Control of hot flashes and your first line of defense for hot flash relief should always be adjusting your lifestyle.
Create hot flash relief naturally
Getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight, cutting spicy foods out of your diet, and wearing layered clothing are all things in your life you can improve on to help reduce hot flashes.
The evidence for exercise to help hot flashes is definitely mixed. In observational studies, women who engaged in regular physical activities reported fewer and less severe hot flashes than sedentary women.
However, it is true that strenuous exercise can actually trigger a hot flash in some women. There is a connection between raising the body temperature and experiencing hot flashes, but that's no excuse to avoid exercise.
Exercise is important especially if your workout keeps you fit and you enjoy it. Just remember to keep a bottle of water nearby in case you need to cool off in a hurry.
Herbs for Hot Flashes
You could also talk to your health care provider about herbs for hot flashes. Hot flash herbal remedies include black cohosh, ginseng, evening primrose oil, and vitamin E.
Other things you can do to relieve hot flashes
Activities that promote relaxing and relieving stress help control of hot flashes by reducing the frequency of flashes.
Yoga, meditation, getting a massage, and taking a nice long bath can help with reducing hot flashes. These activities provide natural help with menopause and are especially helpful if stress and tension trigger your hot flashes.
If these natural remedies for hot flashes don't work and you still have hot flashes interfering with your daily life, then you should talk to your doctor about drug therapy to help relieve symptoms.
Estrogen together with progesterone, or estrogen alone has been the prescription drug treatment for hot flashes since the 1970's. In the 70's, doctors concluded that their hormone therapy patients appeared healthier and younger looking than other women.
Doctors started prescribing hormone treatment to help women get control of hot flashes and relieve menopause symptoms and also as a preventive measure against heart disease and other ailments.
Later, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) found that combined therapy led to an increased risk of stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots. Also, estrogen alone for women who had a hysterectomy offered no protection against heart disease and increased risk of stroke and blood clots.
After doctors reviewed these findings, many doctors say they would still prescribe hormones for women who are suffering from moderate to severe hot flashes as long as the patient has no risk factors.
Some risk factors include history of breast cancer or endometrial cancer, heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. There are many more risk factors.
At this point in the research, the decision is very much an individual one. There's no single right answer. You have to weigh the potential risks and benefits in consultation with your doctor.
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