Hot flashes can range from mild hot spells at night to constant dripping and sweating during the daytime. It starts suddenly, with a rapid heartbeat, intense feeling of heat on your face and upper body, and continues with possible headaches and nausea. It may only last a short time but there is no mistaking the feeling of a hot flash.
Hot flashes are caused by a hormonal imbalance and estrogen loss. The loss of estrogen causes the part of the brain that is responsible for your body temperature to think that it is too hot. Your body in turn tries to use the nervous system’s chemical ability to relieve the heat by having your heart beat faster, and using the perspiration to relieve the body of the sudden warmth. It is essentially a way to cool you off even though the feeling you are having is that it is heating you up.
As many as 85% of women have reported having hot flashes. But only about 10% to 15% of women have severe enough hot flashes that they need to seek their doctors advice on how to handle them. Most women can just make simple lifestyle changes such as layering their clothing, changing their diet, and exercising on a regular basis.
If you do find that you need to turn to medication, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, check out all your options. You may only need Estrogen Therapy, or perhaps just a few natural solutions such as vitamins or Black Cohosh, which is proven to be a natural relief solution for hot flashes.
Relaxation and stress reduction techniques should be your first stop on the way to being hot flash free. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to calm your body before and during a hot flash to make it seem more tolerable. During the day make sure to keep an ice cold glass of water nearby to cool you down during or before a hot flash. Another tip is to lower the temperature wherever you are. This is where the layering of clothes comes in – it helps with the many different temperatures you will go through in a day.
Just as the old saying goes, this too shall pass. Although it may take 2 to 5 years on average, it will end. Just try to make it as bearable as possible during this time and before you know it the symptoms of hot flashes will disappear naturally with time.
By: Linda Bruton
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