The Reality of Hot Flashes
New evidence points towards a resemblance of hot flashes to trick birthday candles: the flame just keeps coming back. Despite claims that hot flashes only last six months to two years, many women are still found dashing towards cool relief for a decade after menopause.
These women are in no means the minority, either. The University of Pennsylvania followed 255 women for 16 years, with 90 percent recording hot flashes for over a ten year span. Researchers noted an average length of 8.8 years of hot flashes among participants, with near 71 percent of occurrences being classified as moderate to severe. The soaring numbers challenge the menopause landscape, but give women a great primer to start a new, more honest conversation.
Many women face hot flashes and menopause without proper communication. The majority of resources convey a hot flash stretch of a year or two, leaving the decade-long, sweat-stained women feeling like a medical anomaly. If women change the narrative, they can alter perceptions around hot flashes (and at least give midlife women a fair warning).
The official cause of hot flashes is unknown, though is thought to be linked to changes in circulation. The untimely bouts of flushed face and sweating are the body’s way of cooling down. Hormone therapy, to replace lacking estrogen, was used as treatment for years before extended use showed negative side effects, thus minimizing its widespread use. Many women now turn to anti-depressants (SSRIs) to treat hot flashes, available by prescription.
If you’re experiencing hot flashes, you can also try to avoid triggers, like caffeine, alcohol, and tight clothing, or take WebMD’s advice:
- Keep your bedrooms cool and your fans blowing.
- Wear light and breathable clothing.
- Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, evening, and at the onset of hot flashes.
- Exercise daily.
- Chill your pillows.
Now you can find comfort that you’re not alone, and don’t have to sweat in silence.
- Posted by holx-admin
- On July 28, 2014