Hot flashes are common symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause. During this time, women often experience times when their core body temperature rises, leaving behind a warm sensation across parts of the body, including the neck, chest, and arms.
Hot flashes occur during the earlier stages of menopause when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstrual periods cease. This can trigger a decline in estrogen production, a primary female sex hormone, and can lead to hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other menopausal symptoms.
Many women tend to undergo Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause. However, some women may not have access to HRT treatment or may decide on alternative treatment options. Fortunately, there are other therapy options available that can help alleviate the severity of hot flashes, and potentially stop hot flashes from recurring. Read through to learn how to stop hot flushes.
Understanding Hot Flashes and Their Triggers
Limited research can help to explain the exact cause of hot flashes, however, experts tend to believe that hot flashes may be a result of hormonal imbalance. Other research suggests hot flashes may be linked to other health concerns, including diabetes and obesity.
Hot flashes take place unannounced and can happen at any given moment. On average, some people believe that hot flashes can last about four to ten minutes, however, there are instances where women may experience hot flashes without knowing.
Feelings of warmth, and a tingling sensation in the fingers coupled with an increased heart rate is usually an indication of hot flashes. On top of this, other symptoms, including the sudden feeling of warm skin, and a flushed face (redness) may be a common feature. Additionally, women may begin to sweat around the upper body, and their underarms, hands, neck, and other covered parts may feel more moist or clammy.
Triggers of hot flashes are usually due to menopause and hormonal imbalance. However, other things, such as hot weather and warm environments, such as a heated room may trigger sudden bursts of hot flashes. Other things such as exercise, smoking, alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine can add to the listen of possible triggers.
Some women may experience hot flashes due to high levels of stress, including stressful moments in their personal capacity or at work. Things such as tight-fitting clothes may further contribute to the discomfort of experiencing hot flashes.
Nutritional Strategies for Managing Menopause Symptoms
Besides Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) there are other things women can do to better manage menopause symptoms. Small changes in their diet and lifestyle may help alleviate the severity of some symptoms, and further help to cope with sudden and unforeseen hot flashes.
Importance of A Balanced Diet Rich in Nutrients
For women, following a high-quality diet throughout their lives is essential for ensuring a strong immune and metabolic system. This becomes even more important around the time of menopause, as research has shown that a healthy balanced diet may help to counter symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
Not only this, but there is evidence that has shown a healthy diet can prevent other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and an assortment of malignancies.
A balanced diet that ensures the effective incorporation of exercise and complemented with a nutrient-rich eating plan can help reduce weight gain and further ensure the tolerability of hot flashes. In fact, in some research, experts have found that women with obesity or who are overweight can improve their tolerability of hot flashes by 30 percent by losing just 5 kg.
By pursuing regular exercise, and incorporating a healthy diet, women can reduce the number and severity of hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause.
Role of Phytoestrogens and Specific Dietary Components
There is some evidence that suggests phytoestrogens can help curb the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women. Phytoestrogens are a collective of plant-based molecules that feature estrogen-like activity and are considered a suitable alternative for women who follow a plant-based diet.
Phytoestrogens are complementary to women, seeing as the chemical structure closely imitates that of estrogen. Consumption of certain foods, including soy, apples, and lentils, among other things can help increase the intake of phytoestrogens and help to reduce hot flashes.
Lifestyle Changes and Exercise
Outside of diet, other things such as lifestyle changes and exercise may help to improve metabolic function and potentially alleviate the frequency and severity of hot flashes in perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Alternative Therapies and Holistic Treatments
More and more women are seeking a holistic approach to their health and using holistic techniques to overcome the discomfort that may be caused by perimenopause and menopause symptoms.
Alternative remedies such as mindfulness-based stress reduction training, yoga, light exercise, and the use of certain vitamin-rich supplements may be considered suitable substitutions.
There is however still limited research available to help prove the overall long-term efficacy of these remedies. Yet, some women tend to find lasting results with these practices, as this enables them to avoid using HRT treatments or consider an alternative approach when they don’t necessarily have access to HRT treatment.
Acupuncture, Reflexology, and Mindfulness Practices
Many experts share a mixed opinion regarding the efficacy and use of techniques such as acupuncture and reflexology for the treatment of menopause symptoms. Many believe that there is not enough evidence-based research available to provide patients with an appropriate level of treatment.
Nonetheless, in some instances, there has been research conducted to find that acupuncture intervention was not significantly better than HRT treatment for improving hot flash severity. Yet, after six different trial studies, researchers found that acupuncture could potentially improve vasomotor, sleep, and somatic symptoms.
Other than this, reflexology, a massage technique performed on the feet and hands is believed to stimulate corresponding glands and organs. Similar to acupuncture, studies on this are still very limited, however in one specific trial of 120 women receiving nonspecific foot massage control, vasomotor and sexual dysfunction symptoms were seen to improve.
In the same study, researchers found that hot flash frequency reduced by roughly 56 percent, more than half, following 12 twice-weekly reflexology sessions.
Take A Look At Hot Flashes During Menopause? How To Relieve Using Reflexology and Acupressure:
Behavioral Therapy and Relaxation Techniques
Behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques are psychological interventions that may help to reduce the severity of hot flashes among women in menopause, and those who receive behavioral therapy treatment following severe medical treatment, such as breast cancer survivors.
Typically, behavioral therapy may be conducted over several weeks, and include various educational motivational interviewing and paced breathing exercises to help increase relaxation and improve symptoms.
There has been evidence that proves the efficacy of behavioral therapy. In one study, women receiving routine therapy reported a 25 percent decrease in hot flash interference. More than this, another clinical trial-based study found that 65 percent of female participants reported a 21 percent reduction in hot flashes following a four-week behavioral therapy intervention.
Herbal Treatments and Natural Remedies
Non-hormonal therapies including more natural alternatives such as herbs and organic medication may help to provide some relief, however further studies are still required to better understand the efficacy thereof.
In some instances, experts have found that various natural and non-hormonal treatments such as black cohosh, sea buckthorn, Dong Quai, Evening Primrose Oil, and Red Clover, among other things can help to reduce the severity of mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, or joint and muscle pain.
While some herbal treatments such as sea buckthorn oil have been found to inhibit better protective elements, including Omega-7 fatty acids, other herbal remedies still require further investigation to ensure their efficacy and better understand the long-term impact of these herbs used as a medicinal alternative.
Depending on which you decide to use, some of these options may be consumed either in the form of a tea or a supplement. For example, sea buckthorn is available as a supplement for women struggling with vaginal dryness and female lubrication and is available through Femininity Life.
Consulting Healthcare Professionals
Despite the widespread availability of these alternative treatments, women are advised to consult with a healthcare professional, either their healthcare provider, OB/GYN, or dietitian for more information and guidance on managing menopause and menopause-related symptoms.
While some experts may suggest a hormone-based treatment, there are other types of over-the-counter and nonprescription treatments available. Whatever you decide to use, ensure that you consult with an expert beforehand to better understand the efficacy of these treatments and both the near and long-term benefits and health-related risks.
What Vitamin Gets Rid of Hot Flashes?
There are varying Vitamins, supplements, and treatments available to reduce hot flashes. However, experts believe that Vitamin E is considered to be the most effective nutrient to help reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. Food including sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, red bell peppers, avocados, and certain fish may be rich in Vitamin E.
For effective treatment of hot flashes, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare expert beforehand. Additionally, before using any other sort of alternative therapy or treatment, ensure to educate yourself on the benefits, side effects, and near-term risks that may be associated with these treatments.
You can contact your healthcare provider, consult with an OB/GYN, or talk to a dietitian for further guidance on making certain lifestyle and dietary changes to help alleviate the discomfort and severity of hot flashes during menopause.