Two of the most common complaints about menopause are hot flashes and night sweats. This uncomfortable symptom affects approximately three-quarters of women in perimenopause or the time before actual menopause. Once a woman has reached menopause, she may continue to have hot flashes for six months to five years.
A Hot Flash is a feeling of intense heat, not caused by external sources. Hot flashes can appear suddenly, or you may feel them coming on. You may experience
- Tingling in your fingers.
- Heart beat becomes faster than usual.
- Sudden warmth on the skin.
- Your face getting red or flushed
- Sweating, especially in the upper body.
CAUSES OF HOT FLASHES
It’s not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. However, they are most likely due to hormonal changes in the body. Some women barely notice hot flashes or consider them a minor annoyance. For others, the intensity may affect their quality of life in a rather negative way.
HOT FLASH TRIGGERS
Each woman’s triggers for hot flash may be a little different, but some common ones include
- Drinking alcohol
- Consuming products with caffeine
- Eating spicy food
- Being in a hot room
- Feeling stressed or anxious
- Wearing tight clothing
- Smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke.
You may want to start keeping a journal about your symptoms. Write down what you were doing, eating, drinking, wearing, or feeling when each hot flash began. After several weeks, you may begin to see a pattern that can help you avoid specific triggers.
Some women are able to manage their hot flashes with some simple tools or techniques. Here are some simple ways to find relief
- Dressing in layers, even on the coldest days, so you can adjust your clothing to how you’re feeling.
- Sipping ice water at the start of a hot flash
- Wearing cotton night clothes and using cotton bed linens.
- Keeping an ice pack on your bedside table.
There are other types of treatment such as Herb and oil relief, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), non-hormonal treatment.
Lifestyle choices can make as much of an impact on your body as any medication or supplement you take. Living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the incidence and/ or severity of hot flashes and help reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. The following ways can also improve your health
- Eating a well-balanced diet, with portion control
- Exercising regularly
- Stop smoking (if you do).