Treatment for Hot Flushes
Hot Flushes in Women
As a woman reaches middle-age she will notice that changes will be happening to her body. Around the age of 50, she will experience the menopause. With the menopause comes a variety of symptoms that women are likely to experience,either to a lesser or greater extent.
Three quarters of women are likely to experience hot flushes or hot flashes as they are known in the U.S.A. They may also experience night sweats, the night-time equivalent of hot flushes, that are equally uncomfortable.
Some women experience very intense hot flushes that can last usually for a few minutes but can differ immensely in the degree of how uncomfortable they are.Credit: ukanat.com
Symptoms of Hot Flushes
Hot flushes cause a rise in body temperature with the face, neck and chest flushing. Some women can experience up to 15 per day whilst others will suffer them more infrequently. The flushes generally can last in total up to 3 years but can be considerably longer, even up to 10 years.
Other symptoms can include sweaty arms and legs, headaches, tiredness, palpitations, being irritable, difficulty in sleeping, feelings of being unable to cope, depression and loss of libido.
It is at this time that a woman needs a sympathetic approach to help her regain some quality of life.
Some women suffer so much that they feel as if they are being engulfed by a wave and need to pull off a layer of clothing as fast as possible.
Often the symptoms are not evident to a bystander but the woman experiencing the hot flush can be embarrassed by her actions. Sensitivity towards her at this time cannot be over-stressed.
At night, the problem can be experienced in bed. These hot flushes at night are known as night sweats. If a night sweat happens, the woman will often wake up as her heart will be beating faster. She then needs to throw off the bed covers or get out of bed to try to cool down. Her nightwear and the bedding might be damp from sweating.
Remedies for Hot Flushes
Hormone Replacement Therapy does mask the symptoms successfully but as women get older they wish to avoid prescribed medication wherever possible.
It is often a case of trial and error as no cure for this condition is available but some of these tried and tested remedies may help to lessen the intensity of the hot flushes.
As with all alternative medicine, the details about the contents must be read carefully and an informed decision about their safety should be made about whether they may be suitable for you.
Sage is described as a mild phytoestrogen-plant oestrogen that has similar effects to the oestrogen in women's bodies. The menopause causes a drop in oestrogen levels in the body. Sage in the form of tablets is readily available.
Sage in the form of a tea drink is also available in most herbal stores.
Other herbal remedies on the market include black cohosh, licorice root, evening primrose oil, ginseng, soy and red clover extract. These may or may not work successfully.
Vitamins and Mineral Supplements
Vitamin B, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E may help as may Calcium and Vitamin D, helping to prevent and treat bone loss and osteoporosis in post menopausal women. Weight gain may happen during the menopause and the taking of these vitamins may prevent fractures.
Instant Cooling Gel-Balm
There are several of these instant cooling gel-balms on the market. The gel is rubbed on the back of the neck or the wrists and acts like an ice pack.
Alternatively, put your wrists under a cold water tap for a few minutes or place your bare feet on a cool tiled floor.
Whist high-impact exercise may not help, regular swimming and jogging may be beneficial.
We are all aware of the prescribed 5-a-day fruit and vegetable advice. Fruit and vegetables may help to lessen the hot flushes. Essential fatty acids found in oily fish are also helpful. Nuts , like almonds and walnuts and seeds, like sunflower seeds, can be helpful, too.
Avoid Certain Foods
Avoid too much sugar, alcohol and drinks like tea and coffee containing caffeine.
Avoid eating a large carbohydrate meal late at night.
Avoid spicy foods.
If you've wanted to quit smoking for a while, then now you have an incentive to do it. If your hot flushes are really intense then you are likely to try a variety of options to try to ease the symptoms.
Wear light clothing in thin layers so that you can discard the top layer when a hot flush occurs. You may want to put it back on a few minutes later when you may feel chilled.
There is no known 'cure' for hot flushes but some of the above suggestions may work for you. It's a case of trying some of them and attempting to make the uncomfortable feeling more manageable.
You never know, you may be one of the 25% of women who won't have to experience hot flushes or night sweats.