Are you going through menopause? Do you get hot flashes too frequently?
If you clicked on this article, odds are, that you’re already going through menopause. Though, hot flashes can occur due to thyroid problems and stress too.
Sadly, more than half of postmenopausal women regularly experience hot flashes throughout the rest of their lives. However, the time period for them just varies from person to person.
Hot flashes usually occur during the 50’s – so if you’re younger than that, it would be better if you visit a doctor. The symptoms can be worse when the room temperature is high or you’re outside on a sunny day.
Learning how to deal with hot flushes can be useful since you might experience them later in life too. Here are 10 easy tricks you can use to overcome hot flashes naturally:
1. Exercise daily
Are you a sedentary woman? If yes, then you may need to start getting physically active as soon as possible.
According to a report by CNN, sedentary women experience more severe symptoms of menopause than physically active women. The study found that women who lead sedentary lives have a 21℅ risk of experiencing more hot flashes.
Also, they were more likely to become depressed or feel upset. If you really want to ease your symptoms, you should try to exercise 30 minutes and 3 days a week at least.
If you want, you can even split the time into 3 sessions of 10 minutes each day. Also, instead of worrying about getting motivated to hit the gym, try moving around and walking to get yourself in an active mood.
It is important to know that exercise may not ease all of your menopausal symptoms but can help in easing hot flashes and making your mental health better. Go for walks often during the day and try to engage more in simple cardio sessions.
2. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh was discovered two centuries ago and people have been using it ever since that time. Even to this day, a lot of women still try black cohosh to reduce hot flashes or even other menopausal symptoms.
It has proven to relieve menopausal symptoms, as well as menstrual cramps.
Multiple studies by NCBI show that black cohosh can be effective for women going through postmenopausal symptoms and premenopausal symptoms.
In 2009, it was even approved by Germany for treating menopausal symptoms, premenstrual discomfort, and painful menstruation.
Studies have shown that black cohosh improves both psychological and physical symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats, anxiety, and even hot flashes.
Black cohosh works because it balances and supports hormonal levels, which then reduces the intensity of hot flashes.
Also, it works perfectly for almost everyone, but it might not be effective for every person.
A study by the University of Maryland Medical Center asked 120 women with menopausal symptoms to use black cohosh. Turns out, black cohosh is even more effective than an antidepressant, when it comes to treating night sweats or hot flashes.
There are no side effects of using black cohosh and it can be even used by women suffering from breast cancer.
3. Evening Primrose Oil
In 2013, a study by NCBI showed that evening primrose oil can reduce the intensity of hot flashes.
The oil was first used for stomach aches, hemorrhoids, and respiratory infections, but now it has been getting popular for easing hot flashes during menopause. Usually, evening primrose remedies are made up of its essential oil, which gets extracted from its seeds.
So, is evening primrose oil actually good for treating menopausal hot flashes?
Even though evening primrose oil is not very effective for decreasing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, but it is still popular. Women report that they only noticed their hot flashes being less intense, but nonetheless, the number and duration of the hot flashes didn’t decrease.
The results are all mixed up. The oil works for some women, and for others – it doesn’t. To put it into one sentence, you can say that evening primrose oil isn’t the most effective for treating hot flashes.
To sum it all up, meanwhile, you can’t get any other herb or medicine for treatment, at least you can try evening primrose oil.
It may turn out to be too effective, but the results vary from person to person.
4. Simple Breathing Techniques
Deep and slow breathing can decrease the frequency of menopausal hot flashes by almost 50%, according to the NWHN (National Women’s Health Network).
To get started with breathing exercises, try taking one deep breath until your chest gets full, hold it in for 3 seconds, and then exhale slowly. Continue doing this until you feel relaxed.
You need to practice ahead of time when you feel a hot flash coming on. As your ribcage expands due to deep breaths, it will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system that helps you regulate temperature and be calm.
So when you’re stressed out, the breathing will help you calm down and ease hot flashes as well. You just have to try to relax as much as you can and let the breathing shorten your flash.
In short, paced breathing helps in slowing your breathing rate, making hot flashes milder, or even shortening hot flashes.
5. Dietary changes
A change in diet may alleviate hot flashes. Foods like alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, and chocolate can trigger menopausal hot flashes. The best thing to do is to keep yourself a bit away from these, even if your hot flashes get better or not.
Another action you can take is to start a plant-based diet, which contains a lot of phytoestrogens—that has almost the same molecular structure to estrogen—which can help in decreasing hot flashes. You can even try consuming more legumes, nuts, oilseeds, and soy products.
When it comes to spicy foods, it’s a no-no! When you’re going through menopause, your own internal cooling system gets finicky. Go easy on spicy foods, since anything that gets your body’s temperature up (even slightly) can end up triggering a hot flash.
Along with that, pay more attention to your food triggers. Avoid eating anything that triggers your hot flashes.
When your hormones are back to normal, you may be able to continue eating spicy foods again. For now, you need to give up spicy foods and anything that triggers your hot flashes.
Ginseng is basically used for treating memory loss and menopausal symptoms. Though, there’s not much research to provide proof for the claim.
Many women have reported improvement in menopausal symptoms after using ginseng.
However, researchers believe that it contains phytoestrogens, just like plants do. That’s why researchers believe that it helps in relieving menopausal symptoms. On the other hand, some doubt its effectiveness and think it’s a placebo effect.
Give it a try to see if it works for you.
Researchers wanted to find out if acupuncture works well for treating menopausal symptoms or not. When they conducted the study, they found out that acupuncture may reduce the occurrence and intensity of hot flashes.
To be exact, acupuncture decreases the frequency of night sweats and hot flashes by 36%.
Women that went for traditional acupuncture treatment showed significant improvement in their symptoms, compared to women who chose placebo acupuncture.
It’s not guaranteed, similar to herbs, that acupuncture would suit everyone that tries it. However, it is important to talk to your doctor about possible natural treatments before you try something. Again, results may vary from person to person.
Acupuncture has no side effects, as long as you’re getting it from a licensed clinic.
8. Vitamin C & E
Ascorbic acid, known as vitamin C, can decrease hot flashes when taken as a combination along with hesperidin. You can consume the combination which is already available as a natural compound in citrus fruits.
Make sure you have a diet that contains a significant amount of citrus fruits, as it can calm down your menopausal symptoms and hot flashes.
As for vitamin E, it has been proven to be useful when used as an alternative treatment for menopausal hot flashes.
Research by Tarbiat Modarres University tested the effectiveness of vitamin E on menopausal hot flashes. Participants were asked to take 400 IU vitamin E on a daily basis for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed that vitamin E lessened the severity of menopausal hot flashes in participants.
A purely natural way to consume vitamin E is by having a diet full of almonds, kiwi fruit, avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds, squash, and leafy greens.
Vitamin E may work for some people, and you should definitely try it if you really want to try natural ways to cope with hot flashes.
9. Flaxseed oil
The fatty acids found in flaxseed can be useful in decreasing hot flashes during menopause.
Also, flaxseed has plant lignans, that are similar to estrogen and might result in balancing estrogen levels in women going through menopause.
Studies show that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can lessen the severity of menopausal symptoms. The good news is that flaxseed is plant-based, so it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians as well.
A review of 2 studies showed that omega-3 fatty acids were associated with less severity in menopausal symptoms, which is probably why Japanese women have less menopausal symptoms compared to women of other countries.
10. Reduce the heat
Try turning down your thermostat, and open the windows up. If you have an air conditioner or even just a fan, use it as much as you can.
Keeping the temperature of your room below 70°F throughout the day and nearly 65°F during the night may help your body’s temperature to be on the average scale.
Also, try to avoid going out much when the weather is too hot for you. Don’t try sunbathing or even going for hot tubs. Just keep doing your best on staying off hot asphalt.