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HOT FLASH Or The Downing Clinic


  • pg 1
									                HOT FLASH
                                                                            or .......

6   Health & Leisure Magazine / May 2008 / www.healthandleisureonline.com
                                                  By Nedra Downing, DO

A hot flash by any other name is still a hot flash – a sudden feeling of intense heat
in the upper body and face. Hot flashes occur among women at midlife and are
one of the most common and earliest signs that menopause is approaching.
Some women experience very few hot flashes or none at all. Others have frequent
hot flashes accompanied by intense sweating and itching. When they occur at
night, they are called night sweats which usually interfere with sleep.

WHAT CAUSES HOT FLASHES?                   • Stress                                     hands-on treatments, activities to
                                           • Heat and sun exposure                      reduce stress, and natural hormones
The cause of hot flashes is not certain.                                                if needed.
Declining and fluctuating levels of        • Cigarette smoke, wood smoke and
estrogens may be the cause. There are        grill fumes                                BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONES
estrogen receptors on heat regulating      • Environmental toxins like formaldehyde     Balancing hormones with Bio-Identical
areas of the brain. Blood vessels dilate                                                Hormones is safer and more natural
                                           • Allergic foods
causing warmth and flushing in the skin.                                                than using strong, synthetic or horse-
                                           • Salty snack foods like chips and           urine-derived hormones. The key word
                                             cheese curls                               here is balancing. Having saliva
                                           • Processed meats, cold cuts, ham,           hormones checked before starting
If you are prone to hot flashes, avoid       hot dogs                                   them and after three to six months is
the following:                                                                          a reasonable approach to achieving
• Caffeine                                 TREATMENTS                                   balance. Often only small amounts are
                                                                                        needed to bring relief from hot flashes.
• Refined sugar and white flour foods      Conventional medicine treats hot flashes
• Alcohol                                  with powerful prescription hormones          HERBS
                                           that have been reported to have serious      Herbs are some of the oldest hot flash
• Diet sodas and other soft drinks
                                           side effects. Other types of drugs           remedies. They can be brewed as teas
• Food dyes and artificial sweeteners      including antidepressants, tranquilizers,    to be drunk hot or iced, or taken as
• Fried foods and charred meats            blood pressure and anti-seizure              tinctures which are dropped into cool
                                           medications are also used.                   water and then swallowed. Tablets and
• Partially hydrogenated oils and
  trans fats                                                                            capsules are very popular made from
                                           Many women seek natural choices
                                                                                        single or blended herbs. Herbs are slow
• Chocolate, cocoa and tea for some        and wish to be empowered to help
                                                                                        to act, so stay with your choices. Some
  women                                    themselves. Safe and effective options
                                                                                        of the best time-honored herbs for hot
                                           include: diet, nutrients, exercise, herbs,
• Spices                                                                                flashes are the following:
                                           aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies,

                                                   Health & Leisure Magazine / May 2008 / www.healthandleisureonline.com           7
COMMON                     • Black cohosh
                           • Vitex
                                                                                  sun. Wear clothing made from natural fibers such
                                                                                  as cotton, hemp, or silk.

TRIGGERS                   • Evening primrose or black currant oil
                                                                                  MEDITATION, TAI CHI, YOGA
                           • Ashwaganda
FOR HOT                    • Raspberry leaf, red clover, sweet
                                                                                  Quieting the mind and deepening relaxation
                                                                                  through daily practice can help to reduce stress
                             briar, dandelion, fenugreek seed,                    response and thus hot flashes. Slow, deep
FLASHES                      hops, elder flower, sage and
                             chamomile teas
                                                                                  breathing as taught in yoga or Buddhist meditation
                                                                                  is very helpful for staving off hot flashes. Susan
                           • Motherwort                                           Weed wrote a classic book on menopause which
                                                                                  includes a Kundalini yoga meditation.
                           • Dong quai
• Caffeine
                           • Witch hazel facial swabs
                                                                                  PLEASURABLE ACTIVITIES
• Refined sugar and        • Chamomile tub soaks                                  Such activities as reading, listening to music,
  white flour foods                                                               or journal writing can help. Massage, Reiki, or
                           NUTRIENTS                                              Reflexology treatments are wonderful for helping
• Alcohol                  Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are useful      women feel grounded, and for balancing chakras.
                           support at midlife. Most noteworthy is Vitamin E,
                           which has often helped with hot flashes. Getting       HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
• Diet sodas and other     enough of other nutrients, such as Vitamins C,         Homeopathic Remedies were the choices
  soft drinks              D2, B-Complex, minerals, essential fatty acids         of our ancestors. These remarkable little
                           is important.                                          remedies are very safe and effective.
• Food dyes and                                                                   • Lachesis
  artificial sweeteners    FOODS TO HELP REDUCE HOT FLASHES
                                                                                  • Sepia
                           Dietary choices and cooking methods
                           influence hot flashes. Eating smaller meals and        • Pulsatilla
• Fried foods and
                           more cold foods helps. Organic plant-based meals       • Belladonna Compositum
  charred meats            consisting of vegetables, roots, grains, legumes,      • Sulfur
                           fruits, nuts, seeds, quinoa, buckwheat and sea
• Partially hydrogenated   vegetables are the core of a good diet. Meat,          • Nux vomica
  oils and trans fats      poultry, fish or tofu may be included to add           • Rhus tox
                           protein. Drinking vegetable juices including green,    • Cell salts
                           leafy vegetables; eating a fresh green salad daily
• Chocolate, cocoa and
                           and vegetable soup often is helpful.
  tea for some women                                                              BACH FLOWER REMEDIES
                           Plant foods rich in phyrosterols can help              Aromatherapy is pleasant and easy. Oils may be
• Spices                   regulate hormones since they have similar              diluted with organic carrier oils such as almond oil
                           ring structures. Among the best are: broccoli,         and massaged into the skin. A few drops may be
                           cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bamboo shoots,          added to warm water for a tub soak or bath. Oils
• Stress                   artichokes, red cabbage, eggplant, okra, turnips,      may be absorbed into a cotton ball and placed
                           apricots, figs, cantaloupe, pomegranate, rye,          near a pillow or on a desk. Rosewater facial spray
• Heat and sun             barley, chickpeas, and pine nuts.                      or lavender hair oil can be used.
  exposure                 Soy foods help balance and support
                                                                                  • Lavender

                           hormones. One study showed that 20 grams               • Clary sage
• Cigarette smoke,         of soy protein per day reduced hot flashes. Two-       • Geranium
  wood smoke and           thirds of women in North America suffer from hot
                                                                                  • Bergamot
  grill fumes              flashes, while Asian women who eat more soy
                                                                                  • Chamomile
                           seldom have them.
                                                                                  • Frankincense
• Environmental toxins     Also, be sure to drink plenty of cool water, mineral
                                                                                  • Jasmine
  like formaldehyde        water, or dilute organic green tea.
                                                                                  • Rose

• Allergic foods           EXERCISE DAILY                                         • Sandalwood
                           Walking, swimming, bicycling, dancing, house           • Ylang ylang
                           work, and gardening are all good exercises to
• Salty snack foods
                           keep blood flowing and lungs working.
  like chips and                                                                  No need to just suffer through hot flashes when
                                                                                  so many wonderful remedies are available to ease
  cheese curls             COOL TEMPERATURES                                      the way. Choose those that appeal to you and give
                           Use fans or air conditioning and stay out of the       it a try!
• Processed meats, cold
  cuts, ham, hot dogs

                           8     Health & Leisure Magazine / May 2008 / www.healthandleisureonline.com

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