Women and Hot Flashes: What You Need to Know
The air conditioning is turned on in your home. You are moving around but not doing anything rigourous that could cause the sweltering heat you feel under your clothes and it's driving you nuts. Summertime isn’t among us just yet although, suddenly it feels like the sun is in your shadow. Although temporary, hot flashes can be a miserable experience for many women but there are ways to alleviate them.
What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are a feeling of intense heat that one may experience out of nowhere. Symptoms include mild to heavy perspiration primarily in the upper body and appearance of a red, flushed face. Heart palpitations can occur which are accompanied with the feeling of a racing heartbeat. Bedtime hot flashes can make sleeping throughout the night incredibly uncomfortable, and some might wake up to find they are drenched in sweat. The severity of hot flashes can differ among women, for instance, some can experience them multiple times in a single hour and others only a few times per week.
Hot flashes can be associated with hormonal changes within the body and are one of the main symptoms of a woman’s menopausal transition whether in the perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause stage. However, women don’t have to be in a menopausal stage to experience hot flashes; they are reality for numerous women and young ladies.
Tips on Managing Hot Flashes
There are treatment options for keeping flashes at bay for women experiencing menopause but what about the other women that suffer in their daily lives? Here are some quick tips in relieving your hot flash episode:
Keep a cold pack at your bedside to cool off in the middle of the night
Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing
Tie your hair up off of your neck
Sip cold water at the first sign of a hot flash
Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine
The women that are experiencing menopause have the option of treating their hot flashes long-term with hormone therapy or other natural herbal therapies. Hormone replacement therapy is known as the most effective treatment for hot flashes. According to the North American Menopause Society, a higher dosage of estrogen is required for the treatment of hot flashes as they will have an overall effect on the body. It is suggested for women who still have a uterus to take a progestogen along with the estrogen to prevent health risks of the uterus. Other risks associated with the use of hormone replacement therapy are the forming of blood clots in the legs and the lungs.
Black cohosh, is an herb used to treat menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. This more natural approach has been proven to be just as effective, however, black cohosh supplements are not FDA regulated. According to Medical News Today, there is a possible risk of liver complications that could follow taking black cohosh.
Please consult your doctor to proceed in assessing what treatment options are best suitable for you.