Hot flashes vary in intensity for different women but they remain among the most talked about symptoms of menopause, mostly because they are so uncomfortable. About 80% of the women in America experience flashes (hot flushes that move through the body in a wave) and night sweats (waking up with wet pjs and bed sheets) during the peri-menopause and menopause years.

Some women have them for a few short years while others still experience them into their 70s. Hot flashes happen when the body produces less estrogen and progesterone for a variety of reasons caused by aging. Flashing can last from a few seconds to a few minutes; and in some cases they are known to last up to an hour.

Severity can depend on the lifestyle and psychological factors. Some women really sweat, while others may only perspire. Some women have headaches, feel dizzy, weak, tired or lose sleep, experience palpitations and have skipped or erratic heartbeats. It is always advisable to consult your doctor.

The Causes and Remedies

Some women cope with flashes without taking medication of any kind. Others who experience more extreme flashes need help. Flushing and night sweats can cause interrupted sleep, insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety and depression, among other symptoms that can be debilitating in the rest of your life.

Intensity varies for different women. Mild hot flashes produce a feeling of warmth for less than a minute with little or no perspiration. Moderate flashes produce more warmth and a little perspiration and last for two to three minutes. Severe ones produce intense heat and sweat and can last for longer periods of time.

Spicy food, alcoholic drinks, hot drinks, white sugar (can also cause palpitations), hot weather, stress, hot tubs and saunas, tobacco, marijuana and unexpressed anger can all be factors that bring on hot flashes. As can being stressed or tired because if your adrenal glands get overworked, this can leech your levels of progesterone which can be supplement with over-the-counter creams.

Flushing is also known to deplete Vitamin B, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium in our bodies. For mild flashes a daily dosage of 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin E is recommended.

Most women start a daily dose of 600 to 800 IU of Vitamin E with Vitamin C and when the flashes subside reduce to 400 IU. Vitamin E has been effective on up to 60% of women and it takes around two to six weeks for the effects to show.

Vitamin E is contraindicated with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or with rheumatic heart conditions, history of hypertension, etc. and it is always advisable to seek a doctor\’s opinion.

In Non-Western Cultures

Less than 10% of women in non-western cultures, such as Japan, Mexico, and India, experience hot flashes and night sweats. This has been linked to the high soybean consumption, which stimulates estrogen production. Herbs such as ginseng, vitex agnus castii, licorice root, black cohosh, dong quai, blue cohosh, false unicorn and sarsaparilla have been used to alleviate hot flashes.

To learn exactly how to eliminate menopause symptoms visit www.howtoconquermenopause.com

Cathy's passion for the internet, as well as her own transition into peri-menopause, was the impetus to create her first website Everything Menopause. She writes often regarding menopause and issues that concern women at mid-life including healing the mind, body and emotions. You can also find some of her health-related articles online at www.ezinearticles.com/?expert=Cathy_Taylor