Did you know that during a hot flash, the surface of the skin can rise as much as six degrees? Another more known fact is that hot flashes themselves are the most common of all menopause related ailments that women complain about. The symptoms are typically the same, and if you’ve had the pleasure of feeling one you’re sure to know.
For women who haven’t suffered this rite of passage, you may feel as if your skin is suddenly heating up from the inside-out. Usually this is felt on the face, but it can also affect the chest, neck or general upper body. Other symptoms may or may not accompany the heat but it’s not unusual to also feel bouts of nausea, weakness or dizziness, accelerated heart rate or irregular heartbeat and even anxiety. They will also cause the skin to flush, and once over drenched in sweat as the body attempts to cool back down. Women who are new to this experience can be easily frightened as all of this happens in a matter of a few minutes. Luckily there are many tips that can be practiced to keep hot flashes from being overly bothersome.
What can cause hot flashes?
There are numerous instances in life that can bring on hot flashes, but with menopause they are a result of estrogen. To be more specific, they are caused when your body no longer produces enough estrogen and this interferes with communication to the brain, specifically to the hypothalamus which regulates temperature. When a misfire occurs the body has a hot flash because it thinks it’s too cold, so it tries to increase the temperature. However, it quickly realizes that it wasn’t and then rapidly tries to cool itself down by sweating. During this period of time the body also reacts in other ways and this typically produces the other symptoms.
While not overly serious, 10 to 15 percent of women have had severe flashes that required they seek medical attention. However, this is not typical of the majority of hot flashes. For most women hot flashes will last around a minute, but some have reported flashes lasting up to an hour-long. Each woman is different, and each hot flash is different to an extent. Your first one may last only a minute while the next could last for three minutes.
Most hot flashes will happen in the morning, between six and eight o’clock. During the evening times the most common time frame is between six and ten o’clock. During these times estrogen is at its lowest level and therefore increases the risk of a misfire. Apart from what scientists and doctors know with the hypothalamus, everything else surrounding hot flashes is a mystery still. The body works in mysterious ways, but add menopause and fluctuating hormones into the mix and it has the ability to send it into confusion.
How can hot flashes be stopped?
Overcoming your hot flashes naturally is typically the best solution. This can be done with trying to rebalance estrogen by eating foods that mimic it in the body. You could of course treat the symptoms too, and this is also easily done by making a few changes to lifestyle. However, it is also imperative to be on the look-out for triggers which could be anything from certain foods to even situations.
The ten most typical triggers for hot flashes:
* Diet pills
* Spicy foods or drinks
* Hot food
* Hot tubs
* Hot showers
* Hot or stuffy rooms
Keeping a journal or diary for your hot flashes is one of the best ways to find pattern triggers. For instance if you ate a spicy meal and in moments had a hot flash, you would write it down. If the following week you consumed another spicy meal and had another hot flash immediately after, you would have identified spicy food as a trigger. While it may seem like a lot of work it really does prove to be beneficial in the long run. You’ll know what to avoid and therefore have the ability to stop hot flashes before they can start.
This can be used in combination with alternative medicines to help restore the estrogen balance. By utilizing this type of treatment you should see a reduction or complete stop in not only hot flashes, but in other menopause symptoms too. Speak with your doctor to find the best course of treatment for you as each woman’s needs are different.