While every woman’s experience with menopause is different, most women report experiencing hot flashes at some point while going through menopause. While there are some medications that can help to reduce hot flashes, they also come with side effects and increase your risk for developing certain types of cancer. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to be able to manage your hot flash symptoms without taking medications.
If your hot flashes are mild, you may be able to manage them by making some simple lifestyle changes. These include:
- Don’t smoke: Smokers tend to have an increased amount of hot flashes compared to non-smokers. Not smoking will not only reduce your hot flashes, but it will also decrease your risk for developing other serious health conditions, such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
- Lose weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your hot flashes as well.
- Keep cool: During menopause, even very slight increases in your body’s core temperature can trigger hot flashes. To avoid this, dress in layers so it’s easy to remove clothing when you start to feel warm. Also, keep the room temperature low by using fans, air conditioners, and opening windows when needed. If you start to feel a hot flash coming on, try sipping on a cold drink to stop the symptoms.
- Watch your diet: Caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and hot or spicy foods tend to trigger hot flashes. Pay attention to what you are eating or drinking when you get hot flashes so you can learn how to recognize your triggers and avoid them in the future.
- Relax: Finally, sometimes you can find relief from hot flashes by practicing meditation, deep breathing, or other stress-reducing techniques.
If you continue to have hot flashes despite lifestyle changes, there are also some natural remedies that can provide relief for hot flashes. These include:
- Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil contains many fatty acids that are effective at reducing some symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.
- Evening primrose oil: This oil has a cooling effect on the skin and also works to regulate the production of estrogen.
- Sage: Organic sage tea can be found at most local grocery stores and can provide relief for hot flashes, as well as help with digestion and headaches.
- Vitamin C: Foods that contain vitamin C have bioflavanoids that help to reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Add more foods with vitamin C to your diet to get relief from your hot flashes.
- Natural progesterone cream: Sometimes your levels of estrogen can actually be higher during menopause. If this is the case, using a progesterone cream can help to balance your hormones during menopause and reduce the frequency of your hot flashes.
- Red clover: This is a plant that contains high amounts of phyto-estrogens that help to reduce both the frequency and the intensity of hot flashes.