Hot flashes (or hot flushes) are one of the most frequent symptoms of perimenopause (the time before menopause actually starts) and menopause.
Hot flashes occur when the blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate to cool. They can also come at night along with sweating, known as night sweats. More than half of women in the U.S. and Canada experience hot flashes during perimenopause but not all women going through menopause have hot flashes. Hot flashes last from 30 seconds to several minutes at a time.
They usually subside between the first and second year after menopause, when estrogen levels stabilize in the body at a lower level. They are a normal part of life during perimenopause and after menopause, and are caused by the declining estrogen levels. They don’t require medical treatment.
If you are in the public eye, it may be hard to tolerate the perspiration that can come with them. Your Doctor can not tell you how long your hot flashes/night sweats may be with you through this transition.
Every woman’s body is different, so what works for one may not have any affect on another person.
Some women eat and drink a lot of soy to even out hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms. Soy products are controversial but Dr Gary Null says, “There have been over 5,000 studies done on soy and 98% of them show it is a safe choice.” To find out more about soy, click here .
Make sure you do your own research. I have read that there is a big difference in the way soy is processed in the US and in other countries.
Dietary changes, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals that include low-fat, high-fiber foods, may help hot flashes beome less frequent.
Black cohosh (20 mg to 60 mg 3 times daily) often provides effective relief of hot flashes, as well as other symptoms of menopause including headaches, heart palpitations, and anxiety.
To sleep without interruption from becoming too hot, check out Cool Jams.