Hot flashes are the number 1 complaint in women going through the transitional period of perimenopause. It effects more than 60% of women during this stage of life. Hot Flashes (sometimes called Hot Flushes) are the increase of circulation to the surface of the skin causing a extreme sense of heat which may be accompanied with sweating. When experiencing these hot flashes at night they are referred to as night sweats.
Hot flashes are one of the main reasons many women begin hormone therapy. Although hormone therapy can be effective they are negative side effects related with this type of treatment. The good news is that more and more alternatives are being used for menopause discomforts such as hot flashes.
Here are 5 ways you can find your cool during Hot Flashes
#1 - Avoiding Food Triggers
Yes what you eat may aggravate these hot flashes. Eating inflammatory foods can make a mild warm sensation into a severe sweaty experience. Some of the most common foods which aggravate hot flashes are: alcohol, coffee (caffeine), spicy foods, fatty foods and sugar. In my practice I have seen fast, effective relief just by adjusting your diet.
#2 - Stress
The way we handle and manage the stress in our lives
can play a big role in how symptomatic hot flashes can be. In times of stress the body releases epinephrine (adrenaline) which increases blood flow giving us a boost in temperature. Using stress busting techniques such as guided imagery, deep breathing, regular exercise or journalling all can help decrease the severity of hot flashes.
#3 - Black Cohosh
You can't do much research about Hot Flashes without stumbling upon the herb Black Cohosh. It is widely used in europe in the treatment of hot flushing and night sweats with good results. It's success is likely based the naturally occurring estrogenic properties contained within this herb. For information about Black Cohosh see this fact sheet
#4 - Acupuncture
Acupuncture is an effective method to treat perimenopause symptoms. Studies have shown how acupuncture can be effective
in decreasing the severity and frequency of hot flashes. It has a profound effect on the dialation of blood vessels as well as the nervous system. It has minimal to no side effects and offers significant relief.
#5 - Chinese Herbal Medicine
Studies have shown
Chinese herbs to be an effective method of treatment which is well tolerated and has no serious adverse effects. These herbs are not limited to treating hot flashes but can also be used to help insomnia, fatigue, head aches and depression.
Chinese medicine uses a variety of methods in the treatment of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are the most common types of treatment but adjusting diet and lifestyle can greatly improve the treatment outcome. If you are suffering from hot flashes, trying a combination of natural approaches can offer significant relief.
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM
Acubalance Wellness Centre