Hot Flashes: Staying Cool in the Warm Summer Months
Controlling Hot Flashes Despite Hormones
During the summer, many women going through menopause have to battle not only the warm weather, but also their hot flashes. This can be a frustrating and uncomfortable scenario that may leave many women wishing for the summer season to pass quickly. Since we can’t control the seasons, we decided to come up with some helpful tips for managing hot flashes in hot weather instead.
Hot flashes are marked by sudden feelings of warmth, which may cause you to feel flushed, hot, sweaty, and then often chilled. While a variety of hormonal conditions can cause hot flashes, most often they are the result of menopause. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes through natural methods.
Identifying what triggers your hot flashes is the first step in avoiding them. This may seem like common sense, but it’s not as easy as it sounds! The best way to begin to figure out what is triggering your hot flashes is to keep a journal for a couple of weeks. Write down when they occurred, what you were doing before they occurred, and how long it lasted.
Common triggers include:
- alcohol (especially before bed)
- stress and anger
- diet pills
- spicy foods
You’re at higher risk for experiencing hot flashes if you:
- are physically inactive
- are underweight or overweight
- have experienced surgical menopause
- have been treated with Tamoxifen or who have gone through chemotherapy
A lot can be said for diet and its role in supporting hormone balance. A whole foods diet, of course, is the place to start; that’s probably no surprise. Making sure you are getting the right foods to support menopause, however, requires a little more specificity. There are several foods that are particularly helpful for minimizing hot flashes. Ideal foods for women with no history of estrogen dominance include foods called phytoestrogens, which can actually mimic estrogen in the body.
Please note, these foods are NOT recommended for women who are/have been estrogen dominant.
- soy (preferably organic/non-GMO) including: tempeh, tofu, soy milk, edamame, miso, soy protein powder
- legumes (lentils, beans)
Other foods that will help keep you feeling cool and balanced this summer include:
- abundant raw vegetables
- fresh fruit
- lots of filtered water
- coconut water (especially hydrating and helps to promote electrolyte balance)
If you know you’re going to be in hot weather, plan ahead and pack a thermos with ice water to help keep you cool.
Also, limiting hot or spicy foods can also be helpful, as spicy foods are “warming” to the body and may promote or trigger a hot flash.
Studies have shown that deep breathing can dramatically decrease the frequency of hot flashes, and can help make the hot flashes that do occur shorter and milder. When possible, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for at least 15 minutes. Sit, stand, or lay down depending on what makes you comfortable and relaxed. Then start with breathing in for a count of five. When you breathe out, try to release the air over a count of seven or higher. Remember to fill your belly and chest and release as slowly as you can, working your way up to exhaling for 12 seconds or longer.
Exercises like Yoga, Pilates, or PiYo (which combines Yoga and Pilates) will also help you to breathe and increase circulation for further benefits.
Dress the Part
The right clothes can make all of the difference when it comes to staying cool while going through menopause. Cotton can help keep you cool in warm weather. You might also consider wearing clothing made from moisture wicking material to help keep you dry if a hot flash does occur. In cooler weather, be sure to dress in layers, so that you can take some clothes off before you get too hot.
Natural wool bedding can keep you cooler and wick away moisture better that down or synthetic bedding. You can find more information on wool bedding at Organic Wool Duvet. You might also consider investing in a hand held electric fan to carry around with you on hot days, to ensure you’ll always have a cool breeze to keep your body temperature down.
Keep Your Body Moving
Exercise is an important part of a hot flash management plan. Exercise is helpful for managing hot flashes in large part because it raises endorphin levels, which drop during a hot flash. It also promotes healthy circulation and strong muscles and bones.
Staying cool this summer is totally achievable. Plan ahead, eat smart, dress the part, and supplement where needed. We may not be able to control the weather, but we can certainly take steps to ensure we are comfortable in it! Happy summer!
Natural Hormone Creams
Providing your body with the additional supplements it needs can go a long way in relieving hot flashes. We suggest the following supplements for menopausal women experiencing hot flashes:
CREAMS CONTAINING PROGESTERONE
Progesta-Care natural progesterone cream or spray with NO phytoestrogens. is for women working on shrinking fibroids, have other women’s fibrosis conditions, AND are still estrogen dominant. Paraben free.
Progesta-Care Complete Cream includes Prognenolone and 7-Keto DHEA, and can be used by those who are estrogen dominant and/or suffering from fibroid tumors and other women’s fibrosis conditions. Paraben free.
CREAMS CONTAINING PROGESTERONE AND ESTROGEN
Progesta-Care PLUS contains natural bio identical progesterone and phytoestrogens for those who need both progesterone and estrogen supplementation.* Paraben free.
Progesta-Care Estriol is ideal for women requiring optimal balance support from natural progesterone and estriol. Paraben free.
CREAMS CONTAINING ESTROGEN
Estro-Care Cream with natural phytoestrogens comes in an optimal balance solution containing approximately 25mg natural phytoestrogens plus MSM and hyaluronic acid per full pump press. Paraben free.
BiEstro-Care™ is a combination of two estrogens for optimal balance solutions in an 80/20 ratio of approximately 1 mg of natural Estriol USP and 0.25 mg of natural Estradiol USP per full pump press. Paraben free.
**PLEASE NOTE: Progesta-Care PLUS, Progesta-Care Estriol, Estro-Care, BiEstro-Care, ProFema, and Almased are not recommended for women who are estrogen dominant or who have a history of estrogen dominance.
Additional Hormone Balance Support Supplements
ProFema Menopause Multiple**
ProFema This multivitamin for women provides a complete array of vitamins and minerals supports bone health, is a complete green food complex, and it provides the isoflavones and herbs which may support hormone fluctuations.*
Transitions Herbs for Menopause**
Transitions contains the herbs and other tonic ingredients that ProFema does, but without the vitamins and minerals.* Ideal to take if you like your multivitamin and only want hormonal support.*
EaseFemin™ from Natura Nectar is the first all-natural, estrogen-free dietary supplement containing Isoƒactor™ a premium extract from exotic Brazilian Red Propolis that helps women reduce the difficult symptoms that often accompany menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability*.
N-Fuzed Estro-Fem is a liquid supplement containing a proprietary blend of Phlomis umbrosa, Cynachum wilfordil, and Angetlica gigas. This combination of herbs infused in distilled water have been clinically shown to help the body minimize symptoms normally associated with menopause.*