As if menopause didn’t come with enough changes, hot flashes are a frustrating addition. The unexpected heating and cooling and severity can interfere with everyday life. In many cases, hot flashes come and go unannounced. However, some triggers can increase their frequency. Knowing what those triggers are can help you better understand how to manage and live with them.

Hot Flash Triggers

Older woman, hot flashes, flames

To identify if any triggers are making your hot flashes worse, you can begin to keep a journal daily of what you eat, wear, or drink when symptoms hit. While the triggers will vary from woman to woman, the most common triggers are:

  • Consuming alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Being in the heat, or a hot room
  • Stress
  • Tight clothing
  • Smoking, or exposure to cigarette smoke

Hot Flash Treatment Options

By identifying your triggers, you may reduce the frequency, though some hot flashes will remain. Some women don’t get them severe enough to warrant treatment, but if yours have begun to interfere with your life, you should talk with your doctor. Hot flashes can be extremely bothersome, particularly if they happen at night, and you are losing sleep.

Hormone replacement therapy is the mainstream treatment for hot flashes. Estrogen is a supplement to balance out levels and relieve symptoms and severity of hot flashes. These are given through various delivery methods such as pills, creams, patches, and more. Not every woman is a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, so other non-hormonal options are available. They consist of medications that weren’t specifically developed for hot flashes but have worked well in reducing symptoms. Gabapentin and pregabalin are typically used for nerve pain or seizures, and antidepressants like Effexor and Paxil are other options.

Older woman smiling, hot flashes research

Our team here at Women’s Healthcare Research understands the importance of expanding treatment options for all women suffering from hot flashes. Clinical research studies help advance options for conditions like hot flashes. To learn more about enrolling hot flash studies here at Women’s Health, visit our website.