I happen to compile 5 simple and easy tips to manage hot flashes while the rest of the world is bustling on and about. Hot flashes can just be one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. Whether it’s during the day and you feel like you’re suddenly on fire or wake up at night in a pool of sweat, it’s never a fun time.
There are several theories to their cause, yet scientists don’t know the exact reason your body flushes with heat. You can redden from the face and neck, with a sudden surge of intense heat, or you may experience a rapid heart rate. Regardless of the cause, there are many things you can do to lessen the intensity and manage hot flashes.
Good Foods and Bad Foods
They say you are what you eat. And that is literally true. The food you consume creates your body and gives you fuel to move through your day. There are so many fad diets out there to try. I always advise my patients, if they are going to try any diet that fully eliminates any essential food, then don’t do that for too long. For example, if you want to go vegan, then that’s great for the short term. It will clean out your body of toxins and allow you to identify potential food allergies but avoiding fats like omega-3’s from wild fish is not healthy in the long term.
So is there a good diet for menopause? Good question. For hot flashes it helps to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water. Hydration is essential. For some, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can increase the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. You are the best gauge as to what is best for your body. Keeping a food log with symptoms can be very insightful.
And an important thing to keep in mind is to have everything in moderation.
Regular exercise is an absolute during your whole life but especially during menopause. It helps you feel less stress and it’s the best way to help your brain stay healthy. Yes, that’s correct. cardiovascular exercise works out not only your body but also your brain. It will also help reduce and manage hot flashes in both intensity and frequency. So get your sweat going and elevate your mood and your memory.
Manage Hot Flashes with a Cold Shower
I used to take a hot bath before bed. It was relaxing and helped me sleep. But once I started getting hot flashes, the hot baths only made things worse. One of the best things you can do is take a warm shower and then at the end, turn the water on cold and rinse yourself head to toe. This quickly and effectively lowers your body temperature and it has some great health benefits as well. The cold rinse will decrease muscle soreness, decrease inflammation, increase circulation, and boost your energy I started doing this after watching an episode of Goop on Netflix that featured Wim Hof. I’ve been doing it for several months now and I really enjoy it.
Having a long shower can also prove therapeutic, as this is the perfect answer to reduce stress and increase creative thinking. I get my best ideas in the shower. If you can’t jump into a cool shower when your next heat flush happens, take a washcloth and run under cold water, then place it on the back of your neck. That will cool you right down.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that yoga clothes are now acceptable office wear. I used to say I want to feel like I’m wearing my PJ’s when I’m at the office. I was never one for tight, confining clothing. Wearing layers that are comfortable and light gives you the best experience for getting through your worst hot flashes. Just layer on and off as needed. No one will even notice. Find clothes that are comfortable, as well as breathable. You need to feel good in whatever you’re wearing.
Simple and easy, right?
Being Mindful in Managing Hot Flashes
Hot flashes can persist for ten to fifteen years. And trust me that’s a very long time. Everyone’s experience is so different. It’s all the more reason for you to develop easy and quick techniques to manage the heat, especially if you have them several times a day.
Daily meditation, yoga, breathing or anything that helps you be mindful and relaxed will also reduce hot flashes. There was a time when I got one every day at 3pm. When it happened, I just took a deep breath and acknowledged it. Then it went away. Eventually it went away altogether. Find something that helps you stay grounded and present.
Remember to seek support. Having friends who are going through similar experiences can be very supportive. If you like Facebook, I have a private group you can join called Peri/Menopause Relief. I post lots of great info and we all support each other. Check it out and join in.
As always, I’m here to support you, so please email me with any questions. Stay cool and comfortable. You got this.