Safe Help For Hot Flashes – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 68
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
Most women entering and throughout their menopausal years will experience hot flashes. They are not a disease but they can definitely impact your quality of life. Some women may not experience them so much, they will be mild or maybe even short-lived. But for many others, hot flashes can start years before your last menstrual period and go on for years after. You can experience flushing of the face and upper body, severe sweating which could be followed by chills, clammy feeling. A hot flash can last anywhere from 30 seconds to up to five minutes. About 85% of women experience them.
Hormone replacement therapy is used as a treatment for hot flashes. But remember, hot flashes are just a quality of life issue and not a disease. So many women would rather not take these medications in order to avoid the increased risk of cancer or blood clot development that are related to the hormone replacement therapy.
What is a hot flash?
Estrogen and other sex hormones are fluctuating rapidly up and down. A part of your brain senses this – your hypothalamus – and tries to balance them out. But it gets confused and responds inaccurately, thinking your body is overheating because the fluctuation in these hormones effect your blood vessels. The brain causes your blood vessels near your skin to dilate, or widen, to let off the excess heat. This occurs mostly in the skin near your head, face, neck and chest. When your blood vessels return to normal, you can cool down again.
How a hot flash impacts your body?
Hot flashes can impact your sleep, which can lead to daytime fatigue, depression and anxiety. It can also make your blood pressure rise when you’re having a hot flash and your heart can actually race.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can help. For instance, you’ll want to stay away from caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to increase the effect of the hot flashes. Avoid smoking, as this effects your blood vessels, the number of hot flashes you have and how severe they are. Alcohol always raises your temperature a bit initially and then it makes you cool down. This will further complicate the hot flashes.
Being obese is also something you will want to manage. It is time to get rid of excess fat, as fat is metabolically active and is not just storing calories for later use; fat is giving off chemicals that make you inflamed and they do complicate your hot flashes. Wearing lo0se clothing can help to regulate your temperature, especially during a flash.
Resveratrol is found typically in the skin of red grapes in tiny amounts. In studies, researchers use Japanese Knotweed, a type of grass. As far as Grape Seed extract, the best comes from the pip of white grapes. Both Grape Seed and Resveratrol are extremely safe and have been shown to support brain health, circulation and heart health.
In a three month long study on older women by the Mayo Clinic looking at the safety of Grape Seed extract, researchers found the that extract did not impact the participants hormone levels and worked by improving blood vessel health.†
The Department of Women’s Health, Tokyo Medical and Dental University gave Grape Seed extract – 100mg or 200mg – to women who had hot flashes everyday for 60 days. Some women also received placebo. Grape seed extract, very successfully, reduced the number of hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, improved depression and was good for blood pressure.†
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