Women'S Health

Hot Flashes Everything You Need to Know

Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat and excessive sweating and are the most common symptom of menopause and perimenopause. Hot flashes treatment requires a holistic understanding of the actual phenomena and the causes.  The feeling of heat is often intense near the face, neck and chest. Most women experience it, but for some it interrupts their daily lifestyle and can be bothersome. The blood vessels under the skin widen to combat the heat, hence causing the sweat.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of hot flashes or is there even any way of doing so; the answer would disappoint you. There is no specific treatment available that can cure hot flashes or stop them from coming. However, there are ways to minimise or null its effects. Hot flashes can last upto 20 minutes and when they happen at night, they’re called night sweats. Doctors always recommend lifestyle changes before they get to the treatments. You can stay away from triggers that make your hot flashes more frequent. Some of the triggers are caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, stress, tight clothes etc.  Daily exercise in any form and regulated breathing techniques help significantly.  While you have an episode, the simplest thing you can do is to sit and relax near a fan. Carry a portable fan if need be and have water at small intervals. Some of the other things to keep in mind are use of multiple layered clothes, so that you can lose the layers when heat strikes. You could also learn some self-calming techniques that could help you in times of distress.

There are some hormonal and non-hormonal medications available for when these lifestyle changes cannot help. Ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone and by time, the ovaries become weak and hormonal secretions reduce. Hence, some consider estrogen and progesterone medications steadies the hormonal productions. However, it does not work out for everybody. Hormonal therapy comes with the risk of heart attack, blood clots and breast cancer. Non-hormonal treatments are available too. Doctors prescribe some anti-depressants that could have a relaxing effect. Side effects of antidepressants include dizziness, headache and drowsiness. All of this must be thoroughly consulted with a doctor.

The question, how to stop hot flashes, has some home-remedial herbal solutions too. Herbal therapy like any other therapy must be monitored and consulted and may produce mixed results. The commonly used herbs are Red clover, Evening Primrose Oil and Black Cohosh. The herbs are known to have soothing effects while some are known to produce estrogen. However, their usage is subject to women, they aren’t proven 100% effective. Some women do not go through severe hot flashes and do not need a medication. While hot flashes may be the most common symptom of menopause, the other symptoms of menopause are irritability, mood swings, anxiety and depression.

Finding the right solution could be complicated and personal. Discuss your medical history, your family’s history, lifestyle habits and other indulgences with your doctor. A happy and healthier life is always a healthy decision away.