A sudden rush of heat engulfs your face and body. Your heart rate increases. Droplets of sweat form on your forehead and upper lip, and you begin to think, “Oh no, not this again.”
ruin your life
Some women claim it feels like a dragon is trapped inside of them, while others say it’s like they’re standing in front of a roaring oven. Ladies, if any of this sounds familiar, you’ve probably experienced one of menopause’s most common characteristics: hot flashes.
Episodes of hot flashes can last anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur about four to five times a day. And though we understand what happens when they occur — the body’s thermostat is confused and perceives that body temperature is rising very quickly, so blood vessels dilate and cause you to sweat — scientists have yet to determine why they happen.
Hot flashes, however, don’t have to be the bane of your existence; there are ways to help manage the symptoms. So fret no more, because with these helpful tips, you’ll be able to combat hot flashes before they take control of your day.
Monitor your diet
Diet is key to maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle, so you shouldn’t be surprised that the food you eat has a profound impact on your menopausal symptoms. Spicy, caffeinated foods as well as alcohol should be avoided until your hormones find balance again. Keeping hydrated by having a bottle of chilled water nearby is also perfect for when pesky hot flashes start acting up.
Throw on some yoga pants, head to the gym, or simply pop on a workout DVD in the comfort of your home. The bottom line here is to get moving. Women are sometimes scared to partake in physical activity, worried it might make symptoms worse, but in fact, exercise has quite the opposite effect and is often suggested as one of the best methods to reduce the instance of hot flashes.
Layer up — or down
Because it’s hard to know when a hot flash will strike, it’s best to be prepared to face it head on by wearing layers you can easily remove when the need arises.
With its estrogen-like compounds, flaxseed is a great natural alternative to curbing hot flashes. Flaxseeds can be tossed into a salad, baked into muffins and loaves or blended into a smoothie.
Replacing the body with the hormones it has lost during menopause is an alternative many women turn to when trying to deal with hot flashes. Systemic estrogen — which can come in the form of pills, patches, gels or creams — is one of the most effective in relieving hot flash symptoms. Before deciding to go through with hormonal therapy, make sure to have a thorough talk with your doctor, as many alternatives may increase your risk of developing heart disease, blood clots and breast cancer.