Summer is a time to celebrate warm weather, sunny skies and trips to the great outdoors. Unfortunately, soaring temperatures can trigger uncomfortable hot flashes for many women. In fact, more than two-thirds of North American women heading into menopause suffer from hot flashes. Read on to discover a few simple tips for staying cool and managing your summertime hot flashes.
What is a hot flash?
According to Dr. Melynda Barnes, clinical director for Rory, “Hot flashes are short, sudden episodes of the feeling of intense heat of the head, neck, and chest. When a hot flash occurs with a red face, neck, and/or chest it is called a hot flush.” We still don’t know what exactly causes hot flashes, but they may be connected to changes in circulation or fluctuating hormones, typical for women going through menopause. They start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat.
Managing your hot flashes
While hot flashes can’t be avoided completely, there are a few things you can do to manage them. Here are a few ways to cool down if you’re having a hot flash:
– Carry a fan.
– Have a glass of water with ice.
– Avoid hot or spicy foods, alcohol and caffeinated beverages, since they can sometimes trigger hot flashes.
– Stay hydrated with cold drinks.
– Take advantage of the summer heat by going for a swim.
– Dress in layers. Wear light, breathable fabrics like linens and cottons so that when you have a hot flash, you can easily remove layers to cool down.
– Apply a cool washcloth on your neck.
– Carry an ice pack in an insulated bag.
– Try slow, deep abdominal breathing (six to eight breaths per minute). Practice deep breathing in the morning, evening and when a hot flash begins.
– Exercise daily. Try walking, swimming, bicycling or dancing.
– To prevent hot flashes while you sleep (called night sweats), use a fan, use moisture-wicking sheets and wear pajamas made of materials that dry quickly.
Do you struggle with hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause? We can help! Visit our website to learn how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can treat your menopause symptoms. Schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 816-214-5276!