What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes may be described as a sudden feeling of warmth on the face and upper body, especially the head and neck areas. Women who are undergoing menopause, particularly perimenopause often experience hot flashes but it may also be as a result of lifestyle and certain medications. Other symptoms that may accompany hot flashes include perspiration, a flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin rapid heartbeat, headache, dizziness or nausea.
Some women may also experience night sweats together with the hot flashes which can actually wake them up and result in sleeping difficulties. Hot flashes can last for as long as 30 seconds to several minutes. For most women hot flashes will stop after five years while for others, it can last as long as ten years.
What Causes Hot Flashes?
No one knows exactly what causes hot flashes. Research suggests hot flashes are as a result of a drop in the level of the female hormone, estrogen within the body. This drop has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates temperature which starts overproducing heat.
As a result an increase in body temperature occurs and chemicals are released that causes the blood vessels in your skin to dilate and starts a hot flash. While the skin temperature is rising, the body temperature begins to drop and the sweat glands release sweat to cool you off.
Help for Hot Flashes
Certain dietary and lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in alleviating hot flashes. Try to keep as cool as possible by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, dress in layers or use a fan or air conditioner. Increase your physical activity by exercising regularly, stop smoking and eliminate hot, spicy food, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages from your diet.
Learning to relax is imperative to cope successfully with hot flashes and using stress reducing techniques such as deep breathing, yoga or meditation is very helpful. If you experience moderate to severe hot flashes, medication such as estrogen therapy, progesterone therapy, antidepressants or blood pressure lowering medication may be prescribed. Estrogen therapy is generally the most effective treatment for hot flashes.
Using natural remedies for hot flashes are sometimes a much safer and gentler treatment option than certain medications prescribed. Two wonderful herbs known as Cimicifuga racemosa (Black cohosh) and Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque flower) help to support a woman’s overall health and wellbeing during perimenopause and menopause. These herbal ingredients reduces common hot flashes associated with the change of life, maintain healthy sleep patterns and supports balanced mood and routine calmness.
More Information on Hot Flashes
Tips to relieve hot flashes
In order to survive hot flashes, there are a number of useful tips that you can follow and these include:
- Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to regulate your body temperature
- Dress in layered clothing so that you can shed layer after layer to cool off
- Avoid wearing tight clothing
- Wear cotton or linen fabrics instead of wool, synthetic or silk fabrics
- Take cool showers
- Exercise daily by walking, swimming or cycling
- Stay cool by using during the day and at night
- Learn to relax by practicing deep-breathing exercises
- Eliminate triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, chocolate and aged cheeses
- Keep ice water on hand, especially at night
- Stop smoking
- Reduce stress through meditation, yoga or visualization techniques.