A hot flash is a phenomenon that precedes menopause by a couple of years. Menopause, as you are aware, is the point of time in your life when your periods stop. This is due to certain hormonal changes in your body and hot flashes are also known to be caused by the depleting production of estrogen.
So what does this decrease in the estrogen reserves of your body really mean? Apart from being a key chemical substance in the processes of ovulation and menstruation it also helps the human brain in maintaining a suitable body temperature. With menopause getting closer, estrogen quantities fall rapidly which results in the involuntary overheating of the body or a Hot Flash.
Hot flashes have variable intensity and duration and are generally classified into two categories based on the above factors. A regular hot flash is quick and reaches its maximum intensity in about a minute or so. The flash then quickly fades in intensity once it has reached a maximum value.
The second type of hot flashes is termed as ‘slow’ or ’ember’ flashes. Ember flashes are the long lasting kind, sometimes persisting for as long as half an hour. Despite appearing just as quickly as a regular flash, an ember flash is less intense in comparison. Another difference is the non-seasonal nature of the ember flashes (regular flashes are stronger in the summer).
But no matter what their type may be, hot flashes are a sure indicator of the impending arrival of menopause. Hot flashes and other symptoms associated with the menopause can be treated to reduce the suffering. However, menopause, which ultimately causes the menstruation cycles to cease, is inevitable and cannot be avoided.
Severe hot flashes, night sweats and subsequent fatigue can be treated using several methods. One such method includes hormone replacement therapy but it may have unavoidable side-effects. A better option is to consider natural remedies and making changes to your lifestyle to assist you in overcoming hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
Perhaps the most important factor that affects the frequency of hot flashes is the food that you consume. By controlling what you eat, you can avoid these flashes to a great extent.
You should cut on your caffeine consumption. Alcohol, coffee and tea are sources of caffeine while the much beloved chocolate also contains high quantities of the chemical.
You should also stay away from spicy foods which are known to set off hot flashes.
Stay away from the sun. Do not indulge yourself in Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. Take cold showers and baths. In short, prevent over-exposure of your body to external heat sources which disturb the body temperature. These disturbances, in the absence of estrogen, are not well interpreted by the brain and a hot flash follows this confusion.
Another important step involving a change in your lifestyle is to change the way you dress. Wear cotton clothes instead of wood and silk. Your clothing should be layered to give you some control over the body temperature. Make sure that your sheets are not synthetic. Also have a glass of ice water nearby while you sleep in case you sense an approaching hot flash.
The menopause is a natural process and so are its symptoms. However, there are many natural ways to avoid discomfort once they start appearing. Therefore, you do not have to suffer in silence and can choose whichever treatment method suits you best.
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