Almost every woman has to go through menopause as they near the age of 40 to 50. It may vary few years here and there from one woman to another. Menopause is a natural event in women’s life. There is complete cessation of menses and permanent end of fertility. Hot flashes are one of the classic and most common discomforting symptoms of menopause.
Hot flashes after menopause can occur several times in a day or once or twice in a week. Post menopausal women may also experience this sudden heat sensation and perspiration at night. Many women complain of sleepless night due to hot flushes and night sweats, as a consequence of menopause. The severity of hot flashes may vary from woman to woman, but generally they become less severe or totally recede as time passes. Let us know the reason behind hot flashes after menopause.
What Causes Hot Flashes After Menopause?
The exact cause of hot flashes after menopause still remains obscure. There is sudden dilation of blood vessels underneath the skin which causes warmth, redness of face, neck and chest. Researchers suspect a link between hot flashes and low level of estrogen hormone after menopause. As the woman ages and after menopause, the ovaries begin to reduce their function. It begins to produce less amount of estrogen. Body’s temperature is regulated by hypothalamus situated at the base of the brain and acts as a thermostat. Low level of estrogen may disturb the function of hypothalamus, which may lead to dilatation of blood vessels and hot flashes.
Low level of estrogen may not be the only reason for hot flashes. There are some triggering factors that are also responsible for hot flashes in post menopausal women, like lack of physical activity after menopause. Cigarette smoking and over indulgence of alcohol, obesity also seem to trigger hot flashes. Ethnic group also matters, women of African American origin generally complain of hot flashes more than their counterparts with European decent. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese women complain less hot flash, than women of European origin.
Natural Remedies For Hot Flashes
Most women have mild hot flashes. They can be easily managed with changes in lifestyle and with alternative therapies. These women should avoid certain triggering factors such as;
- Cigarette smoking.
- Spicy food.
- Wearing tight clothes.
- Hot environment.
Other factors that may be helpful in relieving hot flashes are: stay in cool environment. Practice yoga and deep breathing it will reduce stress and strain. Exercise regularly, walking, cycling, swimming etc is effective. Drink a cold fruit juice or cold water when you feel hot flashes.
Many herbs and natural products are used for post menopause problems including hot flashes. However, before taking them you should talk to your doctor.
- Evening primrose oil: the oil is prepared from evening primrose plant. It is a plant estrogen. Taking this herb may raise estrogen level in the body. However, there is no specific scientific proven fact about it and therefore the woman should talk to her doctor before taking it.
- Soy products: eat soy food. It contains isoflavones, they act as weak estrogen and thus help in reducing hot flashes. Soy milk, tofu are foods that contain lot of soy.
- Black cohosh: It is a popular herbal remedy among many women to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
- Flax seed: is also considered to be a good remedy for reducing hot flashes.
One thing that every woman should keep in mind is that, though hot flashes are disturbing and uncomfortable, they are not dangerous. As time passes they will reduce in their intensity as well as severity.