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If you’re a woman, hot flashes will be a way of life when menopause hits. Hot flashes are one of the side effects of a changing hormonal situation. The duration of time that you’ll have hot flashes can vary.
Some women experience this side effect briefly, while for other women, it seems to last forever – even if it actually doesn’t. A hot flash can make you feel like you’ve stepped fully clothed into a steaming sauna.
You feel overwhelming heat and sometimes that can hit you out of the blue. You’re fine one minute and feeling hotter than you can remember ever feeling the next. A hot flash can make your heart race and it can make you feel (and look) flushed.
You may also start to sweat profusely. When this happens at night as part of menopause, it’s known as night sweats. You get hot flashes solely because your hormones are changing as you age – although some women can get them due to a hormonal imbalance or other medical conditions.
Certain things can trigger a hot flash – such as drinking beverages that contain caffeine or having a meal or snack that contains something spicy. There are some remedies that you can try to make the hot flashes go away.
You can take natural supplements, which is something that many women try because they don’t have the dangerous side effects that some hormone replacement therapies do.
Other women turn to essential oils or try herbs in natural or supplemental form, which are known to bring relief. Products like red clover or black cohosh are commonly used to bring relief from menopause symptoms.
Evening primrose oil, which is known to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS, also works to give relief from menopause side effects. Sometimes, natural remedies don’t work for some women, so they turn to hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
These are hormones that are synthetic in nature that can be used when the side effects of menopause are too difficult to handle without intervention. When you take estrogen, it restores the balance within your hormones – which is one reason why hot flashes occur.
Women often take a combination hormone pill to minimize the side effects of HRT.
For women who aren’t candidates for HRT and nothing seems to bring relief for hot flashes, there are non-hormone based treatments that have selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or (SSRI), which give relief without estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progestin ingredients.
Other treatments include medication that’s used to help other health issues – such as ones used to treat depression. Studies have found that anti-depressants can also work to make hot flashes go away.