By hot, we mean women with hot flashes and not hot as in gorgeous. If you are a woman in your menopausal years, then you know how annoying and embarrassing hot flashes can be. If you are a woman approaching the menopausal age, then you know what to expect.
You might be curious why women in menopause suffer from hot flashes. At a certain age, a woman’s hormones will start to fluctuate and cause changes in her body. Though the entire process of an occurring hot flash remains vague, experts are certain that changes in hormone levels, particularly estrogen trigger the onset of hot flashes.
During a hot flash, the blood vessels near the skin expand and release a sudden surge of heat that usually starts at the neck and then goes up to your head. A hot flash can occur anytime and anywhere. The weather is one factor that can trigger a hot flash. When it’s too hot, you feel uncomfortable and can still get a hot flash, but even when it’s too cold outside, you can still get a hot flash.
Do not let a hot flash ruin the fun you could be having on a sunshiny summer day. Here are eight cool summer tips to survive hot flashes during summer.
1. Dress Comfortably
If you had terrible hot flashes flare-ups during winter, expect no retreat during the hot summer days. Beware of heat and sweat, because they can make flare-ups worse. Fill your wardrobe with loose and comfortable garments.
Choose light-colored clothes made from soft and cool fabrics, such as 100 percent cotton, if possible. Tightly woven fabrics can trap heat and sweat between the garments and your skin, so it is best to avoid them.
You don’t want to be caught by hot flashes wearing body-tight outfits, or you’ll wish to take your clothes off right there and then. Layering clothes can also help when you have to dress appropriately. This way, you can peel them off whenever a hot flash is coming.
2. Make Use Of Simple Cooling Techniques
Hot flashes can occur any time of the day. Annoyingly, it can even occur while you are out having dinner with friends, or in the middle of an important business meeting. Be prepared for these instances. Always bring with you a small towel or scarf, and whenever hot flashes strike while you are outdoors, wet the towel and squeeze out excess water, then place it around your neck.
Don’t worry about ruining your get-up. The people around you will understand, and it’s more embarrassing if you are obviously uncomfortable during the flare-ups.When at home, you can also use the towels and you can even cool them in the freezer.
3. Invest In A Portable Fan
You can also invest in a personal fan. It is more convenient to use and mess-free. Hot flashes usually occur at night, which can disrupt your sleep. A personal fan offers a direct cooling effect rather than air conditioners.
Choose a battery-operated fan with an automatic timer. You can use it anywhere and whenever you feel like a hot flash is coming. Just turn on the timer because hot flashes do not last the entire night.
Another way to ensure you get sound sleep is by doing light yoga or light aerobics before going to bed. Meditation calms the body and mind to help you fall asleep.
4. Go Swimming
Whether at the beach or in pools, swimming is a fun exercise that can help cool down hot flashes. The cold water can help flush the heat out of your body.
Apart from that, swimming helps improve blood circulation and relieve stress. You don’t have to be a pro to reap the benefits of swimming. Enroll in a water aerobics class or bring floaters.
Prolonged sun exposure and sunburn increases your risksfor developing skin cancer. It can also cause skin damage and uneven pigmentation. Don’t forget to slather on sunscreen lotion with at least SPF 30 generously every time you have to get back in the water.
5. Essential Oils Can Help Cool You Down
Putting a dab of peppermint oil on your wrists and neck can cool the heat off. Make sure you try it out first in a small area of your skin to make sure you don’t get adverse reactions, and you can add carrier oil like coconut oil. If you find peppermint oil too harsh, you can use undiluted lavender essential oil instead.
6. Eat Healthy
Your diet plays a big part in preventing and minimizing hot flashes. To fight off hot flashes, eat foods high in calcium and magnesium and avoid caffeine, alcohol and foods high in carbohydrates,because they can trigger hot flashes.
Your diet should mainly consist of fruits and vegetables, quality protein sources like lean meat, whole grains and foods that contain healthy fats and high in fiber. When preparing a meal, cut down on the spices and seasoning.
You may also want to try eating lighter, more frequent meals, instead of heavy, large meals, which can trigger hot flashes, too.
7. Rehydrate Often
Hot flashes can make you sweat profusely. Drink lots of water to replace the fluids you lose, preferably cold water, which helps alleviate the heat. Or, you can drink iced tea and fresh fruit juices, if you want flavor. You can also enjoy frozen treats like ice cream and popsicles in limited portions, of course.
8. Deal With Stress Effectively
Fluctuating hormones bring psychological and physical changes that can cause anxiety and stress. Plus, problems at work and home can add to your burden. According to Judith Volkar, a physician specializing in Women’s Health, women with menopause often complain of more hot flashes flare-ups when they are stressed out.
Do not let your emotions overrun you every time a problem arises. Relax and take slow, deep breaths whenever you are in a stressful situation. Take the time to do fun things as a way of releasing your tensions and boiling emotions. Listen to music, dance, watch movies, play sports, exercise and go out with friends. Summer is a great time to go on a much-needed vacation.
What’s summer if you don’t get to enjoy the sunshine? The sun’s heat can trigger flare-ups, but this does not mean you have to avoid the outdoors completely in order to prevent hot flashes. Do not miss on out on life, just because menopause has paid you a visit.
For a long-term solution to your hot flash problems, you might need to make a few lifestyle changes. Eat a healthy diet, avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking, stay physically active and deal with stress effectively. All of these are easier said than done, but would you rather suffer from the annoying hot flashes or take a step towards a healthy change?
If, after trying these tips, you still suffer, talk to your doctor. More treatments for menopause are emerging as researchers discover what triggers the symptoms, and your doctor keeps up on the latest ones. You don’t need to suffer in silence.