Hot flashes are sudden and unexpected sensations of warmth or heat, typically along the upper body. They are part of menopause for many women and can occur at any time of day. They can be uncomfortable, and they can cause profuse sweating and irritability. Several remedies exist for hot flashes, and here is a partial list. Hope these help!

Hormone therapy and antidepressants

Many women are uncomfortable with this, but supplementing with estrogen and/or progesterone can reduce hot flashes. The trick is to use the lowest dosage that works. Your doctor can test your hormone levels and determine the best course of action.

If you’d rather go a more natural route, a compounding pharmacy can create bioidentical creams if you’d rather not take pills. Eating soy, which contains a plant estrogen, is a common remedy in Asian countries.

Some common antidepressants at low doses, such as Prozac and Paxil, can reduce hot flashes, but they may have more side effects than simple hormone therapy.

Staying cool wherever you go

Simply wearing layers of light clothing can help hot flashes. Thin t-shirts or tank tops keep you covered but allow air to get to your skin, cooling you off. Keep ice-cold water handy to sip on if you feel a flash coming on. If you can, keep a personal fan with you, and stay near open windows.

While sleeping (a common time for hot flashes), sleep on a cool pillow, and keep the room at a low temperature. Reduce bedcovers to only a couple of layers in case you need to get rid of them.

Any way you can alter your environment to stay cool will reduce the severity of hot flashes.

Avoiding hot flash triggers

Hot flashes can be triggered or worsened by anything that causes inflammation or heat in the body. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, heat sources, and stress. If you smoke, quit.

Health-food store remedies

Hot flash herbs and natural remedies are available in most health-food stores. Kava, dong quai, and black cohosh help with those feelings of heat.

If you’ve been through menopause, what helped you with the hot flashes?