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Hot flashes are one of the most talked about symptoms of Menopause. About 80% of the women in America experience hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. The body produces less estrogen and progesterone during menopause, but these fluctuating levels can instigate menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes can last from a few seconds to a few minutes; and in some cases is known to last half an hour to one hour. Most women have hot flashes and night sweats lasting from two months to two years, and in some rare cases they continue to have them for up to a decade after menopause.

The severity of hot flashes that a woman experiences depends on lifestyle and psychological factors.  Some women really sweat, while others may only perspire. Following hot flashes, some women have headaches, feel dizzy, weak, tired or lose sleep, experience palpitations and skipped or erratic heartbeats. It is always advisable to consult your doctor, as to whether these are symptoms of menopause or a sign of other illness or a medical condition.

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats – The Causes and Remedies

Many women do nothing and can easily cope with hot flashes, while and others have a more difficult time. Hot flashes and night sweats can trigger interrupted sleep, insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety and depression. Categorized as mild, moderate or severe; mild hot flashes produce a feeling of warmth for less than a minute, and with little or no perspiration.  Moderate flashes produce more warmth and a little perspiration and last for two to three minutes. Severe hot flashes produce intense heat and sweat and last longer.

Spicy food, alcoholic drinks, hot drinks, white sugar (can also cause palpitations), hot weather, stress, hot tubs and saunas, tobacco, marijuana and unexpressed anger can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes are known to deplete Vitamin B, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium in our bodies, and there is a need to increase the intake of these nutrients, including calcium. For mild hot flashes, a daily dosage of 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin E is recommended.

Most women start a daily dose of 600 to 800 IU of Vitamin E with Vitamin C, and when the flashes subside, take 400 IU. Vitamin E has been effective on 50% to 60% of women, and it takes around two to six weeks for the effects to show. Vitamin E is contraindicated with certain medical conditions, such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, or with rheumatic heart conditions, history of hypertension, etc, and it is advisable to seek a doctor’s opinion.

250 mg Bioflavonoid, five to six times everyday, may help relieve hot flashes.

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats – In Non-Western Cultures

Less than 10% of women in non-western cultures, such as, in Japan, Mexico, and India, experience hot flashes and night sweats. This phenomenon has been linked to high soybean consumption, which stimulates estrogen production. Women have reported varying degrees of success in curbing hot flashes by using herbs, such as, ginseng, vitex agnus castii, licorice root, black cohosh, dong quai, blue cohosh, false unicorn and sarsaparilla.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.