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Beating the Burn of Hot Flashes

Beating the Burn of Hot Flashes

Women often call it experiencing a “private summer” but hot flashes are no joke. They’re uncomfortable, unpredictable (or predictably inconvenient!) and embarrassing at the best of times. What causes them, exactly, and how can you get menopause relief to prevent them from affecting every aspect of your life? After conducting extensive research, I have some recommendations for getting rid of hot flashes. But first..

What Causes Hot Flashes?

The most common reason for hot flashes is menopause, but in fact they can be triggered by several things. Many of these can be experienced by women or men, so they aren’t exclusively a female condition.

  • Thyroid issues, such as an overactive thyroid gland or thyroid cancer. These increase your body’s metabolism leading to hot flashes and sweating.
  • Spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol can all trigger a hot flash or two.
  • Various types of medications are the culprit for some sufferers.
  • Stress, with a dash of adrenaline, is a perfect recipe for triggering a rush of warmth similar to a hot flash.
  • Hormone imbalances caused by reproductive changes,
  • Hormone-secreting pancreatic tumors override your ability to function properly, causing heat and sweating
  • Medical conditions such as HIV and tuberculosis often include symptoms that resemble hot flashes and night sweats.

Flashes typically begin with a feeling of intense heat that affects the face and upper body. Heart rate increases, skin feels warm to the touch and turns red, and the flash often results in sweating. The flash peaks within a couple of minutes, after which your temperature drops back to normal, heart rate slows and you begin to cool down.

Why Reproductive Changes Cause Hot Flashes

Since menopause remains the primary cause of hot flashes, let’s take a look at why changes to your reproductive health can result in them. While scientists don’t yet know the exact reason hot flashes occur, it’s believed that hormonal changes result in decreased estrogen. This affects the hypothalamus, which is the body’s thermostat. It becomes more sensitive to minor changes in body temperature, causing the release of hormones to lower the temperature. The hormonal release pushes up your heart rate and causes blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow which redistributes the heat and makes you flash. As the body’s natural response to overheating, sweating is aimed at helping you to cool down.

Finding Relief from Hot Flashes

All this explains why hormone replacement therapy is the menopause relief treatment of choice for so many medical professionals. By replacing the decreased estrogen, women can regulate the response of the hypothalamus and prevent the emergency “leap into action” the body takes when it assumes—often mistakenly—that it’s overheating. It’s not the only way, however.

Natural products containing omega-3 fatty acids are a good place to start, because the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in these plants helps the body produce prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Used in natural supplements for PMS, products made from sources such as black currant and evening primrose oil are known to reduce inflammation, while promoting the stability of your internal temperature gauge.

Follow these steps for getting rid of hot flashes:

  • Keep cool: Minor increases in temperature can trigger hot flashes, and few things provide the relief a blast of cool air does. Dress in layers so you can remove some as you need to, carry a handy lady’s fan in your purse or invest in a battery operated hand-held rotary fan. During hot weather, keep a damp towel close by to drape over your shoulders or around your neck if you feel the heat rising.
  • Watch your intake: Reduce your quantities of hot and spicy food, beverages containing caffeine and alcohol. Even that icy cold beer can end up making you overheat once the coolness disappears and the alcohol takes effect. At the same time, drinking lots of cool water can not only keep you hydrated but help you avoid the dry mouth that goes with caffeine and the intoxication that accompanies alcohol.
  • Lose weight: It’s an accepted fact these days that obesity is an illness, so it may not be easy to do this. If you’re suffering from hot flashes, however, even dropping a couple of pounds can make a difference in the workload your body does every day. This reduces your exertion levels and can lower the incidence of hot flashes.
  • Practice relaxation: You might feel it’s impossible to tune the world out, but meditation, slow, deep breathing and other stress-reduction techniques can minimize the impact of your hot flashes, by reducing sleep disturbances and helping you to cool down faster.

All these can help to give you some menopause relief, but most women need additional help. Dr. Garber’s Natural Solutions but most women need additional help. Dr. Garber’s Fem Cycle, with a proprietary blend of Black Currant buds, common Juniper shoots, young raspberry shoots and other ingredients, a couple drops each day mixed in water will start making a difference within a month or two.

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