Sweaty woman

Menopause Tips

The ins and out of coping with Hot flushes.

You may have wondered what's all the fuss about hot flushes, but now it's finally here; you understand why. The unbearable crescendo of heat grips you for 10 secs to 10 minutes, leaving you flushed, hot and worried that you look like you just stepped out of a sauna.

So, what exactly is behind these hot flushes, and can we reduce the effect it has on us?

Peri-menopause, the stage before your period stops, and menopause, when you haven't had a period for a year, are phases in a woman's life that can present some challenges. Hot flushes are one of these challenges; they are normal and are one of the symptoms experienced as your Reproductive capacity ends.

About 75% of all women experience hot flushes during the peri-menopause stage, increasing to over 80% during menopause.
We don't know precisely what causes them. Still, Research suggests that decreased oestrogen levels cause your body's thermostat (hypothalamus) to become more sensitive to slight changes in your body temperature. Things which trigger a small change in your body temperature, such as spicy food, alcohol, stress, or caffeine. These triggers cause the hypothalamus to create a hot flush in an attempt to cool you down.

During the night, hormone levels fluctuate more drastically, sometimes resulting in much more severe hot flushes, impacting your sleep quality.

Here are 10 practical solutions which can help you to cope with them

1) A hot flush diary to chart triggers
if you make a note of, in a journal, what triggers hot flushes, you will feel more in control of when they are likely to occur and then what to do  www.getselfhelp.co.uk

2) Stress management
try reducing your anxiety but being in the present; try not to rush. Being present is a skill which shifts your attention from what is worrying you to the here and now to reduce anxiety hormones  https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/-/media/CCI/Consumer-Modules/What-Me-Worry/What-Me-Worry---04---Attention-Training.pd

3) Change anxious thoughts about hot flushes 
worrying about them increases cortisol and adrenaline, which keeps the anxiety going;- be kind and compassionate to yourself. Tell yourself. It's a normal stage of life which every woman go through, and remind yourself it will pass.

4) Paced breathing has been shown to reduce hot flushes 
At the onset of a flush, let your shoulders relax, breathe slowly from your stomach and concentrate on your breathing – let the flush flow over you as you relax

5) Fan 
Invest in a fan that will cool you down and also help you get back to sleep = Duux have created a range of whisper-quiet fans with remotes; they even have a wind setting which creates a refreshing breeze – Duux.co.uk

6) Wear layers so you can – strip down 
we really like Become, who have created clothes to help reduce hot flushes becomeclothing.com

7) Share your experience 
telling those who are close to you or around you, such as work colleagues, means you feel supported, and you don't have to make excuses, be the change there is finally a national policy regarding menopause at work to offer support – rockmymenopause.com are empowering women.

8) Sipping ice water
at the start of a hot flash or spraying a mist on you

9) Wearing cotton night clothes
and using cotton bed linens helps air to circulate

10) keeping a cold pack on your bedside table
to cool you down quickly and offer a sense of relief 

If you need further advice, seek help from your GP to discuss options such as Hormone replacement therapy.

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