Natural Relief for Hot Flashes
Natural Relief for Hot Flashes
Natural Relief for Hot Flashes By Mary Green
Most women go through it sooner or later. Menopause- nature's way of telling us our childbearing years are ending. About half to two thirds of us experience some menopause discomfort- notably sleeplessness or waking during the night, night sweats, irritability and hot flashes. You might also experience headaches, aching joints and fatigue. Hot flashes can come on at anytime, but they can occur with more frequency when stress and anxiety levels are high. They can also be triggered by foods or beverages that contain sugar, alcohol or caffeine. If you are sailing through menopause with minimal discomfort -and no hot flashes- count yourself lucky. Menopause affects not only you, it can also have an effect on your personal relationships. Many women find their desire for intimacy negatively impacted during this phase of their lives, which can lead to unwelcome marital tension as their spouses try to adjust to these changes. If you're like me, you will read on and benefit.
Hormone changes in your body are at the root of your discomfort. During perimenopause, which can last up to fifteen years,your estrogen and progesterone levels are fluctuating. That hormone fluctuation, while entirely normal, causes your menstrual cycle to become erratic and also causes many or all of the distressing symptoms we mentioned before. The hot flashes are probably the most uncomfortable part, but fear not! Relief from this sudden wave of intense inner heat often coupled with a feeling of nausea could be as close as the supplement shelves at your local grocery store, or possible your local health food store.
There are actually several recommended remedies for keeping hot flashes at bay, and no, I am not talking about hormone replacement therapy. HRT delivers high levels of estrogen along with about a 33% increased chance of breast cancer. I'm talking about nutritional therapy- a strengthening, health optimizing, supportive way to use vitamins and herbal supplements to ease the discomforts you may be feeling as your body goes through this transitional phase of life.
More often than not, natural therapies work best synergistically- that is, grouping several vitamins, minerals and herbs together will produce the best results.
Here is one popularly recommended combination:
400IU to 1200IU Vitamin E- Proven to reduce hot flashes, Vitamin E also reduces your chances of developing coronary heart disease.
500mgVitamin C with bioflavonoids- Hot flashes rob your body of Vitamin C, which also helps prevent hot flashes so it must be replaced.
200mcg Selenium- Selenium combined with Vitamin E is very effective at preventing hot flashes.
MVP (multivitamin plus minerals)- Hot flashes deplete your body of several vitamins and minerals, so a good MVP is a necessity at this phase of your life.
600mg B complex- B Complex battles the stress response, another factor that could trigger hot flashes.
Here's my favorite combination, one that I've used for 10+ years- and it has worked like magic for me:
Super B Complex
540mg Black Cohosh
C & E Complex (500mg C, 400IU E)
Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc Complex
MVP (multi vitamin plus minerals)
If you prefer organic supplements, here is a combination from The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing:
Dong Quai Root- This Chinese herb has been used for centuries to relieve all sorts of hormone-related problems, hot flashes included.
Chinese Licorice Root- Strengthens and supports the endocrine system.
Chaste Tree Berry( Wild Yam Root)- Used for thousands of years for gynecological support.
Flax Seed Oil- Creates hormonal balance.
Rehmannia Root- Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, used for centuries to help cool hot flashes.
Several other Chinese herbs that have been found to help relieve hot flashes and other unpleasant effects of menopause include:
- White Peony- has been used for overall Gynocological health in Chinese medicine for many years.
- Codonopsis Root- helps to lower blood pressure and stimulates circulation by dilating the blood vessels.
- Ginger Root- used to reduce inflammation.
- Lovage Root- another anti-inflammatory herbal used for thousands of years.
Last but not least, a highly recommended supplement for not only prevention of hot flashes but possible added protection against breast cancer. I would recommend soy be added to your arsenal of herbs and vitamins but think you will get better results if you use it in combination with other supplements rather than as a stand-alone solution:
Soy Isoflavones- Any soy product is beneficial for falling hormone levels but you can get soy isoflavones in pill form.
Hot flashes are probably the most widely discussed effect that perimenopause causes, because it is such an unpleasant sensation. But the remedies mentioned above provide overall nutritional support for the chemical changes occurring in your body in addition to helping with hormone changes. They will help alleviate your discomfort in a nutritionally proactive way. Menopause is not a disease, but a phase of life every woman passes through in her journey to becoming a mature woman. Chemicals and artificial therapies may have their place in our world, but isn't it good to know that there are safe and healthy alternatives that work?
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