Do you know any woman in her 40s who's been grumpy or moody for a while now? If yes, don't hate on her. She might've been experiencing physical and internal changes in her body. She could be feeling an intense heat all over her body or having unpredictable mood swings lately. These symptoms can signify the onset of her journey towards her last menstrual period or commonly known as menopause. It's the stage when a woman's ovaries no longer produce eggs for reproduction. The early signs of this transitional phase may only be temporary, but they can significantly affect a woman's everyday life.
During the premenopausal period or perimenopause, women experience hot flashes. How does this affect one's health, and how can you reduce this menopausal symptom? Get informed about hot flashes and learn more about alleviating them.
Understanding How Hot Flashes Affect Women
Both men and women experience hot flashes when they eat something spicy, drink alcoholic drinks, or smoke a cigarette. However, a hot flash is more common among women in their premenopausal period. They can feel a sudden gush of heat in their body, causing reddened faces and intense sweating on the upper body. Any external heat does not cause hot flashes. Instead, they occur because of the declining hormonal changes in your body.
Many women who experience hot flashes often feel cold and sweaty at nighttime. These effects make it harder for them to sleep peacefully, leading to insomnia. Their hearts also beat faster, causing palpitations, dizziness, and faintness. Most of the time, women are also irritable because they feel uncomfortable with the intense body warmth. Thus, you don't have to be surprised when they suddenly get cranky and feel restless for a certain period.
The aftermath of hot flashes can be quite upsetting. Many women find it more challenging to focus on a task whenever they experience a hot flash out of nowhere. This inability to concentrate can affect your career, relationships, and even your self-confidence.
No matter how usual this symptom can be, women must not neglect hot flashes because they will continue to haunt you for years until your last period ends. Experiencing hot flashes could also be an indicator that something is going on inside your body. It's most likely a warning sign that your body is undergoing hormonal problems, which isn't good news for other vital physiological processes, such as muscle development, bone formation, and hair growth.
The Connection Between Hormonal Imbalance and Menopausal Hot Flashes
Hormones play a vital purpose in every of your body's internal activities. Thus, a disruption in their levels can affect your bodily functions, putting your health at risk. However, hormonal imbalance does happen in a woman's life, especially before, during, and after menopause.
Throughout the premenopausal period, the female gonads weaken, thereby declining its estrogen and progesterone production. By the way, estrogens and progesterone are the female sex hormones responsible for women's sexual characteristics and reproductive functions. Specifically, a lack of estrogens can adversely affect the brain's hypothalamus, a regulator of body temperature. Your hypothalamus will mistakenly detect extreme heat in your body. Thus, your mind will instruct your body to release the superfluous heat through hot flashes.
Therefore, it is vital to keep your hormonal levels in check to avoid experiencing this disturbing menopausal symptom. So, what will you do to overcome your hot flashes? Please read the following tips below and start doing them one by one.
Seven Healthy Tips to Reduce Menopausal Hot Flashes
Tip # 1: Identify the factors or circumstances that trigger hot flashes.
Some circumstances and habits can also induce hot flashes. Hence, take note of the time and situation when the symptom occurs. Smoking, spicy and sugary foods, lack of sleep, and overworking are factors that trigger hot flashes. Be watchful of what you eat, drink, and do most of the time so that you can keep track of the possible causes and avoid them as soon as possible.
Tip # 2: Avoid wearing tight and thick-layered outfits.
Hot flashes can attack at any time of the day, making you feel hot and sweaty. Therefore, you must avoid wearing tight clothes that can restrict the flow of air around your body. Any thick-layered clothing can also trap the heat, which can further aggravate your hot flash. Garb some loose clothes, such as Sunday dresses and oversized shirts during the daytime, and wear any comfy attire with a thin or cottony cloth before going to bed. Also, avoid covering yourself with a blanket, for it can also cause more discomfort during your sleep.
Tip # 3: Stay in a well-ventilated or an air-conditioned venue.
A warm environment can worsen your hot flashes. Therefore, it is crucial to stay in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned area to avoid your body's excess heat. Staying in a cooler place will also help your body cool down and relax so that you won't palpitate, get dizzy, and feel nauseated. If you don't have an air-conditioning unit, you can simply open the windows to let the air circulate the room or use a fan to ventilate the area.
Tip # 4: Stop drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
During the menopausal period, women must avoid drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages at all costs if you're experiencing hot flashes. Studies show that caffeine intake can increase palpitations, making you feel exhausted, sweaty, and dizzy. Drinking too much coffee, tea, soda, and other caffeinated drinks can also lower your estrogen levels, thereby triggering hot flashes.
On the other hand, alcohol consumption increases estrogen production but lowers progesterone levels. This hormonal imbalance is risky for your body since it can lead to breast cancer and reproductive problems. Also, alcohol can constrict your blood vessels, thereby forcing your heart to pump harder so that blood can flow. As a result, you experience extreme fatigue and shortness of breath, which aggravates your hot flash symptom.
Tip # 5: Opt to undergo a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
As mentioned earlier, hormonal imbalance is a primary cause of hot flashes. If the symptom persists and worsens, you can treat this hormonal problem by undergoing hormone replacement therapy. This treatment involves consuming artificial estrogen and progesterone, which can be used to relieve some menopausal symptoms. HRT comes in the form of pills, gels, patches, or implants. However, HRT's effects depend on your body's response to the medication and the duration of the treatment. Overdosage is also hazardous for your ovaries and may lead to ovarian cancer. Thus, it is indeed necessary to consult your doctor for a proper prescription.
Tip # 6: Always hydrate yourself with water.
After exercising, you always drink water as a way of cooling down and replenishing your thirst. However, you must not only keep track of your water intake after exercise. It's also essential to drink water frequently to prevent water loss. In fact, dehydration can be a plausible effect of hot flashes because your body cools off through sweating. Thus, to avoid a lack of fluids, always hydrate yourself with eight to ten glasses of water every day. Drinking cold water also helps regulate your body temperature, thereby curbing the onset of hot flashes. It can also wash out caffeine and alcohol in your system by urinating.
Tip # 7: Improve your lifestyle habits.
A healthy life starts with you. Whatever you experience physically, mentally, and emotionally will depend on your lifestyle. Thus, you need to ditch bad habits and start doing what is right:
- Feed yourself with all the essential nutrients, especially phytoestrogens, for growth, development, and immunity.
- Sleep adequately and on time to allow your organs, especially your hormonal glands, to rest and regenerate sufficiently.
- Limit your caffeinated and alcoholic beverage consumption to prevent hot flash attacks.
- Exercise regularly so that your body can secrete endorphins for avoiding hot flashes.
- Learn how to manage your stress to avert triggering hormonal imbalance.
With these new and improved habits, you can reduce your menopausal hot flashes.
Treating Hot Flashes is Important.
Women don't experience hot flashes without any reason. These symptoms are far more critical than most people think because they serve as warnings for their health. The tips mentioned above do not solely focus on treating hot flashes. In reality, they help alleviate the unwanted effects of menopause.
Life does not start at 40 but unfolds a new chapter in every woman's life. Menopause is not something to be feared. It is a period when women must be very cautious of their health since they are susceptible to adverse bodily changes. Therefore, women should take better care of their well-being to enjoy their 40s and 50s without suffering from menopausal symptoms.
Suffer No More From Menopausal Symptoms.
A hot flash isn't the only menopausal symptom that a woman may experience. You can also lose your hair strands during the premenopausal period. Thus, you need to do your best to prevent your hair from falling out. Use hair growth shampoos that can defeat any sign of hair loss problem.