Hot flashes occur within perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women as their hormonal levels change. This is your body’s way of trying to cool you down. It’s inconsistent when these hot flashes will occur. You could be one of those lucky few where it’s once a day for 30 seconds, or, like the rest of us, multiple times a day for several minutes. Sounds like fun, right? Well, Menopause might not be the only contributing factor to this unwelcome symptom.
Can’t start your day without your coffee or tea? Do you prefer spicy Thai food for lunch instead of that leafy garden salad? Feeling like a glass of wine (or two) after a hard day of work? Watch out for those internal heat waves! Spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol are huge contributors to a hot flash. It has been said that eating lighter foods, or cutting your caffeine and alcohol intake, will help alleviate hot flashes.
Not only eating healthier will help, but also becoming more active will also reduce the number of hot flashes. There have been numerous studies showing that losing excess weight will also alleviate this uncomfortable symptom. If you aren’t active now, just start off slow, and go for a walk after dinner every night, and build up from there.
If you find yourself stressed, or trying to cope with anxiety, there’s an increased chance that you will deal with hot flashes. “Just Relax, then.” Sure, it sounds easier than what is it is. Activities like yoga or meditation can help you focus on calming your mind and remembering to breathe. Being in a cool, calm environment will allow you to relax more and reduce the chance of hot flashes.
It has also been found that some medications can cause hot flashes. There have been cases of anti-depressants, opioids, and some osteoporosis prescriptions aiding in the trigger of a hot flash. If this is your case, talk with your doctor to find out what is best for you, if you can find an alternative remedy, or no longer take it to alleviate the hot flush.
Whether it’s lifestyle, hormonal, or a mixture of both, hot flashes are never fun to endure. The best treatment is self-care. Remember to take time for yourself, eat a little better, and to keep cool, and most importantly remember to breathe.