Dealing with hot flashes is one of the most common problems women face with menopause. Ask anyone who experiences them, and you’ll get an earful of complaints about how these “personal summer moments” can make life miserable.
While some physicians are willing to prescribe hormone replacement therapy medications without question, there are risks with the chemicals that some women aren’t willing to take. This is one of the reasons so many women are searching for more natural remedies to bring relief.
Here are some things you can do if you suffer from hot flashes related to the hormonal fluctuations brought on by menopause:
There are several herbs known to provide relief, including black cohosh, red clover, evening primrose oil, and dong quai. If you have any problems with your liver, don’t take black cohosh. Red clover, evening primrose oil, and dong quai may interfere with blood-thinning medication, so consult your physician before taking them.
Making some diet modifications may help decrease the number of hot flashes you have. Cut back on spicy and heavily processed foods. Decrease your caffeine and alcohol consumption. Some women find relief by adding soy to their diets; however, if you consume too much, you may wind up with digestive discomfort, diarrhea, or constipation.
Since your internal thermostat may be going haywire, dress in layers that can be removed when a hot flash begins. Dress in clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton or moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool.
Sip on ice water throughout the day. Many women find that sucking on ice chips and letting them melt under their tongue brings relief and cuts back on the intensity of hot flashes.
Some women have experienced relief from hot flashes through acupuncture. The key here is to find a licensed acupuncturist with experience in hormonal treatment.
There are other things you may want to try, in addition to those listed above. Control portions on your plate to prevent overeating and feeling bloated, something that can trigger a hot flash. If you smoke, quit or cut back so your blood can get the oxygen it needs for optimal performance. Maintain a regular exercise routine that combines cardio, stretching, and weight training.
Remember that all women are different, and what works for one may not work for another. Most of the natural remedies are safe, so try one or more things on your own. If it doesn’t work, consult your doctor and find out if there is something else going on.
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