How to stop hot flashes fast: 5 ways
During menopause, the amount of estrogen in your body rapidly decreases. It can trigger a host of common symptoms, including hot flashes. This is when small and sudden elevations in the body’s core temperature lead to sweating and a feeling of intense inner heat.
Like menopause, hot flashes affect everyone differently. Some people experience mild hot flashes and don’t need any interventions. Others seek a wide range of options to relieve it.
The first step to addressing your hot flashes is taking notes on how often and when they occur. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of what treatment and coping strategies could work best for you when speaking with a healthcare professional.
We use the term “women” in this article to reflect the term assigned at birth. However, gender is solely about how you identify, independent of your physical body.
1. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
Since hot flashes are the result of decreased estrogen in the body during menopause, it’s possible to take hormone replacement medication to help with this. These synthetic hormones help regulate estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.
Examples of hormone treatments that can help with hot flashes include:
- vaginal rings
They can also be beneficial in helping with other menopausal symptoms, such as:
Potential side effects can include an increased risk of the following:
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2. Nonhormonal treatment
Some women can also experience other health issues that mean they can’t take hormone replacements. Nonhormonal options include low doses of antidepressants that help increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, such as paroxetine.
Paroxetine is also an effective treatment for generalized anxiety and depression. While not known to be an addictive drug, it can be habit-forming and does come with adverse side effects.
Potential side effects of paroxetine include:
3. Lifestyle measures
Making small, but regular adjustments in your daily routine can help you with hot flashes. These include:
- lowering the temperature of your bedroom
- taking small sips of water before bed
- avoiding alcohol, if applicable
- dressing in layers
The National Institute on Aging suggests that maintaining a moderate weight can also help reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
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4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
There are a host of therapies that can help people cope with hot flashes. One of the leading methods is CBT, which helps change negative thought patterns.
CBT allows individuals to isolate thoughts, feelings, and actions into separate parts to manage them better. Research notes that it is an effective way to reduce the negative impact of hot flashes. It can also help with stress, low moods, and sleep problems commonly accompanying menopause.
Though there are few direct side effects, CBT can bring up past traumas that result in difficult emotions, stress, or anxiety.
Consider speaking with a healthcare professional to determine what the best method of treatment may be for you.
Phytoestrogens are compounds found in plants and can work as a form of natural HRT. They can mimic estrogen in a woman’s body.
You can receive a good amount of phytoestrogens from your diet if you eat the following foods:
- soy products, such as tempeh and tofu
- fruits, such as peaches and berries
- cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli
Phytoestrogens are also available in the form of supplements. When taken in concentrated doses, they can cause the body to respond as though estrogen is present.
Older research suggests that they can reduce the frequency of hot flashes, without serious side effects.
How many hot flashes per day is standard?
The frequency of hot flashes is different for everyone and can vary from day to day. Therefore, a ‘standard’ range is hard to pinpoint.
Hot flashes can be intense and unpleasant, but you can manage them through treatments such as HRT, supplements, and lifestyle measures.
Consider speaking with a healthcare professional to determine what options may be right for you.
Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.
- Bansal R, et al. (2019). Menopausal hot flashes: A concise review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459071/
- Chen MN, et al. (2015). Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: A meta-analysis and systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389700/
- Franco OH, et al. (2016). Use of plant-based therapies and menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27327802/
- Freedman RR. (2014). Menopausal hot flashes: Mechanisms, endocrinology, treatment. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24012626/
- Hot flashes: What can I do? (2021) https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-flashes-what-can-i-do
- Hunter, MS. (2021). Cognitive behavioral therapy for menopausal symptoms. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32627593/
- Shrestha P, et al. (2022). Paroxetine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526022/
- Tempfer CB, et al. (2009) Side effects of phytoestrogens: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK77935/