What causes hot flashes?
The cause isn’t totally understood. The hypothalamus part of our brain may play a part.
That’s where hormones are produced to regulate our core body temperature as well as certain other functions of the body.
When estrogen begins to decline, the hypothalamus becomes more sensitive to slight changes in our body temperature.
When a small rise in temperature is detected, your hypothalamus attempts to cool you down.
It dilates blood vessels near your skin’s surface to increase blood flow and let loose heat. Suddenly you may feel warm, flushed or be dripping sweat.
While hot flashes may be a symptom for something else, such as certain types of cancer, for the purpose of this post, we’re discussing hot flashes related to menopausal changes.
What triggers hot flashes?
Some triggers may be related to the following:
food and liquids you consume (coffee, spicy foods, sugar, citrus fruit or large meals),
lifestyle factors (stress, alcohol, smoking, certain medications or intense exercise) or
weight gain (a higher BMI).
Did you know that some menopausal women who lost weight were able to eliminate their hot flashes? Win-win!
So let’s discuss five ways thought to alleviate hot flashes naturally.
#1 – Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds contain an abundance of lignan precursors. Lignans are a type of plant compound known as polyphenols.
Taking polyphenols prior to menopause may help to modulate daily estrogen levels.
Thus by the time you reach menopause and your levels have dropped, you might not experience a dramatic drop.
Flaxseeds also contain fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both are powerhouses for better gut and heart health, two additional benefits!
Whether or not flaxseeds can help lessen the number of your hot flashes or their intensity is debatable. More research is needed.
The same can be said for taking Evening Primrose Oil, though it worked for me.
It’s pretty easy to increase your intake of flaxseeds.
Add a tablespoon or two into your smoothie or sprinkle them on almost anything (cereal, salads, nut butters, and so forth).
They’re also super easy to add in when you’re baking. How about some delicious muffins?
It’s best to purchase ground flaxseeds in order to get most of their benefits because much of the healthy compounds are stored beneath their hard outer shell.
Flaxseeds also turn rancid quickly when exposed to the air. Try keeping them sealed securely and stored in your refrigerator.
Consuming them daily may reduce breast cancer risk.
Regarding side effects: flaxseeds (and flaxseed oil) may produce a laxative-type effect in some people. Be sure to take them with plenty of water.
An adverse reaction may occur if you take them with diabetes and blood thinning medications.
So before adding flaxseeds to your diet, please consult with your physician.
#2 – Water
Be sure to drink plenty of water!
When you get hot flashes, you’re losing more water than you normally would – similar to when you exercise.
In fact, it may be advisable to drink eight glasses of water daily or at least increase your normal consumption. Doing so may decrease the onset of hot flashes.
And when you do feel a hot flash coming on, be sure the water you drink is cool.
A good habit is to make sure you don’t reach the point of feeling overly thirsty. Always having water within reach is a great reminder to drink more often.
And keep some water by your bedside. Hot flashes tend to occur at night.
Have you ever held your wrists under cool water to lower your body temp on a hot summer’s day?
To lessen the discomfort from hot flashes try something similar. Splash your face with cool water, too.
Other natural ways to stave off hot flashes include:
#3 Daily Exercising (swimming, dancing, cycling, and walking),
#4 Breathing Deeply (a.m. and p.m.) 5-7 slow breaths/minute at the onset of a hot flash and
#5 A Cool Environment (use fans or ac during the day and lower your bedroom temp at night).
So now I’d like to hear from you. Please comment below with your suggestions or tips for finding relief from hot flashes.