Are hot flashes driving you crazy? If you are always fanning yourself and feel like all you want to do is tear off all your clothes, then you are definitely experiencing every menopausal woman’s nightmare – the dreaded hot flashes, sometimes also called hot flushes! Whatever they are called, I am sure that those of you who do have them, will want to know how to control them!
We discuss hot flashes, what causes them and what YOU can to do to make menopause more manageable.
WHAT IS A HOT FLASH?
A hot flash is a feeling of intense heat which comes about quite quickly. Your face and neck area may become red, feel warm and flushed, you may also start sweating too. Some women describe a hot flash as starting from their toes and rising up to their heads, while others say a hot flash just comes upon them suddenly in a sort of 'wave', when they least expect it! Some women may also have tingling in the fingers and a rapid heart rate or chills.
Many women also experience hot flashes at night, accompanied by sweating. These are nightly sweats which usually keep menopausal women awake at night, making it even harder for them to stay asleep!
WHAT CAUSES HOT FLASHES?
It is not really clear what causes hot flashes but they are most likely as a result of hormonal changes in the body. Every woman going through menopause experiences hot flashes differently. While some may hardly be affected by hot flashes at all, others may feel their severity and intensity and report that hot flashes have a negative impact on their lives and daily functioning. Some women have even told me that their hot flashes were so bad and so unexpected that they began to be stressed and anxious about attending work meetings in case they had a hot flash that everyone could see!
HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
The intensity of hot flashes varies from woman to woman and affects each one differently. Some women may only experience hot flashes for a short period during menopause while others may have them for the rest of their lives.
In most cases, luckily, the severity of hot flashes decreases over time as hormones begin to balance themselves.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT HOT FLASHES?
While hot flashes during menopause are very common, there are easy ways to prevent and manage them.
1. Reduce hot flash triggers
There are a number of triggers that can exacerbate hot flashes. Luckily, there are certain things that you can avoid and these include wearing tight clothing, hot weather or being in a heated environment, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, eating spicy foods or smoking. All of these things can make hot flashes worse or even bring them on!
2. Eat a healthy, well balanced diet
What you eat can affect the intensity and severity of your hot flashes. If you decide to go out for a curry or Mexican food, you may definitely pay the price later. Hot flashes and spicy foods do not like each other!
- Reduce your intake of foods high in sugar, white bread or pasta.
- Avoid overly spicy foods
- Choose foods that contain protein, healthy fats and are high in fibre to balance your hormones.
- Enjoy healthy and nourishing foods such as oatmeal or a smoothie for breakfast, an omelette or salad for lunch and grilled salmon and roasted veggies for dinner. Broccoli sprouts also contain antioxidants which are great for hormone balance and will help to keep your body in sync.
3. Reduce stress
Managing your stress levels can help you to cope better with hot flashes. The onset of a hot flash can cause many women to feel anxious, overwhelmed and stressed.
It is important that you learn and practice certain relaxation and breathing techniques to keep calm and relaxed and help you manage your hot flashes more effectively.
Practice deep breathing exercises, meditate, do yoga, go for a long walk or listen to soothing music to quiet your mind and body and feel more relaxed and at peace. If you are really feeling stressed, take a few drops of PureCalm. PureCalm is one of my favorite herbal remedies because it offers such fast, on-the-spot relief just when you need it! Just a few drops in water will help to keep you calm and relaxed in minutes.
4. Be good to yourself
Women generally feel yucky when they have hot flashes. Some can’t even wear make-up, their hair is matted and they are sweaty most of the time. It is also true that women tend to be quite hard on themselves and when they feel unattractive, that does not help them to feel good!
Learn to be good to yourself. Go for a massage, cut your hair, have a leisurely bubble bath or treat yourself to a weekend away. Pampering yourself will lift your spirits and take your mind off feeling hot and flushed all the time.
5. Use natural remedies for hot flashes
Many women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat their hot flashes but this often comes with unwanted side effects as well as proven health risks. Natural remedies are much gentler on the body’s system and equally effective in helping to relieve hot flashes, balance hormones and manage menopause. For a healthy menopause, I can highly recommend MellowPause and Don Quai to help you to cope with hot flashes and manage menopausal symptoms.
MellowPause is a herbal formula which helps to reduce hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Don Quai is a female reproductive system tonic to promote premenstrual, menstrual and menopausal health. It helps to balance hormones that are out of whack in the body.