Menopause: Managing Hot Flashes
Most women experience Reference hot flashes Opens New Window at some point before or after Reference menopause Opens New Window, when their Reference estrogen Opens New Window levels are declining. While some women have few to no hot flashes, others have them numerous times each day. If hot flashes are disrupting your sleep or daily life, you are no doubt looking for relief. Fortunately, you have a number of self-care and medical treatment options that can help you manage your symptoms.
- No matter how disruptive and frustrating they may be, hot flashes are not a sign of a medical problem. They are a normal response to natural hormonal changes in your body. Hot flashes usually subside after the first or second year following menopause, when estrogen levels stabilize at a low level.
- Tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and stress tend to make hot flashes worse. By avoiding these risk factors, exercising regularly, and eating well, you can prevent or reduce hot flashes.
- The body-mind connection is a powerful element of hot flashes and emotional symptoms. Rhythmic breathing exercises (paced respiration), which help you meditate and relax, may reduce your hot flashes.
- Treatments that may either reduce or stop moderate to severe hot flashes include short-term, low-dose estrogen (Reference hormone therapy Opens New Window), certain antidepressant and blood pressure medicines, and the herb black cohosh.
Return to topic:
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 26, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine