Hormonal therapy is the commonest treatment for hot flashes. It is the only FDA-endorsed therapy so far. However, several other non-hormonal alternatives are available to help women alleviate their menopause-related symptoms before considering hormonal therapies. For some women, especially those who have recently been treated for breast cancer, are not appropriate patients for hormone therapy.
It is crucial to always remember that hormonal therapies are safe and effective when used appropriately. However, if you do not want to undergo hormonal treatments, here are other helpful tips to relieve your hot flashes:
1. Avoid the Possible Triggers
Hot flashes can be triggered by caffeinated drinks, hot weather, alcohol, smoking, heat, spicy foods, smoking, stress, and tight clothes. Be sure to identify and keep away from the probable triggers of your condition. Some women develop hot flashes when they consume lots of sugar. Doing exercises in warm temperatures can worsen your hot flash symptoms.
2. Follow a Healthy Diet
Some foods like meat products, spicy foods and dairy products have been proven to heavily contribute to the development of hot flashes. Even in the absence of menopause, eating spicy foods can initiate the occurrence of hot flashes in the body, making you feel severely flushed and sweaty. Remove such foods from your diet for an improved condition.
Instead, go for non-GMO soy foods to boost your protein intake. This will increase your body’s hormone production levels. Soybeans can really help in suppressing hot flashes since they contain nutritious compounds like daidzein and genistein that aid in increasing the production of the hormone estrogen.
3. Actaea racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Actaea racemosa is also commonly referred to as black cohosh. It is a perennial plant used as an herbal remedy for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and menstrual cramps. It is believed that this herb alleviates mental and physical symptoms of menopause. However, avoid this herb if you have a liver problem.
Sage can be used in cooking and can be taken daily as teas. Sage teas can be readily purchased both online and at local grocery stores. Studies have shown that sage has anti-perspiration properties, which help combat hot flashes among menopausal women. However, excessive consumption of sage can also be harmful as it contains thujone, a substance that is toxic to the brain, kidneys, and liver. Thujone causes anxiety, convulsions, vomiting, and damage to the kidney when taken excessively. The daily recommended dosage of sage tea consumption without reaching thujone toxicity levels is about three to six cups.
5. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed contains phytoestrogen that has estrogen-like properties, which alleviates hot flashes symptoms. Flaxseed oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are useful for the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve headaches due to migraine, osteoporosis, and other forms of arthritis.
6. Evening Primrose Oil
This type of supplement comes in capsule form, which can be taken to relieve menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes. Proper storage should be observed when taking evening primrose oil capsules since the oil can easily go rancid. Therefore, the capsules should be stored away from direct sunlight, and be placed inside the refrigerator to avoid undesirable spoilage.
7. Trifolium pretense (Red Clover)
Red clover is a plant that is highly enriched with isoflavones, which are chemicals that similarly act like estrogens. Plant-based estrogens like red clover are regarded as phytoestrogens. Because of its estrogen-like effect, it reduces the frequency of menopausal symptoms of women.
Studies have shown that women who daily take red clover extracts experience a lesser occurrence of hormonal imbalances, hot flashes, and bone loss compared with those who haven’t tried red clover therapy at all.
8. Vitamin E Supplements
It has been confirmed that vitamin E plays a key role in reducing the harshness of menopausal hot flashes. Leafy greens, nuts, and tropical fruits are excellent sources of the essential vitamin E. The blending of these nutritious ingredients can work perfectly in soothing your hot flashes. Remember, you can also use the vitamin E gel capsules on a daily basis.
9. Ascorbic Acid
Ascorbic acid or popularly known as vitamin C is an antioxidant that improves a person’s immune system. Vitamin C contains bioflavonoids that can help minimize hot flashes among menopausal women. This vitamin also helps in rebuilding bone tissues by aiding in the synthesis of calcium. Ascorbic acid rich foods such as oranges, lemons, tomatoes, strawberries, and dark leafy vegetables can be incorporated in women’s diet to achieve relief from hot flashes.
Ascorbic acid rich foods such as oranges, lemons, tomatoes, strawberries, and dark leafy vegetables can be incorporated into a menopausal woman’s diet to achieve relief from hot flashes.
10. Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight according to your body mass index (BMI), can help lessen the occurrence of hot flashes. Always remember that having excessive fat in your body will only trap heat. Thus, your body will make you sweat than usual to make your body cooler.
Women who are overweight or obese frequently sweat, especially when they are stressed or exposed to a warm environment. Frequent sweating can cause the blood vessels to constantly dilate, and this dilation will enable more blood towards the skin surface, leaving a warm sensation to your skin.
11. Wear Comfortable and Loose-Fitting Clothes
Hot weather triggers hot flashes and can worsen your symptoms. To alleviate the uneasiness and pain, opt for loose clothing that is not too tight around your abdominal or vaginal area. If you are experiencing severe hot flashes, you can choose to wear menopause-designed clothing. Staying cool by always wearing lightweight clothes can greatly help in reducing your hot flash episodes.
Shirts with wicking fabric are perfect since they cannot easily be spotted, especially when worn underneath suits. Again, ensure that you maintain low room temperatures. Dressing in layers and utilization of a cooling fan can go a long way in alleviating your hot flashes.
Acupuncture is a traditional technique that originated in China, which involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin on specific areas of the body. The main aim of this ancient technique is to restore the energy balance of the body.
Studies show that acupuncture treatments may contribute to the reduction of the frequency of menopausal symptoms. The occurrence of menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes tend to lessen among women who have undergone a series of acupuncture therapies compared with those who did not. The benefits of acupuncture can last for approximately six months.
Doing yoga can be a great relaxation technique to ease the discomforts experienced by menopausal women. Cooling and restorative yoga poses are great for women who experience frequent hot flashes. Deep relaxations during sustained yoga poses can help improve the area in your nervous system that controls the sweating mechanism of your body.
14. Control Your Stress Levels
While the exact cause of hot flashes is unknown, experts still speculate whether the existence of a hormonal imbalance could be responsible for the tragic menopausal symptom. The ever-varying hormonal levels of women’s bodies during menopause can lead to chronic stress.
Women having low volumes of progesterone and high amounts of estrogen experience intense stress and anxiety. It is, therefore, important that you try managing your stress so that your body can naturally balance its hormonal levels.
Other lifestyle changes you should consider are:
- Avoiding the use of sleeping pills
- Exercising on a daily basis
- Taking a warm shower before retiring to bed
- Avoiding tranquilizers as much as possible
- Engaging in creative activities
- Nurturing friendship