How to Alleviate Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are sudden temporary increases in body temperature that feel like a sudden fever. Hot flashes are common in women during menopause. How to alleviate hot flashes will depend on the frequency and the degree of discomfort experienced.

Steps

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    Determine the degree of severity of the symptoms associated with hot flashes. Hot flashes will emerge in various increments. The symptoms may last for several months or years. The degrees of severity are:
    • Mild: feeling a sudden sensation of heat without sweating.
    • Moderate: heat accompanied by sweating, but able to conduct normal activities.
    • Severe: feeling overheated accompanied with sweating and the inability to conduct normal activities without discomfort.
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    Prepare yourself for night sweats. Night sweats are the most common discomfort associated with hot flashes.
    • As the name indicates, night sweats occur at night often accompanied by disruption of sleep. A person can become irritable, short-tempered, tired and disagreeable due to sleep deprivation.
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    Communicate your concerns with a health care professional. Health care staff that specialize in this area can prescribe the proper treatment that will either halt the symptoms or reduce the frequency and discomfort. Consulting your doctor before you use any type of treatment is recommended to ensure that the method you plan to use is safe and effective at the same time.
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    Review the various hormone therapy treatment options for hot flashes that are available to you.
    • The most common option used is hormone therapy, which consists of using estrogen or progesterone.
    • Progesterone - Estrogen combined with progestin, also called the combination, has been found to be very effective in the treatment of hot flashes. It is safe for women with their uterus intact.
    • Estrogen only should be used if the hot flashes were induced due to a hysterectomy or other surgically induced menopause.
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    Consider alternative treatment options to manage hot flashes.
    • Alternatives include dietary and herbal supplements such as soy, black cohosh, evening primrose, ginseng, chamomile, echinacea, St. John's wort, garlic and ginkgo.
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    • Green tea can temporarily ease the discomforts.
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    • Acupuncture involves inserting sharp and thin needles into various parts of the body to relieve pain or discomfort.
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    • Discontinue or decrease caffeine intake. Caffeine increases the blood pressure, which contributes to perspiration.
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    • Wear cotton clothing. Cotton is light and allows for absorption of perspiration
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    • Yoga creates relaxation by easing or eliminating tension and stress.
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    Know the possible health risks associated with using a prescribed or alternative treatment for hot flashes.
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    The risks and side effects can be life threatening. Inform your health care professional if you or a family member were diagnosed with any of the following:
    • Blood clots.
    • Gallbladder disease.
    • Stroke and heart attacks.
    • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.
    • Breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Tips

  • Never stop taking medication prescribed to you without consulting your physician.

Warnings

  • Take medication only as directed to avoid increased health risks.

Article Info

Categories: Women’s Health