Perhaps the most common complaints about menopause revolve around the dreaded hot flashes. Waves of heat that start in the chest and spread to the neck and head, leaving women sweaty, hot, flushed, and irritable. About 75 percent of women experience hot flashes. A single hot flash can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, but 2 to 3 minutes is the norm. Women typically experience them for 3 to 5 years.
As if hot flashes weren’t bad enough, they turn into an even more annoying beast in the twilight hours. Nocturnal flashes, or night sweats, wake women at all hours of the night, soaking them in pools of perspiration. Because night sweats disrupt sleep cycles, they may be even more difficult to deal with than daytime hot flashes. They can leave a woman fatigued, exhausted, and begging for one good night of sleep.
Root cause of hot flashes during menopause
Hot flashes and night sweats are the result of the drop in estrogenthat women experience during pre-menopause (the 2 to 8 years before menopause) and menopause, which technically occurs after 12 months with no periods. This estrogen deficiency, as well as other hormonal changes, interferes with the way your body regulates heat.
Symptoms common to modern menopausal women include not only hot flashes and loss of interest in sex but depression, moodiness, crying, anger, irritability, shortness of breath or difficult breathing, dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, gas, headaches, heart palpitations, night sweats, insomnia, muscle and bone aches, shoulder and hip pain, cramps in the legs and feet, numbness in the arms, painfully sensitive skin, urinary problems, memory loss and mental sluggishness, dryness of the skin and vaginal tissues, breast tenderness and Weight gain.
Hot flashes are not usually the first symptoms of menopause, but they are its hallmark. When you’ve had one, you know you’re in menopause. Hot flashes are suffered by more than two-thirds of women and are the most common reason they seek medical attention for menopausal Complaints. Eighty percent of these Women endure hot flashes for more than a year, and twenty-five to fifty percent suffer them for more than five years. For a few they can drag on for ten years or more.
Menopause hot flashes natural remedies
If the heat is too much to bear, the following menopause hot flashes natural remedies can help you get a handle on both daytime and nighttime hot flashes.
Steep yourself some sage tea. This common kitchen herb is often the herbalists choice for reducing or eliminating night sweats. To make a cup of sage tea, place 4 heaping tablespoon of dried sage in 1 cup of hot water. Cover it tightly and steep for 4 hours. Then, when you need it, strain the concoction, reheat it, and drink it up.
Dozens of studies have proven that black cohosh is a legitimate herb for relieving hot flashes. Follow label directions for dose.
Beat hot flashes with flax seeds
In a preliminary study at the Mayo Clinic, researchers found that flaxseed may reduce hot flashes. Twenty-nine women who
reported 14 hot flashes a week or more had a 50 percent reduction of hot flashes after eating about 4 tablespoons a day for 6 weeks. Larger studies, however, are needed to confirm these effects. In the meantime, let your doctor know if you’d like to treat hot flashes with flaxseed. If you want to give a trial run, the researchers suggest sprinkling 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal on your cereal, yogurt, or fruit once a day for 3 weeks. Then increase the flaxseed to 2 tablespoons once a day. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout
the day. Increasing the amount gradually may prevent some of the gastrointestinal upsets that flaxseed can cause.
Adding more soy foods into your diet may be quite helpful for overcoming hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Researchers have noted that noted that women living in Asian countries where soy is commonly consumed have fewer hot flashes than women in the United States. In a study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, women who took a soy supplement had 52 percent fewer hot flashes after 12 weeks than those who took a placebo. The researchers say that the degree of improvement is similar to that of
taking a prescribed medication but without any side effects. Another advantage of soy which is bursting with phytoestrogens, is its wide availability. Your best bet is to shoot for one to two servings a day (the amounts found In a typical Asian diet). You’re likely to find an array of soy foods at your grocery store, including edamame, tofu, and miso. You also may want to ask your doctor about soy-based forms of hormone replacement therapy.
To help fight hot flashes you can use oils like thyme or basil. You can simply inhale them, massage your feet (they will be absorbed into your body quicker this way) or use a few drops in a bath. When choosing essential oils make sure you find the ones that are 100% pure grade. These oils will give you the best results.
Foods rich in vitamin E can help reduce hot flashes. A daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin E has helped women with menopause symptoms like hot flashes.
Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages
Hot caffeinated beverages are a common hot flash aggravator, so avoid them. You can drink soda or hot herbal tea if you’d like. It’s not the heat or the caffeine alone that seems to cause hot flashes. But the combination of the two really bring them on strong.
Fat acts as insulation that prevents heat from spreading throughout the body. Too much fat can cause the body to overheat. Hot flashes may just be the body’s way of trying to dissipate heat, according to researchers. They found that women with higher body weight had more hot flashes and night sweats than their slimmer counterparts. Avoiding junk food, and food made with white sugar and white flour can help you lose weight. Try a weight loss program to burn extra fat in .
Not only does it give strength to your heart and bones, but regular exercise also reduces the occurrence of hot flashes and night sweats. Exercise reduces menopausal symptoms, helps you sleep, keeps bones strong, and maintains heart health. Try to exercise three to five times a week for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.
Find low-sweat exercise
There‘s just one problem with recommending exercise for menopausal women. When women have hormonal problems, the last
thing they want to do is sweat. However, moderate exercise can actually keep you cool. A study by the University of Illinois
found that women in their forties and fifties who walked or did yoga for 3 hours a week have less hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
Try deep belly breathing
In some women, deep belly breathing alone can help reduce the severity of a hot flash. To give it a try, lie on your back with your hands on your abdomen. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon that you fill with air as you inhale and deflate as you exhale, repeat this six times. Then take a rest for few minutes and repeat if needed.
Women who suffer from the symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes and night sweats, may benefit from eating a little soy sauce every day. you may want to skip the tofu and use soy sauce instead.
Only about a third of women in the West are able to convert compounds in soy to their most active form. But if you get your soy in fermented form, such as in soy sauce or miso, the conversion has been done for you. The estrogen like compounds are readily available.
Season your supper with low-sodium soy sauce instead of salt, or have a cup of simple miso soup: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of miso paste in hot water, and drink.