Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over a woman’s body, creating a flushing, or redness, that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper body. The experience of hot flashes can range between delicate flushes and a sensation of engulfing flames.
Hot flashes result from the body’s reaction to a decreased supply of the hormone estrogen, which occurs naturally as women approach menopause. Not all women experience hot flashes, but more than half do. For some women, estrogen production decreases gradually, producing fewer hot flashes. But for others, the ovaries stop estrogen production more abruptly; for these women, hot flashes can be a miserable rollercoaster ride.
RELATED: Menopause Treatment
About 75 to 85% of American women are estimated to experience hot flashes during menopause. Many have found great relief from treating them with non-hormonal nutritional supplements and holistic life style changes to remain healthy and fit.
Four Natural Treatments for Hot Flashes
1. Healthy Diet
Certain foods like dairy products, meat products, and spicy foods have been found to be the top contributors to hot flashes. Even without menopause, spicy foods can trigger a hot flash in your body, making you feel sweaty and flushed throughout. Instead, opt to eat whole, non-GMO soy foods to increase your protein intake, which helps with hormone production in the body. Edible beans like soybeans can help control hot flashes because they contain genistein and daidzein, which are estrogenic compounds.
Soy is an important staple of the Japanese food diet, which may account for why only seven percent of menopausal Japanese women suffer from hot flashes.
2. Control Stress Levels
While the cause of hot flashes is still unknown, it is likely that hormonal imbalance could account for the menopausal symptom. The ever-changing hormonal levels of a woman’s body during menopause can trigger chronic stress. Also, if a woman has low levels of progesterone and high levels of estrogen, this can contribute to stress. So it is important to address stress levels as a means of naturally balancing hormone levels.
3. Increase Vitamin E Intake
Research shows that Vitamin E has been linked to reduced severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Leafy greens, tropical fruits, and nuts are excellent sources of Vitamin E.
4. Hot Flash Proof Herbs
Some women have great success with natural herbs to keep cool.
• Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa) is one of the best-studied traditional herbs for hot flashes and seems to work by supporting and maintaining hormonal levels, which may lessen their severity of hot flashes. Black cohosh also does not appear to have estrogenic activity and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer.
• Vitex (Chasteberry) offers a gentle and indirect hormone normalization which can in turn, keep hot flashes in check.
• Chickweed Tincture – daily servings of this herb have been reported to lower both the number and severity of hot flashes.
At The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy, we carry an array of natural supplements to help support women’s health including PMS, perimenopause and menopause. Call or stop by to speak with , our supplement expert.