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How To Obtain Relief From Hot Flashes
Envisaging the fact that post-menopausal hot flashes have been mostly attributed to lower estrogen levels in the body, hormonal replacement therapy seems like a lucrative treatment to many. However, in the recent years, researchers from the Women’s Health Initiative have found that estrogen treatment increases the risks of later mental problems and breast cancer in women.
Moreover, for some women hot flashes are not as bothersome as they are in most other women, making it difficult for scientists to design a comprehensive treatment for the entire population in general. Stress, however, has been assigned as a major trigger for hot flashes, thereby enabling patients to make use of the multiple therapies used for stress reduction as a means of treating hot flashes.
Read on to explore into the different ways of dealing with hot flashes caused by various medical conditions, without having to resort to medications or treatments that can pose a major risk in the long run.
How To Get Relief from Hot Flashes
Making subtle changes in your diet by including certain foods and supplements can surprisingly aid in the reduction of the frequency of hot flashes.
Phytoestrogens are plant estrogens that mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in a women’s body. Researchers in the “University of Maryland Medical Center” state that these estrogen like compounds bind to estrogen receptors that either strengthen or reduce the effects of estrogen in the body.
WomensHealth.gov, a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, recommends the intake of phytoestrogens via food rather than supplements or hormone replacement therapies as a safer strategy. Most common sources of phytoestrogens include flax seeds, tofu, tempeh, black cohosh, soy milk and other soy products.
Flaxseeds, the seed of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum, contains an estrogen-like compound called lignans that can substitute the declining levels of estrogen in the body, thereby making it a good candidate for hot flash relief. In a study conducted at Mayo Clinic, researchers studied the effects of eating flax seeds, either as a whole or by taking its powdered form mixed in fruit juice or yogurt in a group of 30 women, experiencing hot flashes.
After about six weeks, these women reported a reduction in the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and an improved quality of life. Many other studies have supported the effectiveness of incorporating flax seeds in our regular diet like oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, salads, etc., as a mild alternative for hormone-replacement therapy.
However, a few patients did experience bloating and other gastrointestinal side effects after the intake of flax seeds for a prolonged period, making it mandatory for you to seek advice from a health practitioner on the effectiveness of flax seeds to cure your condition.
Irrespective of which soy foods or supplements derived from whole soybeans you are using in your diet, soybeans are packed with isoflavones, antioxidants, vitamin E and B vitamins that aid in alleviating hot flashes and other post menopausal symptoms. Isoflavones are the active ingredients or chemicals in soy that exert a mild estrogen-like effect, thereby serving as a natural treatment for hot flashes.
Researchers from the University of Delaware have shown that a daily intake of two glasses (16 oz) of soy milk when continued for six weeks to a year, provides you with about 54 milligrams of isoflavones, thus reducing the frequency of hot flashes by by 20.6 percent and severity by 26 percent. Also the consumption of soy supplements or eating foods rich in soy has been found effective in the reduction of vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings associated with menopause.
However, if you are allergic to soy, avoid using soy for the treatment of hot flashes. The side effects of soy supplements can be as mild as diarrhea to as severe as kidney damage in people suffering from kidney diseases, due to its high phosphorous and potassium content.
Avoid Hot Flash Triggers
Stress tops the list of the possible triggers of hot flashes. Hence, relaxation techniques like meditation can help you obtain relief from hot flashes. Also, keeping a record of other triggers like alcohol, smoking, caffeine, diet pills, hot, spicy foods, hot showers or tubs, hot rooms, hot weather, synthetic material like silk, etc., enables you to avoid them, eventually helping you in reducing the frequency of hot flashes.
Sip ice Water
Intake of ice cold water will enable your body to utilize the heat generated during the hot flash to maintain homeostasis or stability in your body temperature. This can in turn reduce sweating, cold chills and heart palpitations, which are the body’s own mechanisms to induce a cooling effect for equilibrating the body temperature. Hence, consume ice water as often as you can and keep a sipper containing ice water handy to mitigate the symptoms associated with hot flashes.
Yoga is the most traditional way of relieving stress and hormonal imbalances in your body that form the two major triggers of hot flashes. Certain yoga poses can bring great relief from hot flashes, sweating, and most importantly, help in alleviating mood swings that often lead to anxiety and depression during post-menopausal stage in women.
Inversion poses like headstand, handstand, shoulder stand, downward facing dog and legs up the wall pose can help keep night sweats at bay and also lessen the intensity and severity of hot flashes. Standing forward bend, child’s pose and bridge pose can help stimulate the production of the depleted hormones in the body that are responsible for causing hot flashes. Use a well supported mat and stretch your upper body, facing downwards to perform the child’s pose.
Place your shoulders and feet firm on the floor and lift your pelvic region and the lower back to attain a bridge pose. Hence, regular yoga practice can help you deal with poor anger management, aggressiveness, mood swings, depression and other symptoms associated with hot flashes by calming and soothing your nerves.
In conclusion, with the ever increasing concern over the use of hormonal replacement therapy, natural ways have been found to be the best alternatives to beat the symptoms of hot flashes. However, menopausal women should always make dietary changes or take supplements under the strict supervision of a health care professional to avoid possible drug interaction and their fatal consequences.
Most importantly, you should learn to avoid getting embarrassed and assuming that the quality of your life has been affected majorly, since hot flashes are something that a woman undergoes during some stage in her life.How To Obtain Relief From Hot Flashes,