Hot flashes are sudden feelings of intense warmth or heat, which is felt in one part or all over the body. It is usually most intense on the neck, face and the chest area. The symptoms of hot flashes are very common in menopausal women or women who are approaching menopause.
Hot flashes occur very frequently at night and can leave you feeling chilled especially after you sweat profusely. Hot flashes occur due to the changing hormone levels and the drop in estrogen in menopausal women. They can be very uncomfortable and can disrupt your sleep at night. In most cases, the symptoms of hot flashes stop after a few years but in order to reduce the discomfort, there are some steps that you can take.
Tips to Get Relief From Hot Flashes
Dress In Layers
Wear clothes in layers depending on the weather outside. You may experience sensations of hot flashes even in the winters and may feel the need to remove garments. Dressing in layers will help you to peel off the garment especially when you start to sweat. Getting rid of the excess layers should help you to cool down and feel better.
Avoid Wearing Synthetic
Synthetic garments may exacerbate the symptoms of hot flashes. Avoid wearing these as much as possible. These include garments like rayon, nylon, silk and linen. Stick to cotton clothes especially in the warm summer months when you are likely to sweat even more. Cotton allows your skin to breathe and helps the sweat to evaporate quickly allowing your body to cool down.
Do Not Wear Turtlenecks
Hot flashes strike in the neck and chest area making you feel very hot and claustrophobic around the neck. In such cases, do not wear restrictive styles of clothing like turtlenecks or shirts that pinch at the neck. This can make you feel awfully warm and uncomfortable. Stick to boat necks and deep necks that permit air circulation.
Keep Sipping On Cold Water
Keep sipping on cold water throughout the day. You never know when the next episode of a hot flash may occur. Cold water will also help in reducing the body temperature when you are experiencing symptoms of a hot flash.
Sit In A Cool Environment
Sit in an air-conditioned room or a room where the fans are switched on. If you are experiencing hot flashes, sitting in an AC room will help you to cool down quickly. Avoid over heated environments and hot, crowded places as these places may exacerbate your symptoms.
A nightgown will permit cooling down especially when you are sleeping at night. You can also change out of it quickly especially when you wake up at night drenched in sweat.
Sleep On Cotton Sheets
Cool cotton sheets are better to sleep on than synthetic ones. You will also cut down on cleaning bills with cotton bed sheets, as these are easier to clean and wash.
Take Cool Showers
Summer time is particularly notorious for exacerbating your symptoms of a hot flash. You are likely to feel more comfortable if you take cool showers 2-3 times a day. Just standing under a cold-water shower and letting the water run down your face and neck will make you feel better.
Eat Cold Foods
Use your freezer a lot and stock it up with frozen foods like ice creams and popsicles, which you can suck on when the next symptom of a hot flash strikes.
You can also try sticking your head and neck region in the freezer although this is a tad extreme. However, it will reduce your discomfort to a large extent.
Keeping physically fit and staying active during the younger years is one of the best preventive strategies against hot flashes. Women who kept themselves physically fit and agile were less likely to suffer from symptoms of a hot flash. If you are very busy, make simple changes in your lifestyle like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking it down wherever you go. Moderate exercise undertaken every week does reduce your symptoms and experiences associated with a hot flash.
Low Fat Diet
Switch to a diet that is nutritious, healthy and low on refined carbs and fat. Consuming a lot of grease in your diet is likely to exacerbate your symptoms of a hot flash. Eat more of fibre, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This is likely to stabilize your endocrine functions and reduce fluctuations in the hormones, which is causing you to experience the symptoms of a hot flash.
If the above lifestyle changes do not seem to be helping you, you can speak to your doctor and take something for the hot flashes. Suitable medication is likely to reduce your symptoms and make you feel better.
Menopause is a difficult time and women are bound to feel stressed by the changes their bodies are undergoing. In such circumstances, taking recourse to stress reduction is likely to make you feel better. Use stress reduction strategies like meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause. This is likely to also affect your overall well-being.
Increase Your Intake Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Taking in more omega -3 fatty acids in the form of olive oil, flaxseeds, nuts and fish can have a positive impact on the symptoms of menopause.
Omega -3 fatty acids tend to reduce the frequency of hot flashes. They are healthy fats, which reduce your blood cholesterol levels and also help you to lose weight.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Reduce the intake of sugar in the body. Sugar can affect the hormonal balance of the body and actually make your symptoms of hot flashes worse. Stick to no more than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar in a day.
Reduce Alcohol And Caffeine And Say No To Smoking
Ban smoking and alcohol from your life as these can play havoc with your endocrine glands. Reduce your consumption of coffee and stick to healthier alternatives like fruit juices and coconut water, which in turn nourish your body from within.