Menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, also known as vasomotor symptoms of menopause, can seriously impact your quality of life. While prescription hormone replacement therapy is effective for hot flash relief, many women still prefer to know other ways to stop hot flashes fast, naturally.
In this video, Bonafide Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, discusses what causes these symptoms and provides a few natural remedies for hot flashes and night sweats.
Dr. Alyssa Dweck here. Today I thought I would discuss something that I see in my office on a day-to-day basis. It goes something like this: “Dr. Dweck, I’m having horrible hot flashes and night sweats. I can’t take hormone therapy. What can I do to manage this? Are there any ways to stop hot flashes fast, naturally?”
Well first, let me reassure you, you’re not alone. This is an incredibly common complaint, and I would say probably upwards of 70% of women suffer with vasomotor symptoms (i.e. hot flashes and hot flashes at night, or night sweats) of menopause, many of whom go untreated and suffer needlessly.
What Are Some Hot Flash Causes?
So, let’s talk about hot flash causes in menopause. It seems that nobody exactly knows what causes hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. But it likely has something to do with an area of the brain called the thermoregulatory zone, which is quite responsive to the hormone estrogen. As estrogen levels plummet during menopause, this area of the brain is affected, and women get a sensation of overwhelming heat and difficulty managing temperature fluctuations.
What Do Hot Flashes Feel Like in Menopause?
The symptoms of menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are all too common: it starts with a flushing from the chest up. Women turn beet red. They feel super-hot. And then all the sudden, water works of sweating occurs. And it really can be quite uncomfortable and very disruptive to day-to-day life.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes Relief
So, what can we do about these vasomotor symptoms of menopause, that doesn’t involve taking hormone therapy? And are there any natural remedies for hot flashes? First, I recommend making multiple lifestyle changes as a way to stop hot flashes, fast. I recommend avoiding certain triggers that you can identify as a cause of hot flashes. Common triggers include caffeine intake, alcohol, stress and large meals.
In addition, I recommend altering your diet. My favorite diet is the Mediterranean diet, but intermittent fasting may also be helpful. The Mediterranean diet may serve as a natural remedy for hot flashes specifically because it is low glycemic, limited in salt and sugar, and is heart healthy. In addition, exercise is very helpful: not only for stress reduction, but for general overall health.
Other Hormone-free Treatments for Hot Flash Relief
In regard to dietary supplements that can be used to aid in hot flash relief, I’m a fan of Relizen®. Relizen, made from a proprietary blend of Swedish flower pollen, has actually been shown in clinical studies to help with achieving hot flash relief.
Some women rely on increasing the soy in their diet, or taking a supplement containing a phytoestrogen as natural remedies for hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. This of course is not appropriate for women who are trying to avoid hormones altogether, as phytoestrogens can impact hormone levels in the body.
In addition to the natural remedies for hot flashes and night sweats mentioned earlier, there are also prescription medications that are available and indicated for hot flash relief, including certain antidepressants and even one neurology medication that we use, and have borrowed from the neurology world, called gabapentin. It’s always best to check with your healthcare provider first when exploring new treatments so that you can find the option that best suits your needs.
So, you can try any one of these methods, or combine them in an effort to achieve some hot flash relief. The good news is that menopausal hot flashes and night sweats likely won’t last forever, and you can do things to achieve symptom relief.