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Uncovering How to Stop Hot Flashes

Jan 16, 2008
Hot flashes are common in women who are undergoing hormonal changes, often as a result of menopause. Accompanied by reddening and perspiration particularly in the face and upper body, the heart beat quickens and brings along a sense of panic to the individual experiencing hot flashes.

The exact cause of hot flashes is not known, however it appears to be associated with a reduction of the estrogen levels within the body. This correlates to the physiological change a woman goes through during menopause, and also helps explain why men who are castrated often experience hot flashes.

The main symptoms of hot flashes include a feeling of heat or warmth ranging from mild to intense, spreading throughout the face and upper body. This can be accompanied by red or blotchy skin, a rapid heartbeat and significant perspiration. Often a feeling of chill will occur as the hot flash subsides.

There are a variety of ways to treat hot flashes. Because of the hormonal nature of the condition, hormone replacement therapy is often recommended, however this is not a permanent cure. Lifestyle changes can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Remaining fit and busy and engaging in regular exercise is a good start. Drinking cool juice or herbal green tea and keeping the body cool before the monthly periods has shown to help as well.

Hot flashes can be particularly annoying at night as the heat and perspiration can interrupt sleep. Therefore, avoid sleeping in stuffy rooms and consider wearing light cotton nightwear to bed. Dietary changes include avoiding spicy foods, smoking, alcohol and caffeine. Yoga and deep breathing exercises have been shown to help as well.

So, what steps can you take to keep track of the symptoms and treatment options for hot flashes to know what works best for you? Keep a journal of any symptom that you may encounter. For instance, when you first feel reddening or perspiration related to hot flashes, make a note in a journal. Or when you experience the rapid pain or panic leading up to your period, make a note of it. Then on a regular basis keep track of any changes in these symptoms.

Once you have decided to try a type of hot flash treatment, keep another journal in which you describe the results. Have the symptoms improved? Are they worse? How frequently do you experience the symptoms and how long does it take for them to clear up?

If you are taking medication for your hot flashes, keep a record of what you take and when. Is it helping the symptoms? Are there any side effects? Keep track of when side effects occur and how severe they are. Having this information handy will help your doctor prescribe the treatment that best addresses your overall health.

Setting up journals like the ones described here is easy to do. You can use a paper worksheet, a computer word processing program, or even a spreadsheet program like Excel.

You owe it to yourself to take an active role in managing your own health. Hot flashes are a natural part of the body's aging process, and there are ways to make them less intrusive. However you need to use every tool at your disposal to make sure you get the best results possible.
About the Author
Jason Jantzi writes for www.Health-Kit.com and is a specialist in researching treatments for pain and discomfort. Download a free Hot Flash Health Kit from http://www.health-kit.com/menopause/hot-flashes/ and find out how to stop hot flashes today.
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