Hot Flashes are the most common symptom for women in perimenopause and are experienced by as much as 75% in women.
They commonly occur as feelings of intense heat that come on suddenly and slowly.
Alternatively they may experience tingling, a red or fushed face, sweating and burning skin or dizziness, chills, nausea, night sweats and a feeling of the heart beating faster.
They can last from just seconds to ten minutes but on average around four minutes. These can occur every few days or a few times a day.
The official cause is not yet understood but a hypotheysis states that its linked to the brain, specifically to a narrowing of the thermoneutral zone of the brains thermoregulatory mechanism. Which means that it's a narrowing of the range of tempurature that the hypothalamus considers to be normal.
This narrowing is affected by estrogen when it fluctuates especially from high to low. However you are less likely to experience hot flashes if your estrogen is on the low end on average, its the fluctuation that causes the affect.
As well as hormone therapy diet and lifestyle can play a huge role in management and reduction of symptoms
Here are some diet and lifestyle tips that may help with hot flashes
Alcohol- If hot flashes are a problem cutting out alcohol will be of benefit. It doesn't have to be forever. Spicy foods can be another trigger
Diet- As always eating a healthy well balanced diet will benefit. Try to avoid too much processed foods. Think the 80/20 rule
Stress mangement- Stress management plays a huge role in how our hypothalumus in the brain responds. The role of neurotransmitters is why stress management is so important during perimenopause. The more stressed you feel the more likely you will suffer from hot flashes.
Exercise- Exercise is proven to help with hot flashes as well as it's many other benefits.
Ideally aim for 3 strength training sessions a week and incorporate some yoga for balance and stress management. Yoga is also shown to reduce night sweats, anxiety and suprisingly vaginal dryness.
Magensium- Most of us a deficient in magnesium due to poor sole quality and studies have shown it's effective for hot flash management.
Balck cohosh- Is another supplement that has undergone several clinical trials for hot flashes. It seems to interact with seratonin, dopamine and opiod receptors in the brain.
Of course speak with a medical professional before embarking on supplementation particularly if you are taking other medication.
Try not to get too stressed on the onset of a hot flash it will only make it worse. Accept it, breath through it and be prepared. Wearing layers of easily removable clothing can be a good idea along with a hand held fan and a small bag of toiletries.