Menopause facts – Hot flushes… how to sooth

Wow, it’s mid Summer here and the weather is adding to my already sweaty body from my hot flushes.

Ahhh hot flushes, how to describe mine?

Every womans’ are different, but mine seem to come from my tummy and kinda, whoosh up towards my face.  And there’s no stopping them when its coming…!  I tend to try to find some air/wind/fan myself vigorously, because with mine comes a mild feeling of claustrophobia.  I would love to hear your experiences of your own personal flushes.  Please do tell!

Many women experience these feelings, this unusual new sensation within the body… some women are very alarmed by them.  One woman I recently met said she daren’t go out for fear of embarrassment of them!  You know what?  Many other women have these challenges during their change and feel embarrassed, it’s in the box with other “embarrassing’ symptoms like dry vaginas and loss of libido.  I think these things should be out in the open, shared and challenged together.

Anyway, back to the hot flushes.  If you go along to the GP, they will recommend the use of prescription solutions that come with their own side effects added on top of everything you’re already experiencing! Sure, hot flushes typically go away at some point. But that’s still at least a couple of years (if you’re lucky) of intense discomfort, coupled with other menopausal symptoms.

I want you to know that you don’t have to wait your hot flushes out — you can eliminate them, in a natural way. A way that works with your body, a way that is safe and gentle and gives you the relief you need.

STEP ONE – Know your triggers

There are usually some common triggers to each woman’m personal menopause.  I have * mine own triggers.

  • Caffeine*
  • Alcohol (white wine*)
  • Smoking
  • Hot drinks* (both heat and spicy)
  • Spicy food
  • Warm or hot environments
  • Intense exercise
  • Sugars
  • High carb diets
  • Stressful situations*
  • Tiredness*
  • Another big factor that contributes to hot flushes is insulin resistance. This is when our body has to pump out higher and higher amounts of insulin to drive blood sugar down because the receptors are less responsive, essentially ignoring insulin’s call. Improving your blood glucose control and weight loss are potential interventions to insulin resistance.

Use a diary to monitor yours.  Here are some suggestions of what you can record:

  • Date
  • Time and duration of the hot flush
  • Location (including your environment — cold, hot, humid, indoors, outdoors, etc.)
  • Situation:
    • What are you doing?
    • What are/were you eating?
    • Who are you with?
    • What are you wearing?
    • How are you feeling?

Doing this for two weeks or more will give you an idea of just what is contributing to your hot flush. Okay, now you know what are some of the possible triggers for your hot flashes. What now?

STEP TWO – Prevent the triggers

Easier said than done.  In an ideal world we would all eat a lovely vegetable filled diet daily, omitting all beige carbs, meditating daily, having the ability to sleep in in the mornings etc, but that would be unrealistic.   So I suggest you take each of your triggers and focus on one at a time.

So using mine as an example,

  • I first and foremost cut out caffeine.  Unfortunately just switching to de-caf tea or coffee is not enough, there is still some caffeine in de-caf and the chemicals they use to remove the caffeine are also not great for our hot flushes.  So, I replaced mine with fruit teas, there are so many lovely flavours available now.
  • Alcohol – I find that white wine is my worst trigger.  I only have to have one sip and I’m sweating buckets!  So, instead I have gin and tonic and have cut down to only drinking at the weekends as I find I sleep much better when I have had no alcohol at all.
  • Tiredness – I do try to strive for a good nights sleep, I love my bed and hate it when I wake in the middle of the night, because another symptom of menopause I suffer from is rumination.  I wake regularly at 4am and then my mind starts wondering, and worrying about the most irrational things.  So, I strive to read before bed, use magnesium spray, no screens at least 1 hour before bed.  I have written a check list of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.  Email me to get your copy [email protected].

These are just three ways to start to tackle this menacing symptom of peri menopause.  There are more tips and tricks which I will share with you when I speak at Wellfest Event on 29th September at The Roundhouse in Derby.

In essence, to prevent hot flushes you’re going to have to create a conscious, healthy diet, become stress aware and combine that with good rest, intermittent fasting (more about that at the talk), the right supplements and superfoods.

I know that it is not easy.

We have so much going on in our lives, and now we have to spend all this time preparing these special meals, making sure we get this and that in our diets — oh, and don’t stress out! Right!

More about stress next time…