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Hot flashes – How to beat the heat!

It’s almost time to crank up that AC and feel the cool breezes that give a break from soaring temperatures. For women who suffer from hot flashes due to menopause, a giant windmill might work better to turn down that flame! Hot flash means “feverish heat” and women going through them are ready to call the fire department for help!

A WebMD article states over two-thirds of North American women that are heading into menopause have hot flashes. They also affect women who start menopause after chemo or surgery to remove their ovaries. About 2 in 10 women never get hot flashes, others may have them for a short period. On average, women get hot flashes or night sweats for about 7 years.

What are the symptoms – risks of hot flashes?

The Mayo Clinic provides an excellent overview of both:
• A sudden feeling of warmth spreading through your upper body and face
• A flushed appearance with red, blotchy skin
• Rapid heartbeat
• Perspiration, mostly on your upper body
• A chilled feeling as the hot flash lets up

It’s not clear why some women have them but there are factors which may increase the risk:
• Smoking: women who smoke are more likely to get hot flashes
• Obesity: a high body mass index (BMI) is associated with a higher frequency of hot flashes
• Ethnicity: more African-American women report menopausal hot flashes than do women of European descent. Hot flashes are less common in women of Japanese and Chinese descent than in white European women.

What are Night Sweats?

Night sweats (hot flashes) occur during sleep and can keep you from getting a good night’s rest. There are ways to get chill with a cool electric fan, sip cool water throughout the night, use layered bedding that can be removed during the night. Try using a cool pack under your pillow so that your head is resting on a cool surface.

What sparks hot flashes?

There are several things that can spark hot flashes and it’s important to try to avoid these common ones:
• Stress
• Caffeine
• Alcohol
• Spicy Foods
• Tight clothing
• Heat
• Cigarette Smoking

How to turn down the flame of Menopause

Don’t buy that fire hose just yet! Talk to your doctor about ways you can get relief, including modifying diet, lifestyle changes and different therapies that are available. Educate yourself on techniques which may ease your symptoms including exercise in a cool environment, swimming, deep breathing. Your provider will help guide a treatment plan that will help you be your best self during this next life stage.

Educational Resources:

The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or a substitute for health care by your physician.

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