Around age forty through fifty is the time when women typically end their menstrual period and move into menopause. On the one hand, women no longer have to deal with menstruation once a month. On the other hand, menopause comes with its own often unpleasant side effects. A very common condition that women experience during menopause is a hot flash – a sudden, sometimes overwhelming feeling of warmth and heat that if felt in your face, neck, and chest.
Hot flashes are a hormonal condition, and can vary in intensity from woman to woman. There are treatment options available for hot flashes, and they are typically effective, but we’re providing some easy, simple tricks to provide relief from your next hot flash while you schedule your appointment with PGOMG to review your hot flash treatment options.
- Put together a “Hot Flash” kit
Having a hot flash that comes out of nowhere and really interrupts your day is the last thing any woman wants to deal with. A hot flash kit is one way to stay on top of a situation that you won’t see coming until you’re going through it. A great hot flash kit can include: an extra shirt/blouse (in case you sweat through your current one), a travel sized deodorant, extra hair ties (to get your hair off of your face/neck), a extra bottle of water you can put in the refrigerator at work or carry around, face wipes/oil blotting papers.
Most of these items can easily fit in the average purse and will be make a big difference in your comfort level when a hot flash comes on if you’re outside of your home.
- Learn your hot flash triggers
Once you start to become familiar with your hot flashes, you’ll probably start to realize that there are certain things that can trigger a hot flash. Spicy foods are a well-known hot flash trigger, so are wine, tobacco use and stress. If you find that a certain food/drink or activity leads to a hot flash, you’ll want to consider an adjustment in your routine to see if this change provides relief. It may be worth skipping your normal nightly glass of wine if it means you’ll be able to fall asleep comfortably.
- Relax and talk to your doctor
When you feel a hot flash start to come on it can feel like everyone in the room must know exactly what’s happening. It’s true that a hot flash can make your skin flush like it might if you’re feeling embarrassed, but it’s more likely that no one notices that you’re having a hot flash. Sometimes the most effective technique to coping with a hot flash is to simply relax, use your hot flash kit we recommended above to help cool down, and know that the hot flash will be over soon enough. If you find that your hot flashes really are interrupting your normal routine, or if they are making it difficult to sleep, please contact PGOMG to discuss treatment options with your provider.