Hot flashes commonly occur in postmenopausal women. Falling oestrogen levels lead to temperature surges in the body and this is evidenced in the form of a hot flash.
A hot flash can occur unexpectedly and can leave you hyperventilating and sweating profusely. Some women claim to be very uncomfortable in the throes of a hot flash.
Despite this, you do not have to suffer the agony in silence. There is plenty that you can do to fight back the hot flash with the help of simple and effective tips.
Tips to Stop Hot Flashes
Dress, keeping in mind the unexpected occurrence of a hot flash. If the weather outside is cool, dress in layers. This allows you to shed the excess layers of clothes as your body core temperature rises. Wear a light tank top with a blouse on top or a short shrug, which allows you to dispense with it if a hot flash suddenly sneaks up.
If the weather outside is extremely warm, you are better off dressing in loose, flowy and comfortable cottons. Light capries, shorts with sleeveless blouses are ideal to allow air circulation. Plan and buy clothes in advance so that you are appropriately dressed at all times.
If you are suddenly experiencing an attack of a hot flash, try some meditation or deep breathing techniques. This shortens the flash and makes the experience for you mild. Take deep breaths, hold your breath and then breathe out. Do this for at least 5 minutes. It also calms the mind and helps to reduce anxiety. Practice your breathing techniques with the correct yogic asanas. This will help you to stay in touch and ward off the attack of a hot flash when you actually begin to experience it.
Keep your Environment Cool
A hot flash can leave you feeling sweaty and miserable. Some episodes can be prolonged. In order to cope, ensure that your environment is cool. Switch on the ac or the fan. Sip on a cool drink like lemonade, which will help to bring the body temperature down.
Try to maintain the cool temperature of the house. This allows your inner body thermostat to not spiral out of control when a hot flash strikes. Wear light clothes and sleep with an extra light quilt, which can be thrown off when things heat up.
Stay away from Hot Places
Going into a claustrophobic, stuffy and warm kitchen while you are suffering from a hot flash is not a good idea. Delegate the same to someone else. Avoid going out in the sun or staying in stuffy and overcrowded places, as these areas are likely to exacerbate your symptoms. This will make it easier to deal with a hot flash.
A hot flash can lead to sweating and perspiration and may make you mildly dehydrated. Hence, it is important to keep sipping on fluids throughout the day. This will not only cool down your body but also make you feel hydrated lest you sweat too much.
Say no to Hot and Spicy Foods
Have you ever experienced a sensation of extreme warmth after consuming something spicy? This feeling can get exacerbated especially if you are consuming spicy and hot foods in the midst of a hot flash. Menopausal women should make concerted efforts to avoid hot and spicy foods as much as possible.
These will make the attack of a hot flash even more intense and uncomfortable. Stick to whole grains, fluids and plenty of fruits and veggies as these have a cooling effect on the body and are said to ward off hot flashes.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy
If you are an ideal candidate for estrogen therapy, you may have to speak to your doctor with regard to the same. Some women are especially susceptible to falling levels of estogen and may experience hot flashes well into their postmenopausal years.
In such cases, a shot of estrogen might help to make your experience of hot flashes more bearable. This is of course only recommended for women with severe experiences of hot flashes. Hot flashes that disrupt your routine and make day-to-day functioning difficult need a dose of estrogen therapy to stay in balance.
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Effective Remedies That Help Deal With Hot Flashes
Some prescription medications are known to be helpful in dealing with an intense attack of a hot flash. These include anti-convulsants, anti-depressants and some blood pressure medications. Speak to your doctor with regard to the same, use them very judiciously, and wisely as these are all prescription medications.
Ideally, a doctor will not give these medicines to you unless you have an underlying medical condition but you may have to take a short course of this medication especially if other therapies have failed and you have not seen an improvement in your condition.
Exercise is a great way of keeping the mind and body fit especially during the menopausal years. Make sure you take in some form of regular exercise. This is great for keeping and maintaining hormonal balance in the body, losing weight gained during menopause and managing hot flashes more effectively.
Women who undertake regular physical exertion suffer from fewer episodes of hot flashes. The severity of the hot flashes is also less when you undertake exercise every day.
Sleep on Cool Pillows and Sheets
Ensure that the bed linen you use for the night is suitable for dealing with hot flashes. The sheets and pillows should be made of light cotton. This keeps you cool at night and helps the sweat to evaporate should you experience an attack of hot flash.
Add Soy to your Diet
Make sure that you add some form of soy to your diet. Soy has properties that act like phytoestrogens and help to reduce the severity and experience of a hot flash. Speak to your doctor about the amount of soy you should be consuming in your diet.
With the help of the above steps, you can easily stop a hot flash and will be able to overcome this unpleasant side effect of menopause.