Hot Flashes Common Even Before Menopause

Although most women expect hot flashes as a part of the "change of life," over half start feeling the heat before menopause has actually begun, according to a new study.

Menopause symptoms can range from mild and fleeting to severe and disruptive. Each woman experiences menopause differently and the severity, frequency and intensity of menopause symptoms vary greatly from person to person.

This new study and others like it demonstrate that women often begin having hot flashes and night sweats, both symptoms of the onset of menopause, before they have their final menstrual period. The findings, published in the journal Menopause, shouldn't be a concern for women, but it may change how researchers look at hot flashes.

Hot flashes and night sweats can kick in when hormonal changes cause blood vessels near the surface of the skin to open rapidly. Conventional thinking was that women with regular menstrual cycles would have enough estrogen to stave off hot flashes, but the new study may cause that to be reconsidered.

Surveys were sent to 18,500 women between 45 and 56. Of the 1,500 who still had regular cycles and weren't taking medications such as antibiotics or hormone replacement, 55 percent reported having experienced a hot flash or night sweat at some point in their lives. More than half of white, black and Native American women reported the symptoms, compared to 30 percent or fewer of Asian and Hispanic women.

Many women have hot flashes but don't find that they disrupt daily life.

According to the study, only about 22% were ‘bothered’ by the flashes, so over half of the women who had experienced a hot flash weren't troubled by it.

Although it wasn't the main focus of the study, the researchers also examined how much soy the women reported eating. Soybeans contain soy isoflavones, chemicals found in soy that exert a mild estrogen-like effect. The interest in soy and menopause stems from observational evidence in Japan, where researchers have found the low frequency of hot flashes in Japanese women might be attributed to the high soy consumption that often begins in utero and continues throughout their life.

Among white women, those with menopausal symptoms seemed more likely to eat soy regularly, while white women without symptoms were more likely to never have eaten soy. There was no relationship with soy in the other ethnic groups.

The cause of hot flashes can often be found in common triggers that seem to bring them about more often and much more severely. These triggers include stress, anxiety, alcohol, cigarettes, spicy foods and hot beverages. You should also avoid tight, thick and restrictive clothing as well as hot baths, hot showers and saunas. You should also turn your thermostat down a few degrees and try to keep your bedroom as cool as possible at night when trying to sleep.

Anxiety, depression, severe mood swings, irritability and mental confusion are all menopause symptoms that can in themselves cause higher amount of stress. There are many herbs for menopause that are used to achieve a healthier mental balance and also reduce the experience of hot flashes. Don Quai is a natural menopause treatment that has been used for many centuries within Asia to maintain female hormonal balance. It is effective in the reduction of hot flashes and the emotional symptoms brought on by menopause.

We recommend starting with the natural approach. Our experience shows the most thorough and lasting way to manage symptoms of hormonal imbalance is to listen to your body and build a strong foundation through lifestyle and nutrition.

A wonderful natural formula to help you balance your hormones and live a longer, healthier life is Women’s Natural Balance (click here to view), a safe, and effective daily supplement that contains many of the top ingredients. This specially blended formula contains many safe and all natural substances that include black cohosh, soy isoflavones, red clover, Mexican yams and red raspberry extract.

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