Some people may not realize that hot flashes affect more than your body temperature for brief moments. The impact of these surges of heat can be an extremely distressing addition to your life that get in the way of living simply. You will notice that getting up and leaving your house requires extra steps and bodes extra worrying that you have never had to deal with before. The characteristics of this common menopause symptom are unpleasant, and many women's lives become disrupted. However, they are not impossible to handle. Read on to learn more about the additional effects of hot flashes on your life.
Going to a friend's house, visiting a distant relative, attending a meeting, and even going out for a casual dinner can get your nerves firing. This is because you may not know exactly how large the space will be, what the temperature will be set to, what will be served, or what kind of sheets your bed will have.
These details become extremely important for menopausal women. You know that if the food is a bit too spicy, or red wine is offered, or you are not sitting next to a window, you can be hauled into a panic hot flash. This can even lead you to opting out of going and enjoying yourself all together.
The nervousness can lead to stress, which can lead to tension between you and your loved ones. When you are worried, you can start to lose sight of your connection with others. Your family and friends may not understand what you are going through, so they may become offended when you do not join them in various activities. Also, they may resist your desire to keep the house in arctic conditions, and be frustrated when you insist. It is important to be clear and open about how you are feeling to avoid misunderstandings and allow them to empathize.
Extreme body heat comes with sweat, and sometimes lots of it. Even if you do not consider yourself a sweaty person, you will begin to when your hot flashes start up. Do not despise this side effect too much, though, as it is the very process that cools you down. However, you cannot help the fact that this can be very embarrassing, especially since during menopause, body odor tends to become more potent. Wearing loose, dark-colored layers can help make it less obvious.
Transforming yourself into a walking air conditioner can help you feel at complete ease. When you leave your house, try carrying an ice pack, chilled water, several layers (for removing), and an increased ability to become calm. Adding deep breathing to your life is important during this time. Since stress can worsen symptoms like rapid heartbeat and feelings of suffocation, practicing deep slow breathing every day for 15 minutes can make a difference.
It can be upsetting when hot flashes get between you and the people, places, and things you love most. Your body is going through so many changes that the simplest tasks can put you on fire. With a few minor adjustments, you can be soothed, but ultimately, you will likely be affected to differing degrees throughout menopause.
- BreastCancer.ORG. (2013). All About Hot Flashes. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/menopausal/facing/hot_flashes
- Sood, R. et al. (2013). Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes. Menopause. Retrieved February 12, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22990758