8 Effective Tips for Coping with Hot Flashes During Menopause
Are you experiencing hot flashes? If you’re going through the menopausal transition, you are probably familiar with the feeling. Hot flashes are common symptoms of menopause or the period when your menstruation stops. They are uncomfortable and can last for years.
Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat or having a red-flushed face and sweating. When they happen at night, they are called night sweats. These flashes are believed to be due to hormonal fluctuations during the menopausal period. They can come with a forewarning or suddenly appear. Hot flashes can largely affect the quality of life of women, especially when they occur at night. They can cause sleep discomfort and deprivation.
Are you thinking about what you can do with your hot flashes? Here are eight effective tips for coping with these unpleasant feelings.
1. Avoid triggers.
Although their exact causes are still unknown, hot flashes have known triggers that can be avoided. You can choose to stay away from them so as not to induce the flashes.
Among these triggers are wearing tight clothing, smoking, eating spicy food, drinking caffeine and alcohol, hot weather and stress. If you are used to drinking several cups of coffee and tea a day, you may want to try having non-caffeinated alternatives like herbal menopause tea. Taking in caffeine can make your hot flashes worse. Similarly, spicy food, such as hot peppers, contains heat-producing compounds, which can also make hot flashes more terrible.
2. Wear lightweight layers.
As restrictive clothing is a trigger, clothes made from natural materials like cotton should be worn in layers during cold weather. These lightweight clothes can then be removed by layer whenever you feel warm or during the start of a hot flash.
3. Try herbal remedies.
Herbal remedies can be useful in treating menopause symptoms. However, when taking these alternatives, you should first consult your doctor and remember to use only good quality products.
Black cohosh and evening primrose oil are two of the most common natural remedies that are said to help with menopausal symptoms. Another option is the use of menopause tea blends, which can be taken to balance the estrogen levels in the body.
(scroll down to read more)
4. Exercise regularly.
Exercise benefits the body in different ways and relieving hot flashes is one. When you exercise, it can decrease your stress level and help you get a good night sleep. Whether it’s aerobic training or a high-intensity one, regular physical activity helps your body to relax and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, exercising helps in losing weight, which is also beneficial when dealing with hot flashes.
5. Maintain a healthy weight.
Obese or overweight women may be faced with more severe and frequent hot flashes. This is a good reason to get off the bed early and try to maintain a healthy weight by exercising. Although losing weight in the menopausal stage is difficult because of hormonal changes and the aging process, it can help ease hot flashes.
To keep your weight healthy, healthy eating habits should be established; it further maintains your metabolic rates. Watching portion sizes when eating also helps but never the low-calorie diets. Reducing your calorie level during and after menopause can decrease or cause the loss of muscle mass, as well as the reduction in metabolic rates.
6. Add natural food and supplement to your diet.
Having natural food and supplements in your diet may reduce hot flashes. This can also help you sustain a healthy weight.
This food and supplements include flax seeds, red clover, fruits, vegetables, soy, lentils and beans, which contain estrogen-like plant compounds called isoflavone and decrease the frequency of how often flashes occur. Other foods with a high amount of isoflavones are tofu, miso, soybean curd cheese and soy flour. Black cohosh supplement capsules, black cohosh food-grade oil, flax supplement capsules, evening primrose capsules and evening primrose food-grade oil are also shown to lessen the occurrence of hot flashes. Before taking any isoflavone supplement, consider asking your doctor first for safety.
7. Prepare before going to sleep.
Hot flashes can strike when you are trying to get a sleep. This is why you should be prepared and ready to find relief so you can have a great rest. Before you sleep, you can try turning on a fan or turning down the room temperature if you’re using an air-conditioning unit. Removing sheets and blankets, as well as some layers of your clothes, may also help. If you can, changing into cool clothes will be better.
To stay cool at night, sipping cool water before going to bed will help. Also, a chill pillow filled with water or other cooling materials may be useful. You can have cooling packs, cooling sprayer or cooling gels ready at the bedside in case hot flashes suddenly occur. When they do happen, try practising slow and deep breathing to help your body relax. In this way, your symptoms can be more manageable.
8. Consider hormone replacement therapy.
For healthy women, systemic hormone therapy can be an option but with a doctor’s recommendation. Hormone replacement therapy provides the best relief for hot flashes, but it may not be applicable for breast cancer survivors because the risks may cancel out the benefits.
Hormone therapies help balance the estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, which makes them very effective. However, associated risks may include strokes, heart attacks and dementia. That’s why women who plan on taking such therapies should discuss with their health care providers first.
Want to stay tuned and read more health tips, self-care and health facts? Subscribe to our newsletter email here.
NannoDry® is a must-have for incontinence protection. Super thin and absorbent, Made with certified 100% organic cotton, unscented odor-control technology and biodegradable plastic wrapping and packaging. Light, Regular and Super sizes are available. See reviews here.
NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Nannocare. Nannocare is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the author of this article, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates.