Hot Flashes Alternative Therapies  

Research highlights that 50 percent of women experience hot flashes during the years leading to menopause and the same percentage elevates to 75 or 80 percent for those in the menopausal phase of their lives. Although menopause is associated with several disturbing symptoms like night sweats, mood swings vagina dryness and decrease in libido; hot flashes are the most common and frequently experienced trauma during these years.

The North American Menopause Society is not very clear on the precise cause of hot flashes during menopause but the researchers put forth decrease in the estrogen level as the root cause of the problem. Studies highlight that the decline in this hormone level communicates a message to the temperature regulation unit of the body that is the hypothalamus; which in turn triggers the cooling procedure despite there being no actual need for the same. This is soon followed by a series of reactions that include dilation of blood vessels near the skin surface resulting in redness in the regions of the face and neck, and perspiration aimed at reduction of body heat.

Chemicals known as phytoestrogens are believed to possess weak estrogen activity. These chemicals are present in several herbs and foods, the consumption of which can certainly reduce the effect of hot flashes. In this respect, the intake of soy products such as soy milk, soybean, soya flour, tofu and tempeh is highly recommended as isoflavones are the phytoestrogens in these foods.

As per information furnished by Chinese Medicine News, women have reported a 57 percent reduction in the incidence of hot flashes by including 60 milligrams of isoflavone in their diet.

Stress also seems to play a vital role in the occurrence of hot flashes. According to studies conducted at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, implementation of stress minimizing techniques is a sure shot relief measure for hot flashes. As per a study conducted in September 2006, women experienced a 40 percent reduction in the intensity of hot flashes after being enrolled in a training program for a span of 11 weeks. During this program, these women were trained to practice stress relieving techniques like deep breathing and yoga.

Some of the other alternative remedies for obtaining relief from hot flashes include avoiding the intake of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and spicy foods as these are known triggers of hot flashes; wearing light and loose fitting clothes; keeping the room temperature low through usage of fans or air conditioners; placing cold packs under the pillow at night; and taking black cohosh and vitamins B and E supplements.

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