Menopause Monday: When the Summer Weather isn’t why you’re Hot: Hot Flashes  

As women enters the next phase of their life with perimenopause, menopause or postmenopause, the most common symptom is the infamous hot flash.

Summer Heat and Hot Flashes

Knowledge is one of the greatest weapons and when it comes to hot flashes, it is essential to arm yourself with the correct information to take action. By learning about hot flashes and consulting your doctor, you can be more prepared in what you could be dealing with.  

What are hot flashes? 

Low estrogen is often the main cause of hot flashes in women. Low estrogen has a harsh effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls sleep, appetite, sex hormones and temperature. The hypothalamus is deceived by low estrogen levels into believing that the body is too hot and attempts to remedy it by ridding the body of excess heat. Hot flashes are the dilation of blood vessels at the skin’s surface attempting to cool down your body. Instead of experiencing a cooling effect you feel suddenly warm. This feeling is usually most intense in the face, neck and chest. Sometimes a hot flash can cause a reddening or blotchiness of the skin, which is referred to as a hot flush. A hot flash can also be accompanied by perspiration, a rapid heartbeat, or chills. By balancing your hormones, you can put an end to hot flashes. 

What can you do to ease hot flashes?  

  • Stay cool  

When a hot flash strikes, you can remove an article of clothing to keep your body temperature stable.  Another option is to decrease a room’s temperature by either opening a window or using a fan of some sort. This will also keep the air flowing throughout the room which helps keep your body comfortable.  

  • Relax 

It is important to remember that these hot flashes are not signs of a medical problem. They are only your body’s response to changing hormones and often will ease in intensity after the first or second year of menopause.  Rhythmic breathing exercises can help keep you calm and focused. Reducing stress can be imperative for keeping your body stability 

  • Stay Hydrated  

Drinking cold water before, during, and after a flash can help keep your body hydrated and stable.  

How can you prevent hot flashes?  

  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) 

BHRT continues to be one of the most effective treatments for preventing hot flashes. By using hormone pellets you can experience complete relief of your hot flash symptoms along with other uncomfortable menopausal effects such as vaginal dryness and night sweats. The pellets can work with your body for up to six months and you don’t have to worry about taking a pill or using a cream every day.  

  • Exercise 

Exercising can help reduce the intensity of your hot flashes and help in preventing them. Fat cells store estrogen and by reducing your fat cells your body can more effectively regulate the estrogen in your body.  

  • Avoid triggers 

By avoiding certain triggers such as stress, caffeine, alcohol, smoking and spicy foods you can sometimes evade hot flashes.