By: Guest Author
Published: May 11, 2022
Written By Ainsley Lawrence- Guest Contributor
Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms women with menopause have to deal with. While they have been stereotyped and used as comedic fodder in movies and television shows, when you’re going through one, it definitely doesn’t feel like something to laugh about.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hot flashes are caused by the hormonal changes that happen during menopause. While the exact reason isn’t known, it’s believed that decreased estrogen levels can cause your “internal thermostat” to become more sensitive.
The symptoms of a hot flash include a sudden feeling of warmth, especially throughout your chest and neck, a flushed appearance, and even a racing heart. We probably don’t have to tell you that it’s typically less than a pleasant experience.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to manage hot flashes, day and night. While they’re an unfortunate part of menopause, being able to manage them can make getting through this time easier.
So, what can you do to get them under control?
Keep it Cool
One of the best things you can do to keep your hot flashes under control is to stay in a cool environment as often as possible. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you’re in rooms that have air conditioning – especially in the summer. If you spend most of your day in one room for work, it can be worth it to install a window unit that will blow direct air closer to your desk space.
Air conditioning is a great option for the bedroom, too. Hot flashes aren’t caused by external sources, so a warm room isn’t going to trigger one. But, it can make it more uncomfortable when you experience one. Whether your hot flashes tend to appear suddenly or you slowly feel them coming on, being prepared with cooling applications is important.
Beyond air conditioning, consider investing in a cooling mattress. Most adults sleep better in cooler environments, with the ideal temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. While air conditioning can help you to get to that ideal temperature, a cooling mattress made with the right materials can make an even greater difference in your comfort levels if you experience hot flashes at night.
Change Your Habits
Certain lifestyle changes can make it easier to manage hot flashes. When you’re experiencing one, the last thing you probably want to do is get hot and sweaty with exercise. But, maintaining a healthy weight can make your hot flashes less intense. Studies have shown that women who are overweight tend to experience more severe hot flashes.
Regular exercise isn’t just good for hot flashes. It’s a great way to manage many of your symptoms and improve your overall health during this stage of life. Some of the additional benefits you’ll experience include:
● An improved mood
● More energy
● A stronger heart
● More muscle strength
Exercising and eating healthy are only two of the lifestyle changes that can make a difference in the severity and frequency of your hot flashes. Other things to consider include avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods. If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. All of those things can make your symptoms worse and can increase the frequency of your hot flashes.
While these changes may not make your symptoms go away completely, they can absolutely help to reduce the intensity of your hot flashes. Furthermore, any habits designed to improve your overall health can put you in a better physical and mental state, making it easier to regularly handle those symptoms.
Reduce Your Stress
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed won’t necessarily trigger a hot flash. But, it can make your symptoms feel worse to the point where they are almost unbearable. Stress-management and relaxation techniques can make it easier to manage your symptoms and reduce the impact of a hot flash. So, make self-care a priority each day and find what relaxes you the most. If you’re not sure how to go about doing that, consider some of the following tried and true ways to reduce stress:
● Guided breathing
Not only can reducing your stress make your symptoms less intense, but it can cool your body down naturally during a hot flash. It’s easy to get flustered and frustrated when you’re experiencing a wave of heat throughout your body, especially when it’s at an inconvenient time. Practicing stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help to cool you down quickly so you can continue about your day.
As a bonus, reducing your stress levels can help with other symptoms of menopause, including mood fluctuations and sleep problems.
If these techniques don’t seem to help with your hot flashes, or you’re experiencing them more intensely and frequently, it could be a sign of something more serious. Don’t take risks with your health. If you’re concerned about your hot flashes, talk to your doctor or head to a local urgent care center for immediate help.
The symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, impact every woman differently, but no one likes dealing with them. While you might not be able to avoid hot flashes completely during this stage of life, using these suggestions to manage them will make things easier and more comfortable.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. When not writing, her free time is spent reading and researching to learn more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.