Of the more than 50 million women in the United States who are currently going through menopause, it is estimated that approximately 85% suffer from hot flashes. During these moments women feel an overwhelming increase in body temperature, which can be uncomfortable as well as embarrassing. Finding a way to control hot flashes, even though they are harmless, can improve a woman’s quality of life during this time of natural transitions.
Although there are other symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, irritability and anxiety, hot flashes are perhaps most upsetting. Here are five naturally effective ways to cool the sudden flood of heat.
- Relax: One way to control hot flashes is to avoid stress. Stress has been reported as a leading cause in an increase of hot flashes, so work on managing the stress in your life. Try to find time throughout your day to take small breaks. Close your eyes and focus on pleasant, relaxing images. Yoga, reading, and taking 10 cleansing breaths in the morning can help you feel more balanced and calm, which helps control hot flashes.
- Don’t smoke: It’s not cool, and it can make you hot, in a flash! To help control hot flashes, kick your tobacco habit and focus on healthy living. Not only has smoking been tied directly to increased hot flashes, it is unhealthy, and it contributes to skin wrinkling –something most menopausal women would like to avoid.
- Black Cohosh (Cimifuga racemosa): This is a natural herb that has been widely researched and is used in Europe to treat menopausal hot flashes. It acts as a natural way to control hot flashes and make you feel more comfortable. Black Cohosh is readily available in supplement form, such as Natural Transitions, an herbal women’s hormone support formula.
- Exercise: Getting into a regular exercise routine has been shown to help control hot flashes, as well as many other symptoms of menopause. When you work out, you release endorphins that help to put you in a good mood, and your body releases hormones that control hot flashes.
- Avoid stimulants: Stay away from spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine if you’re trying to control hot flashes. Spicy foods can trigger hot flashes by boosting the internal temperature of your body. Drinks containing large amounts of caffeine can act as a diuretic, which reduces calcium and magnesium in your body. These minerals are important for maintaining feelings of calm and wellbeing. Alcoholic beverages can open the blood vessels and create feelings of warmth – not something you want to feel when trying to control hot flashes.
If you suffer from hot flashes, know that you aren’t alone, and that there are natural ways to diminish the discomfort. Taking steps to control hot flashes can keep hot flashes from controlling the way you feel.