Soothing Remedies for Menopause Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are sudden and unexpected sensations of warmth or heat, typically along the upper body. They are part of menopause for many women and can occur at any time of day. They can be uncomfortable, and they can cause profuse sweating and irritability. Several remedies exist for hot flashes, and here is a partial list. Hope these help!

Hormone therapy and antidepressants

Many women are uncomfortable with this, but supplementing with estrogen and/or progesterone can reduce hot flashes. The trick is to use the lowest dosage that works. Your doctor can test your hormone levels and determine the best course of action.

If you’d rather go a more natural route, a compounding pharmacy can create bioidentical creams if you’d rather not take pills. Eating soy, which contains a plant estrogen, is a common remedy in Asian countries.

Some common antidepressants at low doses, such as Prozac and Paxil, can reduce hot flashes, but they may have more side effects than simple hormone therapy.

Staying cool wherever you go

Simply wearing layers of light clothing can help hot flashes. Thin t-shirts or tank tops keep you covered but allow air to get to your skin, cooling you off. Keep ice-cold water handy to sip on if you feel a flash coming on. If you can, keep a personal fan with you, and stay near open windows.

While sleeping (a common time for hot flashes), sleep on a cool pillow, and keep the room at a low temperature. Reduce bedcovers to only a couple of layers in case you need to get rid of them.

Any way you can alter your environment to stay cool will reduce the severity of hot flashes.

Avoiding hot flash triggers

Hot flashes can be triggered or worsened by anything that causes inflammation or heat in the body. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, heat sources, and stress. If you smoke, quit.

Health-food store remedies

Hot flash herbs and natural remedies are available in most health-food stores. Kava, dong quai, and black cohosh help with those feelings of heat.

If you’ve been through menopause, what helped you with the hot flashes?

5 Things You Wish You Were Told About Menopause

menopause symptomsEven though the majority of women experience menopausal symptoms, and menopause is regularly discussed on talk shows and in magazines, the symptoms still take women by surprise. This can be a very stressful time for all your personal relationships, especially your marriage. Do not hesitate to get professional help if relationships become strained.

Following are a few things our patients wish they had been told about menopause.

You may start having symptoms 10 years before you actually enter menopause.

Beginning in your mid-forties or even earlier, you may begin experiencing menstrual irregularity, mood swings, hot flashes, and sleep problems. This stage, called perimenopause, can last several years.

According to the Mayo Clinic, once you have gone 12 consecutive months without a period, perimenopause is over, and you have reached menopause. You can find more information on perimenopause by clicking here.

You won’t feel like yourself.

The symptoms of menopause include hot flashes and cold flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, hair loss, facial hair, memory lapses, and inability to concentrate. You won’t feel like yourself, and you may not act like yourself either. It will pass, but it will take time. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms; he or she may be able to help you get some relief.

Your sex drive may go down.

Fluctuating hormone levels, mood swings, and vaginal dryness may make you less desirous of sex. Make the effort to stay connected with your spouse or significant other, even if you don’t want to have intercourse, and consider other ways to please each other.

You may have severe mood swings and outbursts.

Many of our patients have been surprised at the speed and severity of their mood swings. Understandably, their families feel confused about the sudden changes in mood. Talk to your doctor if your mood swings are severe, and consider other ways of relieving stress, such as yoga or exercise. Don’t be afraid to let your family know when you need time alone to work through your moods.

You won’t want to hear any advice.

It’s human nature to try to come up with solutions for problems, and your family may feel your menopausal symptoms are an issue they can solve. If their well-intended advice grates on your nerves, lovingly tell them that you appreciate their concern, but that you need them to listen and just be there for you.

For more information on possible symptoms of menopause, click here.

If you have been through this, what advice do you have for other women?