Hot flashes, sensations of warmth and heat on the upper body and face, are experienced by 75 percent of the menopausal women in the United States. They occur as a result of reduced estrogen levels in the body.
The severity and pattern of the flashes will be unique to the individual. Some women may easily tolerate them whereas other women might find them debilitating.
Hot flashes can peak during the first two years after menopause and usually decline over time. However, some women might experience them for as long as five years, or even longer.
But don’t worry, there are things you can do to turn down your internal thermostat and carry on with your life without much interruption. Here are some simple tips to help you manage your hot flashes:
1) Layer It Up!
Dressing in layers that you can easily take off can help you manage the heat when a flash hits. Always pick light layers like cotton that can absorb perspiration. Avoid wools, synthetics, and tight clothes that can leave you drenched.
Wear clothing that wicks moisture away from your body. Clothing with these qualities are available — and there are cute styles available! — and make a great first layer to dissipate your hot flashes more quickly.
Try to use bedding and sheets that also have wicking properties to reduce the discomfort of night sweats—and remember not to put too many covers on your bed!
2) No to Stimulants, Yes to Ice-Cold Refreshments
Coffee, tea, alcohol, and even chocolate can be stimulants that trigger your hot flashes. Smoking is also associated with increased hot flashes. Reducing the consumption of these foods and beverages — and quitting smoking! — can help manage your symptoms.
Eating spicy foods might help with weight loss, but they are a no-no when it comes to hot flashes. Hot foods like soups can also worsen your symptoms.
Drinking cold drinks at the start of a hot flash, on the other hand, can help you cool down faster.
Keep a journal to keep track of your symptoms and identify personal triggers, which you can then avoid to help reduce hot flashes.
3) Prep Your Own Cooling Spray