Hot Flashes are a common symptom of menopause. When hormones become imbalanced during the menopausal period, it can lead to intense moments of heat which in turn can result in mild to severe perspiration.
It is important that you can deal with each hot flash effectively so that you can alleviate the problem as quickly as possible before it impacts on your day.
Dress In Layers
This might sound like an obvious solution, but it's essential that you do this. Dress in layers so that you can easily cool yourself during or after a hot flash. You will also have the layers to put back on if you experience a cold chill that can happen after a hot flash. Make sure the final layer is short sleeved and wear breathable clothes. You might also want to avoid light color clothing or linen because your sweat is more visible.
Get a Fan
Although your work environment may already have air conditioning installed you can't assume that all your other colleagues will want it on full power. Get yourself a handheld fan so that you can create your own cool air without affecting others. Alternatively, ask your boss and colleagues if you can have the desk by the window so that you can have it open and feel the fresh air. However, only do this if the weather is cool and breezy, otherwise close the blinds so the sunlight won't make you too warm.
Get to Meetings Early
Turning up to meetings early will mean that you can prepare yourself for a hot flash before it happens, and you won't be rushing, which is likely to bring on a hot flash. Turning up to meetings early also means you can get the best seat, perhaps one close to a window or under the air vent, and this will make you more prepared for the next episode.
Have a Glass of Water on Your Desk
Make sure that you always have a glass, or bottle of cold water close to hand. If you drink this on the outset of a hot flash, then it can reduce the length of the episode and can cool you down. Avoid drinking too many hot drinks at work, but if you have to, then enjoy chamomile tea instead of coffee because this helps to balance hormones.
Don't be afraid to let your colleagues know about your menopausal symptoms. It is an unavoidable transition and one that can't be taken too seriously, all of the time. Warn them that you may experience hot flashes at work and explain why you are occasionally wafting a fan in your face even though the air conditioning unit is pumping out cool air, and why you may have beads of sweat running down your forehead from time to time. They are more likely to help you if they know what is happening.
- Sikon, Andrea and Holly Thacker M.D. "Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. July 2004: 71 (7).
- "Hot flashes ... in January". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004: 170 (1).
- Miller, Heather and Rose Maria Li, M.D. "Measuring Hot Flashes: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop". Conference report. Mayo Clinic. June 2004: 79.