Menopause Mondays: Not-so-hot- Hot Flashes
If you’re on your computer, sitting at your desk and find yourself looking like you just ran a 10K, you may be experiencing the not-so-hot – hot flashes of perimenopause and menopause. You are not alone! 85% of women approaching menopause in the U.S.A. experience hot flashes of some kind, which can be caused by hormonal fluctuations. There is no “one size fits all” for the timing, duration, frequency or pattern of menopausal hot flashes. All women are unique.
I think hot flashes and Tampax are oddly similar. They come in light, medium and heavy. You may experience a hot flush of warmth spreading through your upper body and face, or your face can appear red & blotchy. You can suddenly find yourself in bed at night, dripping wet, ripping off your jammies and staring at a pile of soaking wet sheets and your heart racing. Sleepless and anxiety-ridden, you may be gazing across your bed, trying to find your partner who is bundled up with extra blankets struggling to handle your thermostat selection of 65 degrees.
So what’s a gal to do?????
First, find a perimenopause and menopause specialist. Would you go to a dentist for your yearly pap smear? Of course, not! Likewise, be sure that you see a specialist for menopause (this might take some real effort to find, but it is critical and well worth it and may not be your current OBGYN).
There are lots of options for treating hot flashes! Since every woman is different, you will have to explore which option work best for you.
Options needing prescriptions:
Selective serotonin and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and SNRIs),
Non prescription options:
It’s helpful to be aware of some of the typical hot flash instigators. Here’s a short list: alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, stress, hot weather, smoking, saunas, and tight clothes! It’s okay – take a breath. Breathing is not on the list! You can try to start eliminating some of these triggers one at a time to see if that helps alleviate your symptoms. For example, reduce your alcohol intake and caffeine (especially before bed), cut back on spicy foods, and try a Mediterranean Diet. Acupuncture, yoga, and meditation may help, too.
Exercising increases your endorphin levels, usually adding to a feeling of well-being. Exercise helps reduce stress levels and supports general wellness. Any of the typical remedies for de-stressing one’s life such as biofeedback techniques, and maybe even massage, might prove helpful.
Some women find help with black cohosh. You can find this ingredient in Remifemin. As of 2014, we have a new product that has come to the U.S. called Relizen. It has been used in Europe for 15+ years. Relizen’s raw ingredients are grown in the fields of southern Sweden. This product is made from pollen extract.
Most importantly, ease your mind and chill out! You CAN find hormone happiness! I did!
Remember: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!