Hot flashes come in announced and often cause a sudden feeling of warmth, mostly over your face, neck, and chest. It results in the reddening of the face also leading to excessive sweating.
You may experience
- A feeling of warmth on your face, neck, and chest
- Reddening of the face and neck
- Sweating on the face and upper body
- Chilled feeling as the hot flashes pass
- Rapid heartbeat in some cases
The most common cause of hot flashes is menopause in women, but there are also other conditions that may lead to hot flashes. These are –
- Alcohol poisoning
Home Remedies for Hot Flashes
These home remedies for hot flashes and night sweats mentioned below could help relieve the symptoms.
Hot flashes are generally caused due to menopause when there is a natural drop in estrogen levels of the body. Soy contains chemical compounds called isoflavones that have estrogen-like properties and is thus used as a supplement to hormone medications.
Research(1) shows that the plant-based phytoestrogens called isoflavones that are present in soy bind to the same receptors as estrogen. When isoflavones dock on to these receptors, they mimic the effect of estrogen and have helped with the occurrence of hot flashes.
Soy is found in foods like tofu and soy milk that can be easily incorporated in your diet. Tofu can be used in salads or stir fry preparations, and soy milk can be used instead of your milk intake twice a week.
There are also some soy supplements available in the market, a tablet every day can be consumed for better results. However, this should not be done without any prior consultation with your physician since it may hinder any preconditions that you may have.
[Read: Treat Hot Flashes Naturally]
Hot flashes generally occur in menopausal women, and hormonal treatment is not usually the best course of treatment as it doesn’t go well with most. In such cases, more natural and herbal methods are used. Herbal teas are popular alternatives to hormone treatment therapies.
Studies(2) have shown that regular intake of these teas reduces the duration and occurrence of hot flashes.
There are various herbal teas that are used for hot flashes, some of these are mentioned below –
- Black cohosh tea: Black cohosh tea has been used for post-menopausal symptoms for a very long time. They are known to reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats.
- Sage tea: Research(3) over the years has shown the effect of sage on hot flashes. It is known to reduce the duration and excessive sweating because of hot flashes.
- Dong Quai tea: Dong Quai or Angelica Sinensis is an ancient Chinese herb and has been used to treat gynecological conditions for the past 1200 years. It was found useful for hot flashes too. However, it should not be used by women who have problems with fibroids and blood clotting, as it can result in bleeding complications.
The herbal teas can be taken as pills or 1 teaspoon of tea with 1 cup of hot water for each serving. Normally, these teas are not known to have any side effects. However, the same should be taken after discussing it with your doctor.
[Read: ACV for Hot Flashes]
3. Flaxseed for Hot Flashes
Studies(4) show that flaxseed shows estrogenic effects and thus helps with post-menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Flaxseeds are plant-based estrogens called phytoestrogens that contain lignans and omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans present in flaxseeds are antioxidants that have weak estrogen emulating properties. These properties are what make flaxseed a home remedy for hot flashes.
Take 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed every day for breakfast. You could either sprinkle it in your cereal or have it directly. Flaxseed is not known to have any side effects when consumed in moderate quantities. However, if you experience symptoms like diarrhea, immediately consult your physician.
[Read: Home Remedies for Menopause]
Foods for Hot Flashes
Hot flashes mainly occur in postmenopausal women. Postmenopause, the female body stops producing estrogen and results in a hormonal imbalance. Hormone replacement therapies were used to tackle this problem, but it had a range of side effects on the body. For this reason, women are now moving towards more natural methods and home remedies to help with the postmenopausal symptoms.
Many women try to include more plant-based estrogens called phytoestrogens in their diets. They work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. Mentioned below are foods rich in plant estrogens that can be incorporated into one’s diet –
- Flaxseed (Ground or crushed only)
- Red clover
Foods to Avoid for Hot Flashes
During menopause, the estrogen levels begin to decline. This results in low metabolism and may lead to weight gain. There are certain foods that should be moderately consumed during menopause. These are mentioned below –
- Sugary foods and processed carbs: High blood sugar has been linked to higher incidents of hot flashes in women. Processed foods and sugary foods are known to increase blood sugar rapidly. The more processed food you consume, the higher its effect on your blood sugar, and thus, the higher the frequency of hot flashes.
- Alcohol and caffeine: Studies(5) show that the consumption of alcohol and caffeine leads to an increase in the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in women. Both alcohol and caffeine are also known to disrupt sleep and thus should be avoided near bedtime.
[Read: Vitamins for Menopause]
Before taking any kind of medication, it is beneficial to try some lifestyle changes that can help with hot flashes. Some of the recommended changes are listed below.
- Dress in layers: Observe the timing of occurrence of your hot flashes and start dressing in layers during that time. When the hot flashes occur, remove a layer of clothing and get instant relief.
- Exercise and reduce weight: The decline in estrogen levels of the body also affects the metabolism rate, and thus, it is advisable to watch your weight. Exercising regularly will also help in a more healthy lifestyle.
- Diet modifications: Add more plant-based estrogens to your diet and avoid caffeine, processed carbs, sugary foods, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Tips to Avoid for Hot Flashes
There are certain measures that can be taken consciously to avoid hot flashes or at least reduce the frequency and intensity.
- Add a 30-minute exercise routine to your daily schedule.
- Add plant-based estrogens like soy, red clover, etc. to your diet
- Quit smoking
- Avoid consuming alcohol
- Avoid hot baths/ showers
- Avoid processed carbs and added sugar
[Read: Essential Oils For Hot Flashes]
1. How effective is soy for hot flashes?
Studies(6) show that the plant-based estrogen called isoflavones present in soy are very effective in reducing hot flashes.
2. Does a cooling pillow for hot flashes help?
Yes, the cooling pillows work, especially when you’re experiencing night sweats while sleeping. However, it is only temporary relief. The pillow takes away the body heat and absorbs it, getting warm in the process.
3. Are hot flashes only the result of menopause?
The main cause of hot flashes in women is menopause. However, it is also linked with a couple of other conditions like hyperthyroidism and hyperthermia.