Hot flashes commonly occur as hormone levels change during menopause. Hot flashes can cause a woman to feel sweaty and overheated, and may cause a fast heartbeat, headache, nausea and dizziness. There are steps you can take at home to get relief from hot flashes, before resorting to medication.
Try to limit your exposure to anything that triggers your hot flashes. For some women, consuming caffeine, alcohol or spicy foods can cause hot flashes. Cigarette smoking may also be a trigger activity for some women.
Slightly increased body temperature can cause hot flashes in menopausal women. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends dressing in layers so you can adjust your clothing for comfort throughout the day. Lightweight clothing and sheets can help keep your temperature from rising. If a hot flash does begin, try drinking a cold beverage.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Practice relaxation techniques and exercise regularly during menopause to improve your overall health and decrease hot flashes. Yoga, meditation and other relaxing activities are helpful for some women, according to the Mayo Clinic. Breathing deeply and slowly during a hot flash may decrease symptoms.
If lifestyle changes do not bring relief from hot flashes, talk to your doctor about medications that may help. Hormone therapy can combat hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, but some women should not take hormones, according to the AAFP. Medications intended for other purposes, such as antidepressants, seizure and blood pressure medications, have been used to treat menopause symptoms in some women.
Ask your doctor about natural supplements that may provide relief from hot flashes. Soy may be beneficial for some women, according to the AAFP, and supplements like black cohosh and red clover may provide relief. There may be risks associated with supplements, so talk to your doctor before beginning any new treatment.