30 Oct Why do we get Hot Flashes during menopause?
The reason why we get Hot flashes during menopause is one that every woman wants to find a good and logical answer for. Gone are the times when we just took these things for granted and honestly, we don’t have to put up with this. My own hot flashes are under control now and so can Yours be!
Before I ever had a hot flash, it was hard to even comprehend what the “big deal” was about. Hot Flashes are perhaps the most common concern of perimenopausal and menopause. They can be described as feeling flushed all over and hot, with warmth of the skin and sweating. Although that is really an understatement, because if you ever had a hot flash, it might seem more like being dipped into the heat of flowing lava and I am not joking! At least that’s how it felt for me.
They can occur several times throughout the day or night and can have various triggers, such as caffeine intake, wearing clothing that is too tight, spicy foods, and alcohol, among other things.
The two most common concerns during menopause and the perimenopausal time period are hot flashes and sometimes night sweats.
Hot flashes occur in about 75 percent of all women going through menopause. Hot flashes begin in perimenopause but can persist for many years after menopause has passed.
Definition of Hot Flashes
As mentioned, hot flashes occur with typical symptoms of feeling intensely hot internally. They can gradually creep up on you or can suddenly appear without warning. Some women have hot flashes a lot of the time and others don’t.
Other typical symptoms of hot flashes include the following:
- Sweating, particularly above the waist
- Flushing of the face or seeing redness on your cheeks
- Suddenly feeling extremely warm
- Having a faster heart rate
- Experiencing tingling of the fingers.
Causes of Hot Flashes
No one knows the exact cause of hot flashes. Most doctors feel as though they are due to fluctuations in the estrogen and progesterone levels normally produced by the ovaries. Hot flashes can be barely noticeable or can be quite debilitating. Estrogen is also in charge of regulating the hypothalamus, which is a small little section of the brain. It controls a lot of functions like thirst, hunger, sleep, sexual desire and our body temperature. When our Estrogen levels are out of balance our body sends confusing signals to our body which then causes the dreaded hot flashes.
Things that trigger Hot Flashes
Triggers for hot flashes can be different, depending on the woman. Every woman experiences hot flashes in their own unique way. Nevertheless, common triggers for hot flashes include the following:
- Wearing clothing that is too tight
- Feeling anxiety or stress
- Being in an environment that is already too hot
- Drinking caffeinated beverages
- Drinking alcohol, even when not in excess
- Exposure to cigarette smoke, either by being a smoker or having to breathe in secondhand smoke
If you can’t figure out the trigger or triggers behind your hot flashes, try writing down your daily activities and relating what you are doing with the onset of hot flashes. If you do this for a few days, a pattern may be found so you can avoid the triggers you have identified.
Some of the more common methods used to combat hot flashes include the following:
- Keep an ice pack or cold cloth by your bedside for nighttime hot flashes
- Wearing clothing made of cotton that is loose-fitting. Here are a few products that are designed to keep women cool during menopause There are some cool products you can get, especially for menopausal women. I love these bamboo pajamas Sleepytime Sleepy Time Women’s Bamboo Pajamas, Hot Flash Menopause Relief, Round Neck (Medium, Grey)
- Or these cooling pads Cooling Pillow Gel Pad by Cool Care Technologies – The Cool Flash Sleeping Mat For Instant Cooling While You Sleep – Pressure-Activated Gel Technology For Migraines, Hot Flashes, Sleepless Nights
- Use sheets that are made from cotton
- Sip ice water as the hot flash begins to manifest itself
- Dress in layers so you can peel off a layer or two when the hot flashes are at their worst
Changes in Lifestyle
Changes in lifestyle may be just as effective in reducing the intensity and number of hot flashes as medications are. Some changes in lifestyle include eating small portions of health and well-balanced food, quitting smoking, and engaging in regular exercise
Managing Hot Flashes
Sometimes it is easy to get a handle on your hot flashes using simple lifestyle changes. When I work with clients, I always make sure that we address the full spectrum and look at all aspects of the client’s life. There are so many different aspects to address. This is why often, just taken a common “over the counter” natural supplement often just doesn’t do the trick and women then resort to going for the “big bomb” of HRT with all its side effects and long-term dangers like breast cancer.
A thorough investigation is what is needed to address all aspects of the mind, body and spirited facets of a woman’s life during this very important season. My signature program therefore is 12 weeks long to really transform my client’s life. They have reported to finally feel like themselves again for the first time in YEARS! Often, they lose up to 10 kilos during these 12 weeks, hot flashes are a thing of the past or have been reduced and their zest for life has returned.
This is nothing that can be achieved by just “popping a pill” and don’t be fooled by anyone that tells you that it can! It takes dedication to yourself care (often we have not put ourselves first for so many years) which comes with honesty and finally loving ourselves! Which comes as such a relief and a sense of new adventures for oneself as a reward.
Let me know if you like a chat with me on how you can stop your symptoms naturally, get your energy back whilst loving your body and loving your life.