Hot Flashes

Menopause starts as the ovaries begin to fail to be able to produce an egg every month. The interruption of the key hormones involved in the monthly cycle leads to the shutting down of the reproductive system. Extreme and unpredictable fluctuations in these hormones can cause numerous symptoms in most women, such as hot flashes.

Hot Flashes

What does a hot flash feel like?
  • A feeling of warmth to intense heat spreading through your upper body and face.
  • A flushed appearance
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Perspiration, sometimes heavy
  • A chilled feeling as the hot flash subsides
Hot flashes vary in frequency. You may have several a day or just a few times a week. Keep a personal diary to find out what your hot flash triggers are.
 

Treatment

Menopause is a natural transition. If hot flashes don’t interfere with the quality of your life, you don’t need treatment.  For women with more severe symptoms, there are menopause treatment options to help minimize discomfort.
 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) involves taking Estrogen alone or Estrogen combined with Progestins. Some women have found that HRT can relieve many symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flashes.  However, HRT is not for everyone.  Recent studies suggest that for some women the risk of taking HRT may outweigh the benefits.  Talk to your doctor to see if HRT may be right for you.
 

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

  • Keep cool. Slight increases in your core body temperature can trigger hot flashes. Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing when you feel too warm. Several sleepwear and bedding companies make patented fabrics designed to wick moisture from the skin. Cool Sets, Derma Therapy and Wild Bleu just to name a few.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Hot spicy foods, caffeinated beverages and alcohol can trigger hot flashes.
  • Relax. Many women find relief through yoga, meditation and other stress reducing techniques.
  • Don’t smoke!
  • Black Cohosh supplements have become popular in the U.S. and are widely used in Europe. While its safety record has been good, some scientists believe it is no more effective than placebo.
  • Soy and Red Clover. Scientists have observed that women in Asian countries, where soy is a regular part of the diet, are less likely to experience hot flashes.
Take all herbal supplements with caution. All supplements have potentially harmful side effects and may interact with other medication you may be taking. Always discuss what you are taking with your doctor.
 
For most women, hot flashes represent that “power surge” they feel as they are catapulted into the next phase of life. When all else fails, put on your shades and straw hat, while listening to the sounds of reggae, and enjoy your mini-vacation to the tropics!