Hot flashes are also known as hot flushes. They are usually a quick sensation of heat, coupled with reddening of the face and the neck. Sometimes, menopausal women also suffer from sweats, especially at night, hence the name night sweats. Although their exact cause remains a mystery, some women may experience hot flashes over a short period of time, while others may have them throughout the rest of their lives. The good news is that the longer you have them, the less they are severe.
The most common story for all women having hot flashes during menopause is that they can be quite uncomfortable, making it real hard to have a sound sleep, especially when coupled with sweating. Luckily, there are numerous ways in which one can deal with hot flashes, in reducing their intensity as well as frequency. To this end, you would do good to avoid triggers like alcoholic beverages, caffeinated drinks, foods with a lot of spices, smoking of cigarettes, stressful situations or factors, hot places, and tight clothing.
Although it is a common occurrence for women to put on some extra pounds with aging, menopause hot flashes have now been linked with putting on additional weight during this transition stage in women. For most of the women transiting to menopause, anything that will change their physical appearance is not considered good news, and for obvious reasons: there is a figure you have worked hard to achieve and maintain, one that keeps you comfortable and happy with yourself, and for all the efforts to go down the drain in the name of menopause is not amusing. To quite a number of women, this may result in a destruction of self-confidence and self-image, seriously impacting their performance in workplaces, at home, and is social interactions.
During perimenopause and menopause, the loss of huge amounts of various hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) often results in tremendous increase in weight throughout the whole body and much more in abdominal obesity. This is in addition to many other symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes.
What really happens here is that whenever hot flushes occur, they tend to send a strong communication to the ovaries of the menopausal woman, demanding for adequate production of estrogen required for the normal functioning of the body. Sadly, though, this yelling lands on deaf ears as a result of communication breakdown, since the ovaries are no longer responsive. As a result, this communication goes to the extension line in the fat cells, which are found in places like the thighs, hips and the belly.
The explanation for this specified extension is the fact the estrogen used during menopause (estrone) can only be manufactured in fat tissue. In other words, the more fat is available, the more estrogen is manufactured. That translates, therefore, to mean, as long as the hot flushes trigger the brain to keep yelling at the ovaries in vain, the thighs, the belly and the hips will continue to rescue the situation, unfortunately resulting to gaining of weight to the tune of up to 30 pounds over a span of 5 years.
Of course, women do not want to sit back and watch their self-image destroyed by weight gain during menopause. There are a lot of remedies one can resort to, and largely the choice is all yours. Keeping a close watch on certain lifestyle habits like what and how you eat or drink could go a long way in making life bearable. It is time to not only eat less but also smarter.
Added to this should be adaption of exercise activities that you can reliably and consistently engage in, for at least half an hour a day for 3 to 5 days a week. Cutting down on alcohol consumption is highly advisable as well.
But given that the female body is inclined towards production of more fat as old age creeps in and as menopause sets in, they will still gain additional pounds even with the lifestyle measures in place. This calls for more effort and determination in maintaining the desired or recommended body weight, size or shape.
One of the most effective measures towards this noble endeavor is the balancing of hormones to stop gaining of weight and more especially abdominal obesity. This will also mean that with hormones back in place, hot flashes will be a matter put to rest, hence more comfortable sleep at night, increased energy for running errands and clarity of thoughts.
There is still a lot of hope in managing weight during menopause. Balancing of hormones should be complemented with lifestyle choices, as appropriately as every case would be. Whichever option you go for, be sure to keep in touch with your doctor or medical practitioner, to assist you in assessing the merits and demerits of each approach, so that your choices are well-informed.