Menopause 101: Finding Relief from Hot Flashes

Menopause 101: Finding Relief from Hot Flashes

April 20th, 2022

Have you walked outside lately? If so, you probably noticed that the temperature is beginning to heat up. Ladies, spring is in full swing and summer is on the horizon. This means those temperatures will just keep getting hotter and hotter. For women currently experiencing any of the three stages of menopause, this is probably not something you want to think about. We get it. Hot flashes are not fun during any time of year but especially during the hotter months. However, our team at Women’s Surgery & Aesthetics Center is here to provide you with tips to find relief from those pesky hot flashes so that you can enjoy the days and weeks ahead. 

What are Hot Flashes?

Let’s start with the basics. A hot flash is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a “sudden feeling of warmth in the upper body, which is usually most intense over the face, neck and chest.” Hot flashes range in length and intensity for every woman. For example, you may experience quick 30-second flashes while your best friend may have ones that last for close to 10 minutes. As a hot flash subsides, you may begin to feel cold and start shivering. Think of it like a day living in the south. One minute it’s 80 degrees outside and sunny, and the next it’s 30 degrees and snowing. While we all wish hot flashes only occurred during the daytime, that is simply not the case. Night sweats, which are hot flashes you experience at night, can make getting a good night’s sleep difficult.

Identify Hot Flash Triggers

The great news is that there are things you can do to help deal with hot flashes. Identifying what is triggering a hot flash is the first step. Common triggers include: 

  • Hot and spicy foods 
  • Caffeine 
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking 
  • Hot weather 
  • Tight clothing 
  • Stress
  • Heat 
We suggest keeping a journal of your hot flashes to help you identify the culprit. Make sure to write down what you ate or did prior to the hot flash. From there, you can begin to make lifestyle changes by eliminating triggers.

Hot Flash Relief

Ladies, there are a number of things you can do to find relief from hot flashes. Of course, as we mentioned above, identifying and removing hot flash triggers is a great place to start. However, removing triggers like hot weather and heat is easier said than done. You could move to a place where it is always cold like Antarctica, but even then, you could still have hot flashes. Instead of going through all of that trouble, here are some tips to help you deal with hot flashes:

  1. Air conditioning is your friend. Set your thermostat to a cool temperature. At night, keep it at 65 degrees or cooler.
  2. Wear layers. Layers are great because they provide you with the ability to add or remove as you need. Also, avoid tight-fitted clothing.
  3. Keep a cooler full of cold beverages nearby if you will be spending time outside. 
  4. Purchase a cooling neck towel that you can use when outside this summer. You can also keep a washcloth in your freezer that you can grab anytime you need it.
  5. Invest in a cold pillow or keep frozen veggies under your pillow at night to help you stay cool. 
  6. Keep a hand-held fan or misting fan with you. 
  7. Let your hair air-dry when possible so that you can avoid using a hairdryer.
  8. Opt for clothes made with cotton over ones made with hot materials like flannel. 
  9. Install ceiling fans in your home to help you stay cool, especially at night.
  10. Breathe! Stress can make hot flashes worse. If you are feeling stressed, participate in activities like working on a puzzle, coloring, walking, etc., that will help you relax. 
Other Options & How We Can Help

In some cases, it may be necessary to take additional steps to help you find relief. One option we offer at Women’s Surgery & Aesthetics Center is Hormone Replacement Therapy. This therapy replaces hormone deficiencies like estrogen and progesterone, which you experience during menopause, and activates symptom relief. Hormone Replacement Therapy is not for everyone, though. Women who have experienced breast or ovarian cancers or have clotting disorders are not candidates for this treatment. There are non-hormonal medications available that can help these women find relief. Learn more about these options by visiting our website.

Our blog has mainly focused on hot flashes since they tend to be the most talked about symptom of menopause. However, for the close to 50% of women who experience other less talked about symptoms like vaginal dryness or itchiness, pain during intercourse, and burning sensations or irritation, we are here for you too. These symptoms describe vaginal atrophy, otherwise known as vaginal aging, which typically occurs 3-4 years after a woman has gone through menopause. This condition can greatly impact a woman’s quality of life, and that’s why our office is thrilled to be able to offer these women relief with MonaLisa Touch. This fast, simple, and safe treatment is the most effective non-surgical and non-pharmacological solution for preventing and treating vaginal atrophy. You can learn more about the MonaLisa Touch by clicking here.

One Final Word

Ladies, menopause is just part of being a woman, but the hot flashes and other symptoms that come along with it do not have to control your quality of life. Give us a call at 423-899-6511 to schedule an appointment and find the relief you've been searching for.