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What Are Hot Flashes?- Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

What are Hot Flashes?

Hot Flashes are a symptom of menopause or perimenopausal phase. It is a sudden feeling of heat and leads to a red flushed face. It also leads to immediate sweating. Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women have a rapid heart rate or chills, too. When they happen at night while you are fast asleep, the are called night sweats. They can often cause disturbance in your sleep.

Causes of Hot Flashes:

The main cause of hot flashes in your body are the hormonal changes. Apart from that, there are a few external factors which may also contribute to hot flashes. They are as under:

1. Eating Spicy Food:

Eating spicy food can cause the incidences of hot flashes to become more prominent. They can aggravate as well due to eating oily and friend food stuff.

2. Drink Less Alcohol to prevent Hot Flashes:

Alcoholism can further aggravate the situation. The body gets heated up while the metabolism of alcohol and this can cause the body to heat up.

3. Smoking causes Hot Flashes:

Negative lifestyle habits like smoking can also cause hot flashes. Smoking naturally increases the bodily temperature to increase and rise. This leads to increased incidences of hot flashes among women.

4. Pregnancy:

In the first and the second trimester the body undergoes various hormonal changes. This increases the incidences of hot flash during pregnancy. You may wake up sweating in the middle of the night. Do not panic, this is a normal symptom during pregnancy.

5. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is a compulsory treatment if a person has cancer. With the rise in incidences of breast cancer, this treatment has become very common. Chemotherapy involves a lot of medications and treatments. These medications have heavy implications on your body an also on your hormonal cycles. This could be a cause of hot flashes as well. Hence heavy medications is an external and potent cause of hot flashes among women.

6. Diseases like hyperthyroidism and diabetes:

Suffering from diseases like diabetes and hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism requires to have medicines administered on a daily basis. This hence cause hormonal fluctuations among women. This too could be a cause of hot flashes.

Prevention of Hot Flashes:

1. Stay Cool:

Use fans and air conditions at night to stay cool. The air circulation in your room is extremely important. The effect of hot flashes will reduce in natural ventilation and air. Hot flashes can be easily managed in natural air. Look out for cool rooms and well ventilated places. Spacious places and less furniture in your room is going to be an effective key in managing hot flashes as well.

2. Exercising:

Exercising regularly keeps your body light and active. This activity keeps your body in good shape as well as helps in managing hot flashes. The regulation of bodily heat is extremely crucial. Exercising keeps your body temperature regulated and also reduces fat in your body. Reduction of fat is also directly proportional to efficient management of hot flashes.

3. Deep Breathing Practice to manage Hot Flashes:

Practicing deep breathing exercise will lead to more and more oxygen in your blood streams. Oxygen is a key to life. Taking deep breaths will increase the supply of oxygen in your body and will help your body to keep up with your hot flashes incidences. Try slow, deep breaths. Take breaths for about  6-8 minutes continuously. The slow breathing exercise will also help your senses to calm down.

4. Activities like swimming:

Being active does not only include exercising in gyms. Practising activities like swimming and dancing can calm your senses and also make your body healthy. Walk, swim, cycle and dance to regulate your bodily heat. It produces good hormones in your body.

5. Consuming the Right Food:

Consuming healthy food items like soy products, tofu and other healthy items lead to estrogen production and will lead to prevention of hot flashes incidences. Doctors recommend you get your soy from foods like tofu and edamame rather than supplements. Drinking herbal teas that cam your senses and induce good and sound sleep and relieve stress will be effective in managing hot flashes incidences during the night. Drink herbal teas like chamomile tea, lavendar tea regulates body temperature. However, take expert advice from your doctor and drink these herbal teas to prevent any type of clashing of their effects with your medications.

6. Using Ice Pack:

Using ice pack on your body while sleeping or performing your daily activities will help to manage hot flashes very well. Keep it handy beside your table for emergency purposes. When you perspire, keep your calm and do not panic.

7. Reduce Alcohol Intake:

Cut down on the number of your pegs and party drinks. You will notice immediate effect in your hot flashes when you reduce your alcohol intake. It will have positive health effects on your body and prevent you fro other related diseases also.

8. Avoid Spicy Food:

Eating spicy food is a cause of hot flash and hence needs to be controlled. Avoid deep fried and junk food to keep fat deposition in your body under control.

9. Yoga and Meditation:

Yoga will help your body become more and more flexible. It also increases your body’s endurance to the problem of hot flashes. Yoga involves deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing causes reduction in hot flashes incidences.

10. Stop Smoking:

Smoking is also a cause of hot flashes. One must thus ensure a healthy life style and stop smoking. Smoking is extremely detrimental to health and can cause problems of asthma and lung cancer as well.

Treatment of Hot Flashes:

1. Endurance and Natural Treatment:

The best treatment of hot flashes is to endure it. To regulate the body temperature of your body using natural ways and exercises is the key to management of hot flashes. Avoiding hot flashes using medication is not encouraged. Use natural ways and effective home treatments to encourage management of hot flashes.

2.  Hormone Replacement Therapy:

If natural treatments and therapy cannot solve your problem, the doctors may suggest Hormone Replacement Therapy. The therapy is used to solve your menopausal and premenopausal phase. The hormonal fluctuations need to be regularised and medications are administered for the same. The medications include anti-depression medicines and anti-seizure medicines.

3. Treatment of Hyperthyroidism:

If hyperthyroidism, beta-blockers, or antithyroid medications cause your hot flashes, there are medications used to relieve symptoms. Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases to remove the malfunctioning areas of the thyroid gland.

Hot Flashes may not be a very common problem but it is not something to panic about. There are various home remedies for hot flashes. Frequent exercises and adaptation of a healthy lifestyle is the key to management f this problem. The problem becomes less prominent with time and may not require medications at all. You must keep calm and relax to ensure that hot flashes do not take an adverse toll to your health. Also adapt healthy food habits and indulge in activities to keep you stress free and active.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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