Hot flashes are a troublesome symptoms during menopause. An episode is not similar to a soothing feeling out in the noontime sun, but rather, it is a flushing feeling. You feel like sweat pours uncontrollably. It can cause your heart to pound and your breath to become shallow, making you feel faint. Keep reading to know how to handle these bursts.
Voice Your Feelings
Do not keep it to yourself - you don't have to suffer in silence. A hot flash can be made so much worse if no one knows you are having one. If you try to sit still or quietly slink away, it can be even more upsetting.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about, and people will understand if you explain to them what hot flashes are. Being able to express your situation will release unnecessary tension from your body and give those around you an opportunity to help.
If your family or friends are not aware, they may have the heat on full blast, the windows closed, or offer you a cup of hot tea. If they are made aware, they will do what they can to assist you.
Practice deep, slow breathing for milder hot flashes. Although it is good to inhale and exhale slowly and fully when in the midst of a hot flash, it is also important to practice so that you are fully prepared when one arises.
Research has suggested that having a routine of breathing six breaths per minute for 15 minutes after a hot flash episode can greatly decrease your risk of getting another one. Even if a hot flash does arise, your ability to deepen and calm your breathing pattern can slow your heart rate and make symptoms less intense.
There are many ways to keep cool if you are starting to heat up. It is useful to have a handheld fan or an ice pack handy. When you are undergoing a hot flash, blood vessels dilate as if you've been working out, and your body temperature rises significantly. It is usually felt most in the head and chest.
Applying a cool pack to your head or keeping a handheld fan in your bag if you are out can provide great relief. In addition, keeping your home cool by cracking open windows and keeping the fans on will help regulate your internal thermostat.
Soy has been catching on as a menopause food for many reasons. In the United States, up to 75% of women experience mild to extreme hot flashes. However, in Japan, where soy is typically consumed daily, only 7% of women experience hot flashes. This statistic is commonly attributed to the difference in soy consumption.
Soy contains estrogenic compounds, which help increase estrogen levels. Irregular estrogen levels play a huge role in hot flashes and the anxiety connected. Eating soy products such as soymilk, miso, and tofu can help balance out low levels and fend off hot flashes.
Hot flashes do not need to be so overwhelming. Keeping these tips in mind and consistently practicing them will help you through everything from mild to severe hot flashes. If none of these tips seems to work out, talk to a doctor to discover several treatment options for hot flashes.
- Nagata, C. et al. (2001). Soy product intake and hot flashes in Japanese women: results from a community-based prospective study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 153(8), 790-793. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11296152
- Sood, R. et al. (2013). Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes. Menopause, 20(2), 179-184. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31826934b6