By Fort Wayne Custom RX
Imagine a sudden wave of intense heat rushing through your body. It’s an uncomfortable feeling instantaneous perspiration—and you swear your skin is on fire. Your heart palpitates. Redness rushes to the face and chest. You’re embarrassed. You feel like stripping down to nothing and jumping into a cold shower. Minutes slowly tick away until the feeling passes, the heat dissipating as quickly as it arrived.
If you have ever felt sensations like this, whether mild or strong, then you have experienced a hot flash. You’re not alone. Seventy-five percent of all perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women suffer from hot flashes. There are a few circumstances causing hot flashes, but one of the most common triggers is hormonal imbalance. When estrogen and progesterone levels begin to decrease, usually during a woman’s late thirties to early forties, progesterone levels tend to decrease at a faster rate than estrogen thus creating estrogen dominance.
These fluctuations can cause blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to rush through the body. The sudden increase in blood flow brings with it more heat; typically to the body’s upper half. Hot flashes aren’t dangerous but can be very uncomfortable.
Simmer-down the Hotness
• The best way to reduce hot flashes is to bring hormones back into balance through lifestyle changes, supplementation, and/or hormone replacement therapy.
• Regular exercise and eating non-starchy vegetables are good ways to help rid the body of excessive estrogen and restore fluctuating levels.
• Avoid spicy foods, hot drinks or hot showers; anything that will increase body temperature will also increase the intensity of hot flashes.
• Many herbal supplements have a hormone balancing effect in the body, which may decrease the intensity of hot flashes. Supplements to consider are: DIM (diindolylmethane), black cohosh, chaste berry extract and flax seed.
For severe hot flashes with no relief from the above measures, seek help from a healthcare provider. Doctor-prescribed bio-identical progesterone may help return your body to the natural balance it was designed to have. To ensure a proper dose of progesterone your body needs, hormone level tests are available. Take caution to avoid progestins, which are synthetic and are not the same as progesterone. The chemical structure is significantly different and can significantly interfere with the body’s natural progesterone. Low doses of progesterone with vitamin E cream are also available without a prescription.
Hot flashes are only one symptom of approaching menopause. Vaginal dryness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and weight gain are all symptoms that could occur. Talk to a pharmacist or other healthcare provider to learn how to find relief from hot flashes and other symptoms of the aging process.