5 Ways to Manage Menopausal Hot Flashes

Mar 15, 2023
5 Ways to Manage Menopausal Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most persistent symptoms of menopause, and they can occur nearly daily and last up to 10 years after your last period. Read on to find out how to make your life with hot flashes easier.

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause and can happen daily for years. About 75% of women experience them. 

Due to lower estrogen levels, the hypothalamus part of your brain becomes more sensitive to temperature changes, and when it feels the temperature rising, it causes sweating to cool off your body, which is why you may feel quite cold after the initial temperature rise. 

Hot flashes can also occur during the night, disrupting sleep, commonly known as night sweats. Here, our experts at The Ashford Center explain how you can manage menopausal hot flashes. 

1. Quit caffeine 

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, but it’s not without potential negative effects. Studies have found that women who drink coffee regularly have less estrogen than women who aren’t coffee drinkers. In addition, coffee affects the blood vessels, contracting them and making you more likely to experience hot flashes. 

2. Quit smoking 

Women who smoke are more likely to experience hot flashes because tobacco and its chemicals can interfere with estrogen production. Smokers are also more likely to experience menopause earlier.

3. Dress in layers 

Because hot flashes cause your body temperature to fluctuate from hot to cold, so dressing in layers can help you better manage the discomfort and adapt to the changes. 

4. Avoid spicy foods 

Capsaicin, the substance in chili peppers and black pepper that makes hot food hot, is a vasodilator that increases blood flow and body temperature. 

Although spicy foods won’t cause hot flashes, the extra heat can worsen them. 

5. Give hormone replacement therapy a try 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) works by increasing estrogen levels, thus eliminating the root cause of hot flashes. HRT can also help with other menopausal symptoms, such as hair loss, weight gain, vaginal dryness, and lower libido. 

Find out if you’re a good candidate for HRT 

Hot flashes can be bothersome and persevere 10 years or more after your last menstruation. 

When they happen at night, they can disrupt your sleep, increasing your risk of depression, diabetes, and even heart disease. Poor sleep patterns don’t allow your sympathetic nervous system, to relax which in turn may be the reason why the risk for chronic disease is increased. The sympathetic nervous system is in charge of the stress response and the release of cortisol. 

If you want to treat hot flashes, contact us to schedule an appointment. Good candidates don’t have a history of estrogen-dependent cancers (e.g., breast, ovarian, and endometrial) and don’t suffer from any blood clotting disorders.