What’s good about menopause hot flashes? Women living with hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety and the occasionally bout of forgetfulness may have nothing good to report about this time of life. Mothers and grandmothers didn’t mention their symptoms or warn their daughters about the pitfalls. After all, ‘the change of life’ often brought women freedom from childcare and free time, well deserved. When the occasional hot flash reared its ugly head, women would comment about the weather, the oven keeping the house warm or a bit of alcohol going to their head.
Today menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes are acknowledged as an inevitable symptom of changing hormones in senior women. Research shows, however that hot flashes result from the body’s depletion of estrogen, a hormone that affects the hypothalamus. This tiny thermostat in the brain sends messages for the body to “heat up”, speed up the heart, causing the face and cheeks to flush. Women also experience upper body sweating and nighttime sweating. These symptoms can cause insomnia and lack of sleep taxes the memory.
Diet And Exercise During Menopausal Hot FlashesThe good news is that with some adjustments to diet and exercise, women may decrease the occurrence and severity of hot flashes. WebMD notes that hot flashes are related to high cholesterol in women with high body mass indexes. Increased fat in the blood forces the heart to work harder, increasing the risk of heart disease. The Mayo Clinic also notes that smoking and inactivity trigger hot flashes, as well.
Additional good news is that women, who lower their body mass index and their cholesterol, reduce the occurrence of hot flashes, lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and get a new wardrobe out of the healthier lifestyle. Nothing gives a woman more confidence and builds her self-esteem than weight loss and an energy boost in midlife. The North American Menopause Society reminds women that this can be an exciting time of life. Women can continue to enjoy their bodies into their later years with the right life choices.
Exercise including cardio-vascular work outs, walking, aerobics, dance, boot camp classes, yoga or swimming can reduce the hot flashes affect on the cardiovascular and nervous system. Stress management, avoiding caffeine and stimulants later in the day may also reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. In small amounts of weight loss that results in “muffin top reduction” can have a significant effect on hot flashes. Avoiding hot flash triggers such as red wine, alcohol, spicy foods and becoming overheated can influence this reduction in estrogen.
Women, who experience hot flashes six times or more, in a two-week period, are considered to have severe hot flashes, according to womenshealth.gov. This population of women may want to consider some over-the-counter and natural treatments for these symptoms. For professional treatment, consult the doctor regarding the severity of these symptoms. A physician may recommend low doses of anti-depressants and medications prescribed for high blood pressure.
With all the information available on menopausal hot flashes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, there is plenty of good news available for women in the prime of their lives. With access to information and a plan for accessing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as a few other adjustments, women can have it all. With the kids gone, a choice about the direction of their lives and maybe just a little more free time, women can relish in the fact that they are through those early hormone-driven years of puberty, pregnancy and little ones pulling on their legs. For other women, the good news rush comes from getting over puberty, work politics and proving themselves.
Read more about who suffers from hot flashes here.