Hot flashes affect about 70% of women who are approaching menopause. They can cause great distress, which leads many women to consider changing their diet to help control them. Hot flashes tend to last for the entire menopause transition, but some women are affected for the rest of their lives.
Menopause causes an imbalance in hormones levels that results in symptoms such as hot flashes. Though it is suggested that medications are the best treatment for hormonal imbalance, this isn't always true, and taking synthetic hormones can be dangerous. It can be easier, cheaper, and more beneficial to adopt a few diet changes. Continue reading to learn more about the relationship between diet and hot flashes.
Diet Changes for Hot Flashes
While it is true that everyone experiences feelings of anxiety from time to time, anxiety as a menopausal symptom is often a prolonged feeling of general unease. Anxiety during menopause can also exacerbate other symptoms, such as hot flashes.
In order to prevent hot flashes, most medical professionals recommend an initial course of action that involves minimum risk and a natural approach. A healthy mind and a healthy body are always the first steps toward reducing any unwanted symptoms.
Reducing stress with techniques like yoga, eating a diet rich in estrogenic foods such as soy, rice, and potatoes, and increasing fitness by exercising regularly will all help control hot flashes.
Things to avoid:
- Tea or other hot drinks
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Spicy foods
- Try eating smaller portions, since large meals increase your body temperature.
- Keep ice water or another cold beverage on hand to reduce body temperature.
- Take colder showers or go swimming regularly for a refreshing cool-down.
Changing your diet to lose weight can help ease hot flashes and can alleviate a number of health issues. lt's best to do this in a sensible and steady manner, since crash diets can worsen symptoms. There is a strong link between diet and hot flashes, and with time and patience it is possible to control this menopausal symptom.
Soybeans contain estrogenic compounds that can help control hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms by creating a better balance of hormones in the body.
In addition to dietary changes, many women find relief from hot flashes with alternative medicine. This combination of approaches is often considered the best way to treat hot flashes. It's always best to talk to your doctor about the right treatment plan for you.
- "Hot flashes ... in January". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004: 170 (1).
- Miller, Heather and Rose Maria Li, M.D. "Measuring Hot Flashes: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop". Conference report. Mayo Clinic. June 2004: 79.
- Sikon, Andrea and Holly Thacker M.D. "Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. July 2004: 71 (7).