It’s Hot in Here: Menopause and Hot Flashes

ann carmichael's picture
By ann carmichael Conditions: Women'sMenopause Symptoms: hot flashes Herbs: Black CohoshDong Quai

When Nelly made the song “It’s Hot in Here,” I was humming the words like everybody else. Little did I know that when I started to suffer from menopause, it really was hot in here. Of all of the symptoms that women my age experience with the “midlife change,” hot flashes are one of the worst.

I have been standing in the grocery store, and all of a sudden, it felt like the person behind me set a match to my head. Unlike the commercial I saw for a pill to help with hot flashes, I couldn’t just start ripping my clothes off right in the middle of the floor. Even though, like the ladies in the commercial, that’s exactly what I felt like doing.

What Kinda Mess is This?
Menopausal women, like myself, need to understand the changes that are happening to our bodies. This is what I have come to understand thus far: During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels are shifting, and the ovaries are starting to function erratically.

This causes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to produce larger amounts of estrogen in an attempt to get the ovaries back to functioning normally. When this happens, blood vessels will expand and tighten, causing a drastically rise and fall in body temperature, hence a hot flash. Now I get why I can be sitting in front of the air conditioner and still be sweating like a pig in heat.

You Got This?
My girlfriends and I are always swapping stories about our latest menopausal “episode.” Besides hot flashes, we are collective sufferers of mood swings, irritability and irregular periods.

My friend Kaye says that her hot flashes are so bad, she would rather see her menstrual cycle not end than to experience a hot flash. Since that isn’t going to happen, we console each other and exchange information on ways to deal with hot flashes.
Anything Else? 
My father always told me that the things I could “get away with” as a young woman wouldn’t work when I got older. Of course, I didn’t believe him, but he nailed it. I use to sleep only five hours or less a day without any ill effects. If I tried that now, I would be at work, sleeping at my desk before 10 a.m. Some other things I do differently as well:
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Engage in regular exercise (yoga is a good idea)
  • Include more complex carbohydrates and proteins in my diet
  • Keep stress and blood sugar levels under control
Since hot flashes are due to the hormones being out of rhythm, the goal is to get a hormonal balance back in the body. After doing some research online, I found a great natural herb called Black Cohosh. It produces hormones that control body temperature and help alleviate hot flashes. Working together with Don Quai and Dioscorea, two other good herbs for menopause, Black Cohosh helps to get estrogen and progesterone to behave properly.

What to do

Natural Hot Flashes Relief Solution

Because Black Cohosh helps influence serotonin, a hormone produced by the body to elevate mood, the herb can help menopausal women impede mood swings and reduce irritability. . Read more
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shoruyken's picture
shoruyken posted on Thu, 09/12/2013 - 14:25
I can realate to the reference to the hot in here song. It really does feel like that and I really do feel like I want to take off all my clothes all the time. No matter how cold it might be.
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