Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause. About 80% of all women experience it when going through this period of their life. More about menopause read here.
Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms, are often described as a sudden sensation of heat in the chest, face, and head followed by flushing, perspiration, and sometimes chills. When a hot flash occurs during sleep, it can be accompanied by sweat. Such night sweats make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. The estimates of the duration of these symptoms come from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a long-term study of women of different races and ethnicities who are in the menopausal transition. They were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The SWAN researchers found that some women are more likely to deal with long-term hot flashes than others. Women who had their first hot flashes before their menstrual periods ended had hot flashes for an average of nine to 10 years. When hot flashes didn’t start until after the last menstrual period, the average duration was only about three and a half years. But even on the short end of the spectrum, that’s a long time to deal with hot flashes and night sweats.
Women in the SWAN study who experienced hot flashes for a longer time tended to be current or former smokers, overweight, stressed, depressed, or anxious. Ethnicity also played a role. African American women reported the longest duration of hot flashes (averaging more than 11 years), while Japanese and Chinese women had hot flashes for about half that time.
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What causes hot flushes?
Hot flushes and are thought to be caused by changes in the hormone levels affecting the body’s temperature control.
According to NHS UK, hot flushes can happen without warning throughout the day and night, but can also be triggered by:
- eating spicy foods
- caffeine and alcohol
- wearing thick clothing
- a high temperature
- feeling stressed or anxious
- treatment for certain types of cancer (this can affect both men and women)
- certain medicines
- some health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes, and tuberculosis
What can be done?
“While hormone therapy is very effective at relieving hot flashes, the longer-term treatment carries an increased risk for breast cancer, and women at older ages have higher risks of stroke, blood clots, and other health problems. So it’s important that women explore a full range of treatment options — especially women likely to have persistent hot flashes,” advises Dr. Manson.
For some women, self-help measures can help ease hot flashes. These include:
- deep-breathing exercises when a hot flash starts
- dressing in layers
- lowering the thermostat
- diet changes including staying away from caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, and spicy foods
- stress reduction techniques like meditation and mindfulness
- doing your best to stay cool in general.
How homeopathy can help?
Homeopathic remedies can help the body to gently rebalance the hormones and in this way deal with the hot flush as well as other menopausal symptoms. Below there is information for a few remedies most commonly indicated for treating hot flushes.
Graphites: A woman who is likely to respond to this remedy is chilly, pale, and sluggish. She has trouble concentrating, and a tendency toward weight gain during or after menopause. Hot flushing and sweats at night are often seen. A person who needs this remedy may also have a tendency toward skin problems with oozing, cracked eruptions. She is slow to become alert when waking in the morning.
Lachesis muta: This remedy relieves hot flashes from menopause, especially when hot flashes are relieved by sweating or the occurrence of periods. The person is very talkative, can get easily jealous. She does not like scarfs or any tight clothing around her neck.
Sepia: This remedy can be helpful if a woman’s periods are sometimes late and scanty, but heavy and flooding at other times. Her pelvic organs can feel weak and sagging, and she may have a craving for vinegar or sour foods. Women who need this remedy usually feel dragged-out and weary, with an irritable detachment regarding family members, and a loss of interest in daily tasks. Sepia is exhausted, she has taken care of everything for so long, but can’t anymore. Exercise, especially dancing, may brighten up the woman’s mood and improve her energy.
Sulphur: This remedy is often helpful for hot flashes during menopause when the woman wakes in the early morning hours and throws the covers off. She may be very anxious, weep a lot, and worry excessively about her health. A person needing Sulphur often is mentally active (or eccentric), inclined toward messy habits, and usually feels worse from warmth.
There are many other homeopathic remedies that can be used. The choice will depend on the person’s symptoms and is done after at least an hour-long consultation where all symptoms are discussed. More about some cases and the remedies that hepped you can read here.
Interested to know more about homeopathy and how can it help to treat menopause?
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.
For best results, I recommend an appointment with a qualified homeopath with an interest in treating Menopause.