Hot flushes are intense feelings of warmth caused by an increase in body temperature. They are the most common and prevalent symptom of menopause, which is the stage of a woman’s life when she stops having menstrual cycles. Hot flush symptoms include a sudden feeling of warmth and heat spreading throughout the body, an increased heartbeat, tingling in your extremities, and visible perspiration. One’s skin also reddens and appears blushed or blotchy. The warm feeling and redness is usually most intense on the face, neck, and chest. As the hot flash concludes, you will feel a noticeable chill or shiver throughout your body. Hot flashes that take place at night are often called “night sweats.”
Hot flushes usually come suddenly and without warning, and more than 75% of women experience them at some point in their lives. Some last for a few seconds, but others can last as long as ten minutes. However, the average hot flush lasts for about four minutes. Some women have hot flushes for a short time period, but symptoms can persist for up to 11 years in extreme cases. On average, women get hot flushes for around seven years of their life. While hot flushes are not preventable entirely, there are several ways to decrease their impact. There are lifestyle changes and medical treatments for menopausal women, to make living with hot flushes easier. Don’t let an unexpected hot flush ruin your day. Read below to learn more about living and dealing with hot flushes.
Many women undergo hormone therapy to treat their menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy involves taking medications containing female hormones that the body ceases to produce during menopause. The main hormone taken during therapy is oestrogen, but progesterone must be taken by those who have not had hysterectomies, to protect against uterine cancer. The medications are taken using a pill, cream, gel, or patch. In addition to minimizing hot flush symptoms, hormone therapy can also prevent bone loss for menopausal women.
You must consult with a doctor to see if hormone therapy is right for you. Certain factors such as age, medical history, and hormone dosage can lead to health problems and complications with hormone therapy. If hormone therapy is not an option for you, don’t worry! There are other ways to manage your hot flushes.
Essential oils can also be used to manage hot flush symptoms. Essential oils and herbs are another way to treat or prevent hot flushes. Black cohosh, red clover, dong quai, soy, and other substances can be used to help with hot flush symptoms. As is the case with all medicines, essential oils, or herbs, consult with a doctor before use. They will use their professional medical judgment and opinion to decide the best course of action for managing your hot flushes.
There are also positive lifestyle changes you can make to not only combat hot flushes, but live a healthier and better life in general. For example, hot or spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can trigger hot flushes, so enjoy them in moderation or cut them from your diet entirely. Drinking plenty of water also limits hot flush symptoms, and a small amount of cold water before bed has been shown to reduce night sweats. Cigarette smoke also worsens hot flushes, so quit smoking and do not start. You should also avoid secondhand smoke when possible.
Yoga, tai chi, and meditation have also been shown to help with menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. All of these activities utilize relaxation breathing to calm the body and relieve stress, which can trigger hot flushes.
Keep Your Home Cool
Since hot flushes are caused by increases in body temperature, staying cool prevents them. One way to keep your body temperature down is by keeping your home’s temperature down. There are many efficient and easy air conditioner options to keep your home cool, such as window air conditioners and ductless mini splits.
Wear Layers and Proper Clothing
When dealing with hot flushes, you must dress accordingly and wear layers. Since hot flushes come on suddenly, wearing layers allows you to peel off articles of clothing to lower your body temperature. You can also wear lighter, breathable fabrics to keep your body temperature down. For those suffering from night sweats, sleeping in lighter clothing will minimize the impact of said night sweats.
Even though hot flushes are not completely preventable, using these techniques and tips keeps them at bay. Hot flushes don’t have to ruin your life, so don’t let them!
Author Bio: Emily Hodges is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Comfort Up, a provider of indoor and outdoor heating and cooling systems. Emily oversees all marketing-related functions from their Miami, FL office. In her spare time, she loves all things interior design and has helped many friends completely renovate their homes.