Hot flashes are an unfortunate side effect of hormonal fluctuation, particularly estrogen. Though these bouts of intense heat are usually associated with menopause, perimenopause is actually a very common time to begin experiencing hot flashes and other symptoms. If they are unexpected, hot flashes can be frightening. However, once they have been diagnosed, there are plenty of treatment options! To continue reading more about treating hot flashes in perimenopause, continue reading this article.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause refers to the body's transition into menopause. Menopause, on the other hand, is when a woman has been menstruation free for over a year and has forgone her reproductive years. When the early stages of symptoms occur, which can last as long as ten years, you are likely experiencing perimenopause and not menopause.
What Are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are flashes of heat that can strike at any time, not just when in a hot environment. They are usually a result of a hormonal imbalance. For instance, the reduced levels of estrogen in the female body, which typically accompany menopause, are linked to hot flashes. Although hot flashes aren't necessarily a sign of a more serious health complication, they can indicate an underlying problem, especially if they occur as night sweats.
How Can I Treat My Hot Flashes in Perimenopause?
The only way to eliminate hot flashes is to find out their source and treat that. For instance, hot flashes that come from a perimenopausal estrogen flux can be treated by finding hormonal balance. A few tips for seeking hormonal harmony include:
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Though associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer and heart complications, HRT can help ease the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. There are several different types of HRTs using estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of both. They also come in many forms ranging from creams to pills. However, HRT can sometimes cause the very symptoms they are designed to stop.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
Hormones are extremely delicate and very easily upset. Most things that enter the body have potential to affect hormone balance. Unbalanced diets and stagnant lifestyles may hinder optimum hormone health. Getting plenty of exercise and eating a varied, healthy diet can help balance hormones naturally and ease hot flashes during menopause.
Much the same way diet and exercise can affect hormone levels, proper hydration helps maintain optimum health. Also, cold water can help keep body temperatures low.
Hot flashes can be extremely uncomfortable, but there are ways to soothe the pain. To learn more about how to manage hot flashes and other symptoms of perimenopause, visit this link.
- Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, and Sleep Disturbances." Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
- The National Institute of Health. "Signs of a Menopausal Transition." www.nih.gov/
- Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women." Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2): 71-8.