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Help For Hot Flashes
Stress reduction, relaxation, moderate exercise and dietary changes have been show to significantly reduce hot flashes.
See how Fresh Start helps get your hot flashes under control while allowing you to feel and look your best.
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Taking the Heat Out of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a major problem for many women starting into their menopause transition years. The frequency can range from none to as many as 36 in a single day and the intensity from mild to debilitating. For most women, hot flashes are no more than an annoyance but in some women can contribute to sleep difficulties, increased stress and difficulty completing tasks. Sweating, chills, and palpitations often follow the sudden wave of heat creating a physical disruption.
What are hot flashes? Hot flashes and night sweats, as they are called, are a brief increase in a feeling of heat followed by a period of sweating and then cold or chills.
Hot flashes feel analogous to the temperature variations experienced during a fever.
Little is known about the actual causes of hot flashes and less is understood on how to eliminate or minimize their effects.
Mistakenly, most people believe that hot flashes result from a reduction in the sex hormone estrogen. Interestingly, estrogen is only a small part of the process. Current research shows that the heating and cooling changes are the result of a series of hormonal changes affecting the hypothalamus.(the hypothalmus is an area of the brain that controls temperature). Normally the hypothalamus controls body temperature in a very narrow range at 98.6F. During menopause, the hypothalamus is tricked into thinking body temperature is higher than normal at certain times.
To cool things down, the hypothalamus increases blood flow increasing skin temperature creating the sensation of heat and sweating. Once a certain amount of heat has been lost, the hypothalamus senses the body is now colder than normal reversing the process causing a feeling of cold or chills. This is the same process the hypothalamus uses to naturally cool the body on a hot day or during exercise. With hot flashes, the hypothalamus is tricked with false signals and the result is a feeling of heat.
One puzzling factor is the variable frequency of hot flashes throughout the world. According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), one large study found that 75% of US women experienced hot flashes but reports worldwide vary from 83% in the United Kingdom, 68% in Canada, 62% in Australia, 50% in Hong Kong and as low as
20% in China. This information has led investigators to study activity patterns, lifestyle habits, climate, social patterns and diet in an attempt find a cure.
The solution... the best and safest solution for controlling hot flashes found so far is moderate, regular exercise, deep, meditative breathing and specific nutritional changes. There is a connection between hot flashes and reduced serotonin levels. Reduced serotonin levels are related to high stress living and depression. Both regular exercise and meditative breathing reduce stress and elevate serotonin levels. Dietary changes include increasing lignans from flax seeds and soy from tofu. Although talked about more, dietary changes are less significant than exercise and stress reduction.
Until the recent findings of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), estrogen or hormone therapy was an effective way of treating hot flashes. The WHI findings indicate that taking estrogen plus progestin presents long-term risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, pulmonary embolism, breast cancer, and dementia and these far outweigh the benefits.
Read more about the Women's Health Initiative
Nancy Reame, MSN, PhD, a member of the Women's Health Initiative task force says that there is good evidence to support that exercise and deep, paced yoga style breathing helps reduce hot flash frequency by about 50%. Dr. Reame says that women who exercise have been shown to benefit in the long-term over women who do not.
Relaxation, stress reduction, moderate exercise and dietary changes have all been shown to significantly reduce hot flashes. Fresh Start helps get your hot flashes under control by establishing healthier exercise, eating and relaxation habits. Fresh Start is also a complete, healthy lifestyle solution reducing pain, strengthening bones, controling weight, reducing stress and improving your golf or tennis game. Fresh Start gives you all the tools necessary for increasing strength, vitality and good health.
Contact Woody McMahon at 702-628-2880 or email Woody@SequoiaHealth.com to learn more about giving yourself a Fresh Start or to schedule your free telephone or in-person consultation.
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