Three out of four women experience hot flashes while going through menopause. Hot flashes can happen at any time and usually vary in severity. Sometimes women can find relief by using a fan or rolling down the car window, but for many women, hot flashes disrupt daily life and are uncomfortable to deal with. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of relief from hot flashes.
What Are the Available Options for Relief from Hot Flashes?
There is a range of prescription medications, alternative medicine, natural methods, and clinical procedures for treating hot flashes. It is best to consult your doctor to see what options you have given your medical history.
Methods to Relieve Hot Flashes
This is a short list of different medications and methods to relieve hot flashes:
Diet. Eat a balanced diet and limit consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and spicy foods.
Soy. Soy is known to reduce the effects of hot flashes. Foods containing tofu, tempeh, miso, soybeans, and soymilk are good ways to add more soy to your diet.
Foods rich in vitamin E. Studies have suggested that vitamin E can help decrease hot flashes.
Exercise. Exercise is a great way to improve health, relax your body, and reduce hot flashes.
Avoid heat. Hot flashes are worse in hot weather. Wear breathable clothes, like cotton, and maintain air circulation in the room or car.
Alternative medicine. Some herbal medicines have been known to help women get through hot flashes.
Antidepressants. Usually used for women in menopause undergoing treatment for breast cancer, antidepressants have been known to reduce menopause symptoms and could be substituted for women who don't want to go through hormone replacement.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This medication replaces estrogen in the body, but it comes with serious health risks. Recently, many women have steered away from hormone therapy due to these risks.
More Information about Treatments for Hot Flashes
Relief from hot flashes can come in many different ways. Exercising, eating right, and taking care of your mind and body can relieve the severity of the symptoms. Prescription medications and treatments have known to be effective but all come with certain health risks. Recently, there have been studies linking HRT with an increased risk of developing breast cancer and heart disease. Herbs, vitamins, and other natural supplements are often safe and come with lesser side effects.
If you are experiencing pain or think that something is abnormal, contact your doctor. You medical practitioner can help you to find a solution. Click on the links below for more information about hot flash relief.
- National Health Service UK. (2015). Hot flushes: how to cope. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/menopause/Pages/hot-flushes.aspx
- Sikon, A. & Thacker, H. (2004). Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 71(7).
- Weir, E. (2004). Hot flashes ... in January. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 170(1), 39-40. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC305309/
- Ziaei, S. , Kazemnejad, A. & Zareai, M. (2007). The effect of vitamin E on hot flashes in menopausal women. Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, 64(4), 204-207. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17664882