Alright, gentleman, you can take a pass from this blog, if you like. This is a discussion for the ladies. However, if you have a loved one who resembles this discussion, then you might benefit from this post as well. So, nature has a way of getting our attention when we hit our middle-of-the-road years. For most that is anywhere from our mid-forties to mid-fifties. You know, when the joints ache just a bit when they never used to, the hair springs up a new color of silver or grey, or a gradual thinning out, and when the thermostat in our brain malfunctions.
If you have never experienced a hot flash, lucky for you. Let me give you a mental picture (now granted, not all hot flashes are alike, some are mild, some are relentless). Imagine you are going about your usual activities, nothing strenuous, it could be just passing the plate as an usher in church, or perusing the racks at your local department store, or the dead of night when you are in your fittest slumber. When “Wham-o”, a heat that makes the nerve endings under the skin burn and tingle begins in your legs and takes a quick elevator to the top floor bringing surges of heat over and over. You think you are standing next to open flames the heat is so intense. Then the sweat from every pore, even pores you didn’t know could sweat, starts flowing. The skin on your face, neck and arms goes from healthy pink to a bright red like someone just slapped you. You are now sopping wet and you are sure you could melt an ice cube just to look at it. Then as quick as the inferno came on, it quickly goes away, but leaves a limp dishrag in its wake.
Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? Granted, not all hot flashes ravage you this severely, and thank the good Lord, mine no longer do. But, even a fraction of this heat, is enough to make you sit up and take notice. If you are in bed when one of these firestorms hit, all the fans you own blowing on you at the same time, will not be enough to stop the bonfire. The symptom has to run its course. Then you get up, change your pajamas, and sometimes a cool shower helps cool you down faster after the rude onslaught, and try to go back to sleep.
Why do some women experience the wonderful symptom of menopause called a hot flash? No one really has a good answer, or at least one that satisfies the question for everyone. Yes, the issue is hormonal, but the frequency and intensity of the “flash” is different from woman to woman. Likewise, when they are first experienced to how long the symptoms are endured are different, as well. Some women experience a few hot flashes over the course of a couple of years that surround the peri-menopausal phase, while some women experience a few hot flashes every week for a few years. Nevertheless, it is something that will eventually pass with time. Over-the-counter supplements can help with lessening the severity of symptoms, but there is nothing on God’s green earth that will stop them from happening, until your body says it is time to shut the furnace down. Your doctor may also provide prescription medication, but when you start entertaining the idea of replacement hormones, you start tinkering in territories of increased cancer risk. Going with a natural supplement is usually the safest route. But, as always, discuss with your doctor.
Some of the best heat relief supplements you can try is Black Cohosh, Estroven and Vitamin D. Not all may work for you, but one of them might get you through the heat. Many women who have low vitamin D levels, and have intense hot flashes, find the severity of symptoms greatly lessen when they bring up their vitamin D levels in the blood since it is a hormone, as well.
Hope this didn’t bring back too many bad memories of raging infernos or if you are currently experiencing a raging inferno from time to time, try one of the supplements, get your vitamin D level checked, or buy more fans. Until we meet again, peace and joy! Deanna