Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

Woman experiencing menopause wonders what causes hot flashesDuring menopause, you can experience a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental changes brought upon by the onset of hormonal fluctuations. One of the most commonly observed menopause symptoms are hot flashes.

What Is a Hot Flash?

If you’ve ever had it, then you will well understand that there is no mistaking what hot flashes feel like.  This is a phenomenon in which sudden and intense hot feelings on your face and all over your body occur suddenly. This is usually accompanied by sweating and palpitation, weakness, dizziness, or in some cases, a feeling of suffocation. When a hot flash occurs are night, it can produce night sweats.  You will hear from stories of many women who have undergone menopause that they sometimes know when it’s coming because of a sense of “aura” that occurs just before it does. After the flashes, you may be left sweating and reddened. At other times, a chill can also be felt.

What Causes Hot Flashes?

Menopause hot flashes are common in perimenopausal or menopausal women. Why is this so? Remember that the menstrual cycle is orchestrated by the ebb and flow of the hormones in a woman’s body, most significantly, the estrogen. What causes hot flashes is the decrease in estrogen levels triggering the hypothalamus, which is the seat of temperature and emotional control, to release nervous system messengers in confusion. It includes the release of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin all at once in an attempt to regulate the normal levels of hormones in the body. No one really understands why the hypothalamus goes haywire during this lesser estrogen phase, but we all know the consequences can be significant for some.

Hot flashes tend to increase as women get older, particularly because of the continued drop in estrogen levels. However, you will find that over time, you will be able to better deal with this symptom of menopause over time.

Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes

Since hot flashes and night sweats have a lot to do with the hormonal changes in your body, many would recommend taking hormonal replacement therapy or HRT. However, studies have shown that this may not always be the best choice for you. Natural remedies for hot flashes will eventually lead to better management and a healthier response.

Food may be a trigger

Moderate intake of spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine to reduce the symptoms of menopauseFor one thing, you may notice that hot flashes can occur after several trigger factors. Some foods are just not the right foods for hot flashes – you may notice it after eating a certain food. Some particular activities may also be a trigger. Whatever your trigger factors are, it is important to take note and list them down – keep a diary of when the hot flashes occur  and circumstances such as food, exercise, sleep and stress. Gaining the upper hand is what this is all about. As long as you know what are the things or activities that trigger hot flashes, you can take the steps to avoid them in order to stop the symptoms.

You can also try to change to a suitable low-fat diet for hot flashes in order to decrease the symptoms. Studies have shown that consuming too much fat or being too thin can cause more severe hot flashes, so try to eat smart.

 

Wear loose clothingThe Right Clothing Can Help

Another way to stop hot flashes is to be careful of what you wear. Hot flashes come and go quickly and it will only be exacerbated if you are draped in uncomfortably bulky clothes. Wear loose cotton shirts and fabrics that allow you to breathe easily. If the weather gets cold, dress in layers that allow you to easily peel off the clothing one by one should a hot flash occur.

 

 woman walkingIncrease Your Activity Level

Increasing your activities can assist with stopping hot flashes. Since exercise increases the happy hormones called endorphins, it also increases your threshold for pain. Many symptoms can be alleviated by exercise since it promotes improved circulation to the vital organs and improves oxygenation of your brain.

Stress has a lot to do with almost every symptom imaginable and hot flashes are no exception. If you find yourself stressed from work or at home, do try to find time to relax. Get enough rest and sleep, do meditation exercises, or enrol in a yoga class. Find what soothes and calms your mind, and eventually, you body will learn to relax as well.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what causes hot flashes and natural remedies  (including herbal remedies ) look at this website.

Causes of Early Onset Menopause

Early MenopauseThe typical age for the early onset menopause is 51 years old. The average is between the ages 45-55, but it commencing during 30’s or 40’s is not uncommon. Apart from the physical symptoms, women experiencing an early start to menopause may find it more difficult to cope because of the emotional implications. Menopause is the start of decline in reproductive functions, so women who still wish to have children it is a difficulty reality to reconcile.

Signs of Early Onset Menopause

There is little difference in menopause symptoms of whether it is early or not. These symptoms include:

Your primary health care provider can help diagnose whether you are experiencing an early onset of menopause or not. This can be done through an early menopause test (blood test) to measure specific estradiol levels that may indicate the hormonal changes in women. When this level falls below 30, it can be an indicator of early onset menopause. Other blood test include testing for FSH, which accounts for the functions of ovaries. A decline in production shows that you may be in menopause.

What Causes Early Menopause

  • Surgical removal of the ovaries

In cases where ovaries are needed to be removed, the result is induced menopause. Ovaries are responsible for the release of eggs that dictate the fertility of a woman, and to have them abruptly stop releasing the eggs altogether leads to early menopause. Oftentimes, surgically induced menopause can cause severe symptoms due to the abrupt decline in hormone levels. Ovarian function ceases which cause estrogen levels to drop significantly, forcing the woman to induced menopause.

Women who suffer from endometriosis, ovarian cancer, or polyps may require the removal of the ovaries or uterus.

  • Premature ovarian failure

In about 1% of women, premature ovarian failure may occur. Although it is not fully understood, premature ovarian failure leads to gradual decline of the production of hormones and release of eggs. This can then turn into early onset menopause since it commonly occurs in women before the age 40.

  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy

The results of chemotherapy and radiation therapy can have adverse effects on the reproductive function of women. Depending on the proximity to the site and on the amount of therapy administered, these treatments can cause damage to the ovaries. Since chemotherapy kills not only cancer, but also healthy cells, it can affect the production of egg cells. Those who are taking Tamoxifen in order to reduce their symptoms may also develop early onset menopause as its side effect.

  • Infection

Although evidence is still inconclusive, infections especially those in viral form could possibly trigger early menopause in women. This includes conditions such as cytomegalovirus or mumps. Tuberculosis can also infect the ovaries, causing effects in hormonal balance.

  • Other Factors

In a recent study done by Gold, EB, et. al., an early commencement of menopause has been associated with different demographic factors such as; prior contraceptive use, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, baseline weight, and even educational level.

Early Onset Menopause Depends on the Individual

Menopause is an individual experience and there are many predisposing factors to its occurrence. In order to find specific approaches to you own care, a proper understanding of your condition is essential.  Further information on how to manage your symptoms of menopause can be found here.

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