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It never fails. You’re sitting at your desk, or grocery shopping, having a conversation with your best friend when you feel it. Your face is hot. Little beads of sweat have started forming on your forehead. Before you know it you feel like you've been running through the desert in the middle of summer and you look like you just won a wet t-shirt contest.
And after a few minutes, it’s over with. Instead of being your own little tropical island you’re now stranded in the middle of the arctic in your underwear. Sound familiar? Well you’re not alone. Seventy-five percent of peri-menopausal and menopausal women experience the dreaded hot flash.We don’t really know what causes hot flashes. There are theories that they are caused by the lack of estrogen production that happens during menopause. The reduction in estrogen levels causes our body’s temperature regulation center to malfunction. But let’s face it. As a woman suffering through hot flashes and night sweats, you care less about what’s causing it and more about how to stop them.
While there are many products out there that claim to help hot flashes, recent research suggest that many of those products have little to no benefit, and some can do more harm than good. Although estrogen therapy can sometimes get a bad rap, it remains the best available treatment for women suffering from hot flashes. Other ways of controlling hot flashes include adjustments to your daily routine like diet and exercise, and wearing breathable clothing or layers to help with temperature regulation.
If you are experiencing hot flashes or menopause in general, we encourage you to sit down with your healthcare provider to discuss what options are best for your symptoms. If you don’t have a healthcare provider we are always happy to sit down and talk with you.
St. Luke’s Certified Nurse-Midwives are dedicated to providing woman-centered care from motherhood through menopause. To make an appointment, or to find out more about St. Luke's Nurse-Midwives, click here.
Tamara Rolan is a certified nurse-midwife at St. Luke's Clinic – Nurse-Midwives and Women's Health.
The most valuable thing we have is our health. And the most valuable thing St. Luke's can do is help you live as healthy a life as possible. We're taking care forward as we develop new ways—and refine the tried and true—to improve health, improve care, and lower costs.