps body to cool down.
- To reduce stress, practice yoga and meditation – which has great benefit for menopause women. These self-calming techniques might improve menopausal symptoms.
- Maintain healthy weight
When the hot flashes do not go away with your life style changes and strategies, it is time to consult doctor for treatments.
Doctor might prescribe medication to manage hot flash. This might include antidepressants, blood pressure medication or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Hormone therapy is one of the option. Hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary (Definition: NIH) If you chose hormonal therapy, talk to your doctor in detail and understand the pros and cons of the therapy. The risk can include heart attack, blood clot, breast cancer, dementia etc. Women who have certain conditions like heart disease, uterine cancer, blood clots, vaginal bleeding, liver problem and allergic to hormones must not consider hormonal therapy.
Natural remedies can help reduce hot flash symptoms:
1.Black cohosh: Well known herbal supplement that contains black cohosh works better for many. However if you have liver problem do not take this.
2. Evening primrose oil : also works out for many. However this should not be taken with other medications like blood thinners
3. Soy milk: Soy milk contains soy isoflavones that helps to balance hormones and drinking soy milk at least one glass a day can help.
4. Before considering any of the natural remedies talk to your doctor as some supplements can harm liver.
The hormonal roller coaster that women face during their menopause period triggers hot flashes. It can last from few months to many years. Family support and help can make women go through the symptoms with less stress. Stay cool and do your best to reduce body heat and hot flash symptoms.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: June 24, 2019