Most women experience hot flash symptoms during perimenopause and menopause, however, knowing this fact does not make the experience any more enjoyable. And let me tell you, I will never forget my first hot flash symptom. When I rose from my chair, I noticed that something wet was dripping down the inner seam of my pants leg.
No, I did not suddenly pee in my pants. It was one of my “not so hot” flashes, which I devote a chapter to in my perimenopause and menopause book.
What Are Menopausal Hot Flashes and What Are Hot Flash Symptoms?
As your shmirshky goes through the aging process, estrogen levels in the body decrease, which is thought to be the cause of hot flash symptoms, aka annoying bouts of extreme heat. Every shmirshky will experience different perimenopause and menopause symptoms and recognizing how hot flash symptoms affect you personally is a great start toward finding relief.
Some hot flash symptoms are a sudden rush of heat – so hot that your face may actually become flushed – that may quickly subside. Others can be an all-day sweat session of intense perspiration. Some shmirshkies have hot flash symptoms only in their upper body, while others like me experience them in their lower body (hence the soaked pants.) Some shmirshkies experience hot flash symptoms daily, while others go weeks at a time without one, or only experience them at night. When hot flash symptoms occur at night, they are called “night sweats.” These will keep you up later at night than your teenage son.
Hot flash symptoms may be repeated a few times a week or constantly throughout the day. Thankfully, these sweaty episodes decrease over time. Still there are a few hot flash symptom triggers that can affect the intensity, frequency and duration that you should know about. For one, try reducing your caffeine intake, especially before bedtime. Alcohol is another trigger, but don’t panic. Not every Shmirshky is affected by alcohol (so we’re not giving up cocktail hour, right?!). You can chill out with cool air and cold water! And now is as good of a time as any to quit smoking! Smokers are more likely to have menopausal hot flash symptoms than nonsmokers, so toss the pack of cigs and you may enjoy fewer flashes. Many shmirshkies also find acupuncture or hormone therapy to be a tremendous help. Talk to your doctor about your options and what’s best for you and your body.
Whether you flash, flush, or sweat, it that doesn’t mean you should suffer in silence. Recognizing your own hot flash symptoms is the first step to feeling better. It may take some time to figure out what works best for you to alleviate them, but trust me it’s worth the effort.