Each woman experiences menopause differently, therefore the duration and intensity of hot flashes varies.
You may have them for a very short time during menopause; sometimes they last for a year or so, or you may never have them.
You may have them once every hour or only occasionally; they can occur any time during the day or night.
They might feel like a brief warm flashing on your face, or an intense heat on your whole upper body, with intense sweating.
Hot Flashes Causes
Hot flashes are your body's response to a decreased supply of estrogen. At natural menopause, the production of estrogen decreases gradually, producing few flashes. At surgical menopause, when ovaries stop working abruptly, you experience severe hot flashes.
Dropping estrogen levels confuse the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls appetite, sleep, sex hormones and temperature), also known as heat regulatory area of the brain, or the thermostat, and it makes the body think it is too hot. This activates the body's heat releasing mechanism where it causes the blood vessels to dilate, the heart rate to increase, and sweat glands to open, in the effort to cool the body off.
The result is the unpleasant rush of heat, perspiration, dizziness, and pounding heart. Your skin temperature rises, a feeling of warmth moves upwards from your chest to your shoulders, neck and head. Your face looks flushed with red blotches. You may sweat, and as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you may feel chilled, weak and slightly faint. The sudden feeling of heat may be followed by a cold sensation, as evaporation of perspiration occurs. If it happens during your sleep, they are called night sweats and they may lead to insomnia.
Though these hot flashes symptoms may be very severe, they are not life-threatening and they are temporary.
Phytoestrogenic herbs - plants containing a plant hormone called phytoestrogen, whose chemical structure is nearly identical to the estrogen produced in the human body. These herbs help the body to raise the hormonal level, especially at surgical menopause.
Chasteberry (Vitex) - contains estrogen and progesterone like compounds, which regulate the hormonal imbalance. In Europe it is actually the most favorite herbal remedy for menopause.
Licorice root - has historically been used for a variety of female disorders. It reduces estrogen while increasing progesterone.
Other plants in this category: Evening Primrose, Blue Cohosh, Ginko Biloba, Garlic, Parsley, Pomegranate seeds, Fennel Squaw.
Non-estrogenic herbs - facilitate and stimulate the body's own hormonal production, normalizing hormonal levels. These herbs are helpful for natural menopause and are increasingly being used as a natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The best known plant in this category is Maca Root.
Anti hydrolyc plants - like Sage Leaf, which reduces the excessive sweating.
Hot Flash Relief Tips
Try to identify your hot flashes triggers; keep a record and avoid those triggers. Dietary triggers could be sugars, spicy food, caffeine or alcohol. Lifestyle triggers are hot showers, saunas, hot tubs.
Have you tried my Herbal Solutions? Do you have any suggestions?
Ask your questions or make comments on anything related to Menopause. It's quick and easy. Everyone is welcome! The idea here is to help and be helped. Come on in, let's join together to solve our problems!
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Hot flashes driving me crazy! I am 47 years old and my period stopped 5 months ago. My doctor said that I will enter menopause soon, though I am not 50 yet. About 3 years ago I started …...