Hot flashes are one of the most frequent, and possibly one of the most irritating, symptoms menopausal women experience. Each hot flash episode is an intense period of heat that causes women to sweat profusely, become flushed in the face, and experience a rapid heartbeat. The duration, frequency, and severity of hot flashes vary for each sufferer but are usually invasive and disruptive to your life because they can happen at any time.
Taking precautionary action and making sure you are prepared for the next hot flash episode is key for coping with this common menopausal symptom. Avoid anything that might trigger an episode or knowing what to do if one takes hold, can make hot flashes less frequent and shorter in duration. Read on to find out how you can hot flash proof your home and stop those beastly hot flashes from controlling you.
How to Cope with Hot Flashes in the Home
Alongside the workplace, home is where you spend a great deal of your time, so it is important you remove any hot flash triggers and have the right tools there to cope with an episode, should it happen. To make your home hot flash friendly, follow these simple rules.
When you are at home dress in breathable layers so that you can easily remove or add a layer during a hot flash, or a cold chill that follows. Wear clothes that are only made from cotton, linen, or rayon fabrics.
Open your windows
Let the fresh air from outside fill your home, you will feel better for it.
Install air conditioning or buy a fan
Sometimes opening your windows won't be enough. Consider having air conditioning installed, so that you can choose the temperature that suits you or buy a portable fan, which you can use in any of the rooms.
Have plenty of water and ice on hand
Drinking plenty of cold water, prior to an episode or at the onset of an episode, makes them less frequent and much less severe. Keep hydrated and always have an ice cold drink in arms distance.
Turn down the temperature gauge on the shower
Avoid taking very hot showers, and definitely avoid using sauna. Try to take cool showers in the morning and evening before going to bed.
Avoid heat makers
Leave your radiators off and let your hair dry naturally instead of using harsh hair appliances. Heating appliances can trigger hot flashes.
Cut down on cigarettes
Due to the nicotine typically found in cigarettes, smoking is another trigger for hot flashes. Cutting back or completely quitting will reduce the likelihood of hot flashes.
Swap the coffee maker for a teapot
If you need a hot beverage, drink herbal tea instead of coffee. Caffeine is known for triggering many menopause symptoms, including hot flashes.
Remove any spicy foods from the cupboards
Don't use any spicy or hot food when you cook because it will trigger an episode. Remove any spices from the cupboard so you aren't tempted and look for alternative ways to make food flavorsome.
Cut back on the alcohol
Overconsumption of alcohol is a trigger for many menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is recommended for curbing hot flash episodes.
For some women, who suffer severely with hot flashes, making preparations might not be the answer. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make which will also help to combat this troublesome symptom. Otherwise, there are alternative treatments, but you should always talk to your doctor before considering these.
- Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, and Sleep Disturbances." Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
- The National Institute of Health.(n.d). "Signs of a Menopausal Transition." Retrieved from www.nih.gov
- Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women." Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2): 71-8