Hot flushes (hot flashes) are amongst the most widely recognised symptoms of menopause, but until you've experienced them you really can't know what they feel like or the impact that they have.
A sudden feeling of warmth which usually focuses on the upper body, spread over the face, neck and chest, can cause sweating and reddening of the skin. For some, it is quite overwhelming. Then, as the hot flush passes, you can end up feeling quite chilled - it can be a bit of a rollercoaster. While for some hot flushes are simply 'bothersome', for others they can be quite debilitating and have an impact on quality of life.
To our mind, that won't do, so what can you do to take a bit of control and help manage hot flushes? Here are five easy tips.
1) Understand hot flush triggers
The reason women get hot flushes during menopause is because the hormone changes have an impact on the body's capacity to regulate temperature. With that in mind, it's helpful to be aware of hot flush triggers, so you can either avoid them or prepare for them and have helpful items on hand like cooling sprays and plenty of water to drink. Common external triggers for hot flushes include:
- Hot weather
- Spicy foods
- Tight/synthetic clothing
2) Explore phytohormones
The most effective way to limit or even prevent hot flushes is arguably medication like HRT. However, lots of women either don't want to go down that route or can't because of particular health conditions. For those who don't want to take medication, or who want to supplement it with natural approaches, phytohormones (plant hormones), can prove helpful. These come in a variety of forms - supplements, natural food sources and even used topically in skincare products like our MPlus collection.
Foods that contain phytohormones (particularly, phytoestrogens). The National Institute of Health notes the following examples:
- Fruits: plums, pears, apples, grapes, berries
- Vegetables: beans, sprouts, cabbage, spinach, soybeans, grains, hops, garlic and onions
- Other: soy, grains, wine, tea
Phytohormones can also be applied topically, included in skincare products to help address menopausal symptoms - most notably changes in the skin such as dryness, wrinkles and less elasticity.
3) Wear natural fabrics
Wearing natural fabrics like cotton, linen or bamboo are a great way to help limit hot flushes but also to feel more comfortable in the process. They're breathable, to help keep you cool, but they also don't trap heat and odour in the way that synthetics like nylon and polyester do.
4) Carry portable sprays and fans
Having easy-to-use items on hand to make you more comfortable and to cool you down more quickly when a hot flush strikes is extremely helpful. Hand held fans are easy to pop into your bag or keep in a desk drawer, and cooling sprays are also simple but effective. Our cooling spritzes for morning and evening are 100% natural, containing light scents from essential oils, and working to cool and tone the skin. Also keeping a bottle of drinking water close by is always a good idea.
5) Learn about acupressure points
Holistic therapies are a great way to help ease hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture and acupressure in particular have been shown to help reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes. However, in between professional treatments, you can use acupressure yourself, at home or work by simply applying pressure to targeted points on the body.
At Menopause Plus we train spa therapists to provide hormone balancing spa treatments, at the end of which we apply acupressure plasters to maintain the benefits at home. You can use our acupressure plasters yourself, making it easier to understand and use acupressure and gain the benefits.
Does a natural approach to menopause work?
Read on to find out more