Hot flashes affect most of the menopausal women in America, and some other persons under certain medical conditions. It is a hot feeling in the upper body, particularly the neck and face. The patient turns red in the face. Sweating, heart palpitations, dizziness and headache may accompany it. When the attack is over you feel chilly. It is caused by hormonal fluctuations that take place during menopause. Through some mechanism, the blood vessels get enlarged and more blood flows. This causes the flushed face and feeling of excess heat.
The most effective treatment had been hormone replacement therapy. But its side effects, specially the chances of getting cancer, make it a last resort. There are other management techniques and herbal medications available to treat hot flashes. For the persons prone to hot flashes, some things trigger them. By keeping a record of certain lifestyle events and the occurrence of hot flashes, you may be able to pinpoint the trigger and stop the attack.
Among the possible triggers, stress takes the first position. In an interesting study, menopausal women from Hong Kong, Pakistan, Mexico and Japan had only a 10% problem of hot flashes. In America it is 75%. The main difference identified is stress.
Hot spicy food, caffeine and alcohol are the other triggers that need attention. Alcohol, especially red wine, can release epinephrine, which is a trigger for hot flashes. Avoid hot environments. Try to keep your thermostat on the lowest tolerable temperature for you. Hot baths may also act as a trigger, as the skin blood vessels dilate naturally. While hormonal changes may be a natural physical occurrence for menopausal women, it is the emotional pressure that brings on many disorders including hot flashes. Anxiety, panic disorders, depression and suppressed anger are all good triggers.
Identifying the triggers and avoiding them is a good way to go in managing hot flashes.
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