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Feeling hot and sweaty? Time to Understand and Manage Hot Flashes


Woman shopping groceries

Picture this scenario: You walk out of a store, hands full, when suddenly beads of sweat start trickling down your forehead. Your clothing is damp with sweat, as if you've just emerged from a shower. This experience, known as a hot flash, is a common symptom of perimenopause, a transitional phase signaling the approach of menopause in a woman's life.


The Physiology of Perimenopause


Perimenopause, the precursor to menopause, typically affects women in their late 30s to mid-50s. This phase is marked by reduced estrogen production from the ovaries, leading to hormonal imbalances.


Estrogen plays a key role in regulating body temperature; its decline causes disruptions in the body's temperature control, resulting in hot flashes, often concentrated in the face, neck, and chest. Triggers include stress, spicy foods, and alcohol, though they primarily originate from hormonal changes.


Treatment Options for Hot Flashes


Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)


HRT involves supplementing the body with estrogen and progesterone to counteract their decline. However, the therapy carries risks, such as increased blood clots and breast cancer risk, which should be discussed with a healthcare professional.


Acupuncture



Study shows that acupuncture appears to be beneficial as the first line of treatment when a woman is still exploring alternative help. Clinical trials demonstrate significant symptom reduction following a six-week acupuncture course, presenting an effective option for those seeking non-medical treatments.


Probiotics



Achieving optimal relief from menopausal symptoms sometimes necessitates permanent changes to diet and lifestyle, as not all treatments are equally effective for everyone. Dietary and lifestyle modifications can significantly bolster menopausal health, and incorporating probiotics into the diet is one such strategy.


During the menopausal transition, the gut's restoration is often disrupted. Probiotics help in rebalancing the gut, enhancing overall health, and equipping the body to more effectively manage symptoms. They also support the proper functioning of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain responsible for controlling body temperature.


Foods containing live culture probiotics include:

  • Yogurt - popular brands such as Activia, Yoplait, and Dannon.

  • Kefir - popular brands like Evolve Kefir, Wallaby Organic, and Greenvalley Creamery.

  • Dark Chocolate - renowned brands including Whittaker’s, Lindt Lindor, and Godiva.

  • Cheddar and Feta Cheese - well-known brands such as Belcube, Apetina, and Babybel.


Phytoestrogens



Herbal ingredients rich in phytoestrogens include:


  • Red clover, which contains isoflavones, acting as anti-inflammatories and boosting the immune system. E.g., Planet Organic, Traditional Medicinals.

  • TCM Dong quai, known as "female ginseng," enhances blood circulation by stabilizing blood pressure and heart rate. It helps regulate the hypothalamus to prevent overheating and maintain a consistent body temperature. E.g., Nutricost, Now.


When foods containing phytoestrogens are combined with essential vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, these compounds collectively enhance the body's natural self-regulation. This synergy can lead to a reduced occurrence of hot flashes.


A Holistic Approach to Perimenopause


Navigating perimenopause requires a multifaceted approach, combining medical treatments, natural therapies, and lifestyle adjustments. Women are encouraged to explore these options with healthcare professionals to find the most suitable methods for their individual needs.


 

Important Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.


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